Football/Soccer

Celtic stroll past Dundee into semi-finals of Betfred Cup

Celtic's James Forrest scores his side's fourth goal against Dundee
By Ronnie Esplin

Betfred Cup quarter-final: Dundee 0 Celtic 4

BOSS Brendan Rodgers claims Celtic were able to take a rest during their 4-0 Betfred Cup quarter-final win over Dundee at Dens Park.

Scott Sinclair scored from the spot in the 25th minute before fellow attacker James Forrest added a second just before the break.

The treble-winners cruised the second-half and substitute Callum McGregor drove in a third with two minutes remaining before Forrest grabbed his second in added time to take the visitors into the semi-final draw along with Hibernian, Rangers and the winners of Thursday night's Motherwell versus Aberdeen tie.

Rodgers, who hopes to have defender Jozo Simunovic back against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday after he missed out with a swollen knee, was happy with the way his side conserved energy while retaining their hunger for two late goals.

He said: "It is the mark of the team. I always say to never leave the game early.

"What we did very well tonight, was we had a rest when we had the ball.

"We are always hungry to get the ball and if we are to get any rest in the game it has to be with the ball.

"If you are going to rest in the game, rest with the football because it is a lot harder when you haven't got the ball and have to chase, that tires the opponent and we had speed and technique.

"Callum McGregor's goal was a great example of that. He starts three or four yards behind Scott Sinclair but his hunger and desire to get up there and finish the goal was fantastic."

The Northern Irishman was pleased to see defender Dedryck Boyata back for the first time this season after recovering from a knee injury.

He said: "He got a good hour. It was nice to see him back as he is a big presence in the team."

Rodgers revealed striker Moussa Dembele was rested but said of Simunovic: "We will see tomorrow. There was a bit of swelling in his knee but the medics tell me he should be fine. We didn't want to aggravate it."

Dundee manager Neil McCann said: "On the whole I can have no complaints about the result.

"I think it was a remarkable work rate by my players against a top-class Celtic side who didn't rest too many for the Old Firm game.

"I think that is good respect to my side and indeed I don't think it was a 4-0, I think that flatters Celtic."

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