Adam Idah decks Rangers as Celtic trophy obsession never stops to secure Scottish Cup glory – 5 talking points

Brendan Rodgers toasted a Double as his jubilant Celtic side snatched Scottish Cup glory over Rangers thanks to Adam Idah’s last-gasp Hampden winner.

It was the team’s first meeting in the annual showpiece since Peter Lovenkrands’ winner handed the Ibrox side victory back in 2002. This time it was on-loan Norwich striker Idah who proved to be the last-action hero as his 90th-minute winner wrapped up a miserable end to the season for Philippe Clement and his side. The Premiership champions had gone the league season without suffering defeat to their bitter rivals. And they ensured it was a blemish free derby campaign despite being out played for much of the Hampden encounter.

While the Hoops were left to celebrate their sixth triumph in the last eight editions of the competition, Gers boss Clement must now begin the job of rebuilding a Light Blues squad he has already admitted has reached the end of its cycle. It might have been a different outcome had Abdallash Sima’s close-range finish been allowed to count just after half-time - but a Nico Raskin push on Joe Hart saw it counted out by VAR.

Rodgers had the simplest of tasks naming his team, with a line-up that virtually picked itself. The Parkhead gaffer’s only call of note was whether to start the game with James Forrest or finish it. In the end, Rodgers opted to throw the Scotland call-up in from the kickoff and hope to blow Gers away.

Most of Clement’s headaches were fitness based, with question marks over defenders Leon Balogun and Ridvan Yilmaz. In truth, the big Belgian had no choice but to roll the dice and hope both would come through the game, otherwise risk chucking in kids Leon King and Robbie Fraser.

A tougher choice was whether to start with Nico Raskin or Celtic Park sinner John Lundstram in midfield. Bowing to fan demands, it was Clement’s countrymen who got the nod. The Rangers boss had made clear they needed to make a better start than his three previous derby clashes, all of which had seen the Light Blues surrender the first two goals.

The Ibrox side responded to that call with a gusto, racing to press the champions, leaping into tackles. Celtic had to be on their toes but when they did break the press, their first instinct was to release Daizen Maeda in behind James Tavernier at every opportunity.

But there were scrappy moments too. Matt O’Riley - Celtic’s classy Player of the Year - twice passed the ball out the park, with Cyriel Dessers and Todd Cantwell blowing promising moments with shanks at the crucial moment. The first opening fell for Rangers 17 minutes in as Fabio Silva cut past Alistair Johnston but his tame shot was easily held by Joe Hart - playing his last game before retiring.

At the other end, Reo Hatate took a swing at a loose ball - only for Ben Davies to produce a big block with his coupon. The Celtic end erupted in unison to cry penalty 23 minutes in when a Kyogo header bounced off Davies’ arm from point-blank range.

The Gers centre-back knew nothing about it but given some of the handball calls we’ve seen this season it was certainly worth an appeal. Gers were relieved when ref Nick Walsh opted to play on. They’d have been far happier two minutes latter had Dessers taken a huge chance. Cantwell’s cutback found there 22-goal hitman 12 yards out. For once, the enigmatic striker sets himself with a decent touch but O’Riley was of one of three green and white jerseys which hurled themselves at the ball as Celtic survive.

That Rangers made it to the break level was notable given they hadn’t managed that in any of the four league clashes with their bitter rivals this season. The sight of Abdallah Sima replacing Dessers as the teams remerged would have provided a further boost to the blue swathes wrapping round the Mount Florida end.

The Senegalese ace’s first involvement saw him cop a booking as he appeared to kick out as he attempted to wriggle clear of a tangle with Johnston. His second was to knee home a Tavernier corner but his celebrations were quickly halted when VAR spotted a Raskin push on Hart as the delivery came in.

It wouldn't be an Old Firm without a bit of needle and there were bookings for Greg Taylor for a bit of verbals on Cantwell, who was carded himself a couple of minutes later as he responded with a shove on the Celtic defender before being subbed off.

The final stages were edge of the seat stuff as Rangers seemed to grow in strength, taking advantage of Celtic’s tiring legs. But for all their possession, there just wasn’t the cutting edge required to force a winner.

In the end, Celtic only needed one chance to win it. The clock was almost at 90 minutes when sub Paulo Bernardo picked up possession and surged towards the Rangers box. The flight of his strike caught out Jack Butland, whose first save of the match was spilled straight at the gleeful Idah to ram home.

As the Hoops faithful went wild, Clement’s side were left to cling to the hope that they could snatch something in the eight added minutes. But the final blast of Walsh's whistle brought only more agony for the blue half as they were left to watch Callum McGregor lift the 22nd major honour of his glittering Parkhead career. Record Sport look at FIVE key talking points from Hampden.

RODGERS JUST KEEPS WINNING

Rodgers’ reputation in this fixture was already secured, but it was crucial for Clement to try and prove he could get the big result against the Celtic manager after three previous failures. Getting to half-time without conceding was a first and so was being level at the interval.

In the hunt, the Belgian went for Sima at the restart and looked to get a pay-off only for the attacker’s effort to be ruled out. Clement got the tactics right and his team were best in the second period. Rodgers would not have been happy with the performance levels, but his team dug in and found the moment. It made it 14 wins in 18 Old Firm games for the Celtic boss. A fantastic record. Now Clement, for all he got plenty right at Hampden, is four without success. Only results matter.

CANTWELL CHANCE

There was much discussion about the Rangers midfield set-up as they looked to get on top of Celtic trio and Todd Cantwell got the nod in the middle with Dujon Sterling starting off the right. Nico Raskin’s selection ahead of John Lundstram was about legs and energy and Mohamed Diomande provided plenty of those alongside the Belgian.

That pair tigered around the engine room gave the manager what he needed in stopping Hatate and O’Riley from influencing. Cantwell made way with 15 minutes to go, but the other pair kept going until the brutal finale for Rangers. Diomande lost his shape in injury time with a kick that was checked for a red card by VAR. He was cleared, but still feeling pain at the outcome.

FORREST AND McGREGOR

Celtic had trophy-winning experience in the shape of captain McGregor and Forrest. McGregor influence was clear as he hounded Scales for chipping an aimless ball just as Celtic had exchanged passes in a slick first-half move and the captain had plenty of occasions in the opening period when he had bags of room.

Forrest tried to get at Yilmaz and broke free before a shot was blocked approaching the hour. Both of them went in the book for fouls as they contested affairs. The captain walked a tightrope as he kept fighting and working with his colleagues off form and, with Forrest off, it was the skipper who got the move going for the winner. He just never stops. Even when the team isn’t flowing, he just digs and digs.

BALOGUN BACK

The 35-year-old was drafted into the heart of the Rangers having been a pre-match and his contribution was going to vital alongside Ben Davies. The Nigerian was sure footed when he had to step into challenges before the break as his partner survived a big handball shout.

Balogun was sharp into the interventions when Kyogo came short and nipped ahead of him to get the ball to set the move for the corner where Sima had his effort chopped off. Tasked with a differing challenge as Idah appeared, the centre-back was doing a fine job until he got caught on his heels when Butland spilled the Bernardo shot and the Republic of Ireland man swooped to win it. One lapse is all it takes.

END OF THE LINE FOR HART

The goalkeeper was bringing down the curtain on a superb career and got his second medal of the season that he cherished. However, it was not without a major scare. He was accomplished for the first half.

Good hands to keep a hold of a low shot from Silva and sure with his fists and feet as James Tavernier swung dangerous corners under his bar and his centre backs used him in possession. He felt the nudge in the back from Raskin at the corner when Sima put the ball in the net and VAR spotted it.

One of a few big calls from the booth. It was joy for Hart and complete contrast to his opposite number who, having been brilliant all season, made a big error at a fatal time.