Ange steers Celtic to another Cup final

Ange Postecoglou's Celtic have made it into another Scottish showdown, but the champions made hard work of reaching the League Cup final with their 2-0 win over Kilmarnock in driving rain at Hampden Park.

The holders only made sure of their semi-final victory deep into stoppage time when Giorgos Giakoumakis scored their second to finally put paid to the resistance of the Scottish Premiership strugglers Killie on Saturday.

Daizen Maeda had struck after 18 minutes to ensure they always had an element of control but, as in the equivalent league fixture the week before which Celtic had also won 2-0, they weren't at their fluent best and Kilmarnock, one from bottom of the league, battled hard.

Celtic weren't helped by both Maeda and Reo Hatate having goals chalked off for offside by VAR but they eventually booked their place back at Hampden next month to face the winners of Sunday's second semi-final between Rangers and Aberdeen.

It will be Celtic's sixth final in seven seasons, giving Postecoglou the chance to successfully defend the first title he won at Parkhead at the end of 2021.

"It was a battle today. Conditions made it tough, the pitch made it tough. Credit to my boys again, they always find a way irrespective of what the challenge is. They found a way again today," said Postecoglou, who's booked his third domestic final at Hampden after the League Cup win and the Scottish Cup defeat by Rangers.

Greek Giakoumakis netted the second in the 95th minute just moments after seemingly fouling Joe Wright in the other box, leaving Kilmarnock furious.

"I am a lucky man, so maybe it filters through to the players as well," added Postecoglou.

Celtic's Socceroo Aaron Mooy was delighted to book his place in the final, telling the BBC: "It was a tough match. The pitch was soft so it was a challenge but we kept going and we're very happy.

"They have big boys in their team so we had to be switched on, and the weather wasn't the best."

Postecoglou was unimpressed by the state of the Hampden Park pitch.

He said: "I am disappointed with the state of the pitch. I thought that would be better.

"You know when you come to Hampden it is a showcase event and you kind of want the conditions to be the best they possibly can.

"Even when I walked out before the game, I was disappointed in the pitch.

"If you are going to have showcase events - where everyone is watching and the spotlight is there - you want to present it in the best possible condition."