Ange Postecoglou revealed he had achieved a "dream" that had been his "lifelong obsession" after overseeing Celtic's Scottish Premiership title triumph.

Celtic needed only a point on Wednesday to clinch top spot ahead of rivals and reigning champions Rangers, and they got exactly that thanks to a 1-1 draw at Dundee United.

It completes a stunning turnaround under Postecoglou, who arrived at the start of this season after Celtic had finished the last campaign 25 points off the pace.

The Bhoys recovered from early setbacks, though, and were deserving champions with a game to spare.

"It's been a hell of a season," Postecoglou told BBC Sport. "Our starting point was a fair way back, and the way this group of players and staff has risen to the challenge – I couldn't be more proud.

"It's fairly overwhelming. It's taken every ounce of me to get us where we are, and when you get to the finish line, you just want to collapse.

"We've been focused all season, not getting distracted by anything. The players were really good at dealing with what was in front of them – and that's not easy to do.

"The dream was always to manage a famous club and try to make an impact. When something is almost a lifelong obsession and you finally get there, it's hard to put into words.

"It almost feels like two seasons in one. We've jammed in a rebuilding season and a season to win. We had a lot of work to do, and with the support of everyone at the club, we got there."

Celtic remain on course to win the Scottish Premiership despite Fashion Sakala earning Rangers a 1-1 draw in Sunday's Old Firm derby at Celtic Park.

Ange Postecoglou's side went into the fourth league meeting of the season between the two Glasgow giants six points ahead of their arch rivals.

That advantage looked like being extended to nine when Jota put Celtic ahead in the 21st minute.

However, Celtic failed to make the most of the superiority they largely enjoyed thereafter, and Sakala claimed a share of the spoils with his 67th-minute leveller.

Ryan Kent led a bright start for Rangers that soon dissipated as Daizen Maeda's low left-wing cross was deftly turned home by Jota.

Celtic continued in the ascendancy and Maeda should have made it 2-0 three minutes before half-time with a close-range header, Jota almost returning the favour with a cross to the far post after Rangers lost possession in their own half.

Maeda blazed over another excellent chance 10 minutes after the restart and his profligacy was punished in fine fashion.

Neat build-up play from Rangers saw Kent tee up Sakala, whose low drive had too much pace for Joe Hart and sneaked inside the near post.

Rangers came agonisingly close to completing the turnaround, Hart producing a stunning save to deny Scott Arfield from close range before Sakala hit the post, Celtic clinging on to maintain a likely decisive edge in the title race.

Celtic's Carl Starfelt put through his own net deep into extra-time as Rangers came from behind to beat their Old Firm rivals 2-1 in a frantic Scottish Cup semi-final.

Greg Taylor fired a low finish beyond Jon McLaughlin shortly after the hour to hand Celtic the lead, before substitute Scott Arfield bent home a brilliant leveller to force additional time.

With a penalty shoot-out on the horizon, Starfelt deflected Calvin Bassey's left-wing cross past Joe Hart to send Rangers to their 53rd Scottish Cup final, where Hearts lie in wait after overcoming Hibernian on Saturday. 

A boisterous atmosphere gave way to a frantic opening at Hampden Park, with Ryan Kent firing over under pressure and Jota heading onto the roof of the net at the other end.

John Lundstram curled against the post as Rangers enjoyed the better of the first half, but their threat faded somewhat after Aaron Ramsey was injured shortly before the break.

Ange Postecoglou's side improved after half time and took the lead after 63 minutes, Taylor spinning on Callum McGregor's inventive shot free-kick before firing into the bottom-right corner.

The Hoops went close to a quickfire second five minutes later when Cameron Carter-Vickers crashed a left-footed shot against the crossbar from a corner.

They were made to pay for that missed opportunity after 78 minutes with Arfield latching onto Kemar Roofe's heavy touch to curl home just four minutes after coming on.

Celtic somehow survived Rangers twice hitting the woodwork in the 110th minute, James Tavernier smashing off the near post and Fashion Sakala diverting the rebound onto the top of the bar.

But Rangers found time for a winner as Bassey's left-wing cutback was diverted into his own net by Starfelt under pressure from Sakala, ending Celtic's treble hopes and booking Rangers' cup final spot.

What does it mean? Rangers continue bid to end cup draught

Rangers have not lifted either of Scotland's two domestic cups since winning the Scottish League Cup in 2011, and Celtic have won the Scottish Cup on six occasions since the Ibrox outfit last did so in 2009.

Their extra-time win means they will appear in May's showpiece event for the 53rd time, where they will look to lift their first domestic cup in over a decade.

Celtic's treble hopes in tatters

Meanwhile, Celtic went into this game looking to keep their hopes of a fifth domestic treble in six seasons alive, after winning the Scottish League Cup in December and establishing a six-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership. 

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men will be delighted with ending the Hoops' dreams of another domestic clean sweep, and could yet win two trophies themselves as they remain in the hunt for the Europa League.

Gers end Postecoglou's derby run

Postecoglou's team looked set for a third successive Old Firm derby win when Taylor fired home the opener, but a stunning Rangers turnaround denied Celtic that feat, and means the Glasgow giants have won two derbies apiece in all competitions this season.

What's next?

Celtic continue their bid to regain the Scottish title at Ross County next Sunday, with Rangers travelling to Motherwell on the same day, looking to capitalise on any slip-up from the leaders.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou confirmed that a member of his coaching staff was hit by a missile during the Old Firm derby.

The Hoops came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Ibrox and extended their lead over their rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership to six points with just six games remaining.

Aaron Ramsey had given Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side the lead early on, only for Tomas Rogic and Cameron Carter-Vickers to strike back for Celtic before the break.

However, the match was marred by glass bottles being thrown onto the pitch, with the game being delayed early in the second half when parts of a broken bottle were found in the Celtic penalty area.

In a separate incident, a member of Celtic's staff was also struck by an object thrown from the crowd. 

"Yeah, he was [hit by a missile], on the way in. I think he is okay. He had a couple of stitches," Postecoglou told reporters when asked if the staff member had indeed been struck by a missile.

"It is disappointing because this is a game that gets beamed around the world and it stands on its own.

"You had two teams going at it in first and second spot and you don't need a couple of idiots spoiling it."

Cameron Carter-Vickers celebrated a "massive" victory for Celtic as his goal ultimately proved the winner in Sunday's derby clash with Rangers.

Celtic took the Old Firm bragging rights back across Glasgow as they secured a 2-1 win at Ibrox.

Rangers' start could hardly have been better, with Aaron Ramsey scoring inside the opening three minutes, yet Tomas Rogic swiftly hit back for the visitors.

That was the first time since December 2002 that both teams had scored inside the opening 10 minutes of an Old Firm derby, and the first half ended in similarly frantic fashion when Carter-Vickers lashed in after a goalmouth scramble.

Celtic ultimately held on without too much trouble, despite glass bottles being thrown onto the pitch at half-time, as Ange Postecoglou's team moved six points clear of their city rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

"A massive win for us, not many games left so every three points are massively important," defender Carter-Vickers told Sky Sports.

"All season we've shown that character. Sometimes it is difficult coming to a stadium like this, and it takes a bit of time to adjust.

"It was difficult to concede in the first five minutes, but after that we played well.

"My goal was probably a bit lucky. It was difficult, they were pushing men forward, and we had to defend as a unit. I thought we stood up to it well today."

Postecoglou echoed Carter-Vickers' sentiment, telling BBC Scotland: "It was an enormous effort. It was a proper derby.

"We didn't get off to the greatest of starts and the crowd was up and for us and this group of players to turn it around in that fashion, and the resilience this group have shown. 

"I'm super proud of the players. Everyone knows this isn't an easy place to come to, they're a good side and they're undefeated here this year and knowing the consequences and the significance of three points to the league today it was always going to be a battle for us.

"There were going to be times we had to roll our sleeves up. But like I said after not getting off to the greatest of starts, to go and win the game is a testament to the character of the players."

That was only a second domestic defeat Rangers have suffered under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but both of them have been in derby games.

Celtic took a big stride towards regaining the Scottish Premiership title as Cameron Carter-Vickers' strike secured a 2-1 Old Firm derby win over Rangers at Ibrox.

Aaron Ramsey gave the Gers a dream start by opening the scoring just three minutes in, but Tomas Rogic equalised only four minutes later to silence the vast majority of a raucous capacity crowd on Sunday.

After weathering an early storm, Celtic were the better side and Carter-Vickers put them in front late in the first half.

Rangers were unable to respond in a second half that was delayed due to broken glass being thrown onto the pitch as Celtic moved six points clear of their fierce Glasgow rivals, with Ange Postecoglou's side also having a superior goal difference with six games to play.

Defending champions Rangers were rewarded for making a blistering start when Calvin Bassey sent Ryan Kent racing clear down the left and the winger's cross was swept in by the onrushing Ramsey.

Celtic briefly looked like they did not know what had hit them, but they were quickly level, Rogic turning in from close range after Allan McGregor palmed Reo Hatate's shot into his path following a brilliant run from Callum McGregor.

The Hoops thought Daizen Maeda had been upended by McGregor in the box late in the first half, but Carter-Vickers deservedly drilled them into the lead with his left foot as the Gers failed to deal with a free-kick from the left.

Joe Hart returned after the break to discover broken bottles in his penalty area, but Celtic looked untroubled once the game restarted after a delay of only a few minutes for a clean-up operation.

Hart did produce a fine save from Fashion Sakala and a superb reflex stop from McGregor prevented Liel Abada from extending Celtic's lead, but goals from Rogic and Carter-Vickers were enough to secure three precious points for the visitors.

Rangers will be without leading scorer Alfredo Morelos when they face Celtic in a huge Old Firm derby on Sunday.

The striker sustained a thigh injury while away on international duty with Colombia and will not be fit for a potentially decisive Scottish Premiership clash at Ibrox.

Morelos played no part in Colombia's victories over Bolivia and Venezuela, which proved to be in vain as they failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday confirmed the 25-year-old will miss the showdown with Glasgow rivals Celtic, who are three points ahead of Rangers heading into the contest.

"Unfortunately for all of us he won't be with us on Sunday, we won't have him back in the next couple of weeks," said the former Netherlands midfielder.

"Morelos will be assessed and hopefully we can give more news after the weekend."

Morelos has scored 11 league goals for the defending champions this season.

Rangers have pulled out of a proposed friendly with Celtic that was due to take place in Australia in November.

It had been announced that the champions of Scotland would play in a four-team tournament, titled the "Sydney Super Cup", against their Old Firm rivals as well as A-League duo Sydney FC and Sydney Wanderers.

The game between Rangers and Celtic would have been the first Old Firm derby to take place overseas.

However, Rangers have now confirmed they will not be taking part in the tournament.

A statement released by the club on Thursday read: "Rangers can confirm the club will not be participating in the Sydney Super Cup in November 2022.

"After it became clear the tournament organisers were unwilling to fulfil their commitments to Rangers, we have, with immediate effect, terminated the club's agreement with the organisers."

Rangers fans had voiced their displeasure at the proposal, interrupting the recent 2-1 win at Dundee on several occasions by throwing tennis balls and toilet paper onto the pitch.

UFC star Conor McGregor has reiterated his desire to buy a football club, with Manchester United, Celtic and Chelsea all on his radar.

The 33-year-old said on social media this week that he would like to "explore" the prospect of purchasing Chelsea after Roman Abramovich confirmed his intention to sell up.

He has also previously signalled his interest in purchasing United from the Glazer family and the stake of fellow Irishman Dermot Desmond in Celtic.

McGregor's latest comments were met with scepticism given Abramovich's reported £3billion valuation of Chelsea, but he insisted he is serious about his interest.

"I do not speak in jest," he posted on his personal Twitter account on Sunday in tweets that were seemingly deleted soon after. "I am exploring this, as I said.

"Celtic from Dermot Desmond, Manchester United from the Glaziers [sic], and now the recently up for sale Chelsea football club. All being explored. 

"A football franchise purchase is in my future make no mistake about it."

McGregor has accumulated significant wealth through a number of high-profile bouts, including a crossover into boxing when taking on Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

He moved into the world of business when launching a whiskey brand in 2018 and the Irishman is determined to add a sports team to his profile.

"Everyday I ball," he added. "How wouldn't I lead a team of young, dedicated athletes to glory. I'm perfect for the job. Pray it's your team."

McGregor has been joined by several others in showing an interest in purchasing Chelsea, with Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak reportedly already in talks with Abramovich.

Long-serving owner Abramovich announced on Wednesday he had taken the "incredibly difficult" decision to put the club up for sale.

In a statement, he said the sale "will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process", adding he will not be asking for loans to be repaid by the club.

That decision came amid the threat of sanctions against further Russian businesses and high-profile individuals following the country's invasion of Ukraine last week.

Victor Osimhen has netted 11 goals in all competitions, prompting admiration from some top clubs.

The Napoli striker is valued at around €80million by the Serie A leaders.

Manchester United are understood to be interested in Osimhen.

TOP STORY – REAL TO RIVAL MAN UTD FOR OSIMHEN

The race for Napoli forward Osimhen is heating up with Real Madrid joining United in pursuit of his signature, according to Calciomercato.

Osimhen's Napoli contract does not expire until 2025 but both clubs are ready to flex their muscles and move for him in the off-season transfer window.

The 23-year-old forward's stock has risen dramatically since Napoli signed him for €70m from Lille in 2020.

ROUND-UP

- Inter are lining up a move for Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram as they prepare for Lautaro Martinez to be prized away amid interest from Manchester City, claims The Sun.

- Nicolo Schira claims that Milan have agreed personal terms with Lille defender and Newcastle United target Sven Botman, who has been lured by a five-year deal.

- Barcelona are set to join the race for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who has interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, reports the Mail.

- The Express claims that Aston Villa are interested in manager Steven Gerrard's ex-Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez along with Milan's Franck Kessie .

- Teenage England international Jude Bellingham has opted to remain with Borussia Dortmund for one more season, claims Bild.

- Kicker claims that Roma have joined the pursuit for Stuttgart's Sasa Kalajdzic along with Tottenham, West Ham, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig .

- West Ham are interested in Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo, according to The Mirror, while Celtic are also tracking him.

Celtic's Europa Conference League campaign came to an end at the first hurdle as they went down 2-0, and 5-1 on aggregate, to Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt.

The damage had largely been done in last week's first leg, with Bodo/Glimt holding a 3-1 aggregate lead heading into Thursday's encounter in the Arctic Circle.

Yet an abject start from Celtic allowed Ola Solbakken to put the home side further ahead, with Joe Hart having to make some excellent saves to keep the scoreline down.

Despite improvements after the break, Celtic were 2-0 down when Hugo Vetlesen steered home to add gloss to a fine two-legged performance from Bodo/Glimt, who take their place in the last 16.

Solbakken played a pivotal part in one of Bodo/Glimt's goals in the first leg, and the 23-year-old needed just nine minutes to put the hosts ahead as he placed a crisp, low strike across Hart.

Celtic's goalkeeper kept the Hoops' swiftly diminishing hopes alive when he denied Amahl Pellegrino soon after, with Bodo/Glimt having five shots inside the opening 20 minutes.

Hart made a fantastic stop eight minutes before half-time, once again keeping Pellegrino at bay, with Solbakken's venomous follow-up deflecting just wide.

Liel Abada and Callum McGregor were tasked with infecting some resolved into Celtic after the break, and the visitors did improve, having a penalty appeal for handball turned down in the 51st minute.

Daizen Maeda lashed over but Ange Postecoglou's team never looked likely to have enough to turn the deficit around, and Celtic were down and out when Vetlesen finished calmly from Morten Agnes Konradsen's cross.

Ange Postecoglou told his Celtic players not to feel sorry for themselves after they were shocked by Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.

The Scottish Premiership leaders lost 3-1 at Celtic Park on Thursday in the first leg of their play-off tie against the champions of Norway.

Runar Espejord scored after just five minutes and 58 seconds to stun a packed home crowd in Glasgow, with Amahl Pellegrino making it 2-0 early in the second half from close range.

Daizen Maeda headed in a lifeline for Celtic only for Hugo Vetlesen's deflected strike to beat Joe Hart barely two minutes later and put Bodo/Glimt in control of the tie.

Yet Postecoglou, who saw his side manage only six shots on target despite nearly 63 per cent of the ball, does not believe a comeback is beyond Celtic's means.

 

"Obviously it's not the outcome we wanted and from our perspective, we weren't able to reach the levels we were hoping to," he said, as per the club's website.

"We controlled the game for the most part, but obviously they got their goals and they were pretty clinical in the way they counter-attacked against us, and we lacked a little bit of quality in the front third ourselves, although we did have our chances, so we paid that price.

"It was disappointing because we got ourselves back into the game, and we were controlling the game at that time – I think they probably had two chances in the second half.

"The second one's deflected and gone in, but you've got to take those hits and from our perspective, it's about making sure we dust ourselves off and go again tomorrow.

"You could sit here and feel sorry for yourself, or realise that there's still another game to go, and we can turn it around. That's the reality of it."

The return leg takes place next Thursday.

Daizen Maeda handed Celtic a Europa Conference League lifeline after his goal gave the hosts something to cling to in a dismal 3-1 first-leg defeat against Bodo/Glimt in the play-offs.

Goals from Runar Espejord, Amahl Pellegrino and Hugo Vetlesen left the Scottish Premiership leaders reeling, as Kjetil Knutsen's side seized the advantage in Glasgow.

On the back of their Europa League exit last December, Ange Postecoglou's hosts headed into the inaugural edition of UEFA's newest competition looking to deliver a positive result.

Yet they were rattled early on by the Eliteserien champions, who struck inside the first six minutes when Espejord turned Joe Hart the wrong way with a low close-range strike.

Celtic's subsequent struggle to click in the final third left them labouring for a response before the break, and an arguably lenient booking for a Pellegrino foul further frustrated their players.

The winger wasted little time after the restart to make the most of a potential escape, too, when he latched onto Espejord's flick to tuck another close-range finish into the net.

The arrival of Reo Hatate just beyond the hour mark saw Postecoglou's side find a fresh burst of life, and when Maeda cut the gap with a fine header, it looked like they had a chance to rally.

But the visitors promptly responded through Vetlesen's deflected 20-yard strike to put any comeback to bed, taking a crucial upper hand into next week's return fixture as they look to push on to the last 16.

 

What does it mean? Celtic at risk of successive knockout blows

Having dropped into the third tier of European football after a third-place Europa League group-stage finish, the Bhoys welcomed their visitors with the hope of a statement result in response.

Yet with nothing to show for their lacklustre efforts on a cold February night in Glasgow, they now find themselves facing the prospect of back-to-back European eliminations.

Despite their domestic dominance this term, Postecoglou's side have failed to fully convince in two competitions now – and unless they muster a major response, they face another immediate exit.

Hosts pay for wasted opportunity

With 57 clocked up this term across 26 games in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic have not typically wanted for goals.

But with just six shots on target from 15 attempts and just 1.3 expected goals, they were made to suffer for their lack of clarity in front of the net against their Norwegian rivals.

Bodo/Glimt display ruthless edge

Having now gone 10 European games without defeat, Bodo continue to prove themselves among the neutral's favourites following another fine display.

If not as flamboyantly smash-and-grab as their 6-1 blowout against Roma, their three-goal haul nevertheless thrilled their supporters – and with just four shots on target all game, they showed a clear ruthless edge to seize the advantage.

What's next?

Celtic return to domestic action in the Scottish Premiership, welcoming Dundee to Celtic Park, while Bodo/Glimt will bide their time for the reverse last-16 clash back home in Norway next week.

Rangers gave the Old Firm Derby away to Celtic, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst does not think it will be decisive in the Scottish Premiership title race. 

Celtic took the lead through Reo Hatate inside five minutes at an electric Parkhead on Wednesday and completely controlled the clash between the top two during the opening period. 

Hatate rifled in a brilliant second and two minutes later crossed for Liel Abada to make it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time. 

Rangers improved after the restart but were unable to stop their 21-game unbeaten run coming to an end, with Celtic replacing them at the Premiership summit and going a point clear. 

"It seemed like it was the first Old Firm game we'd played. We know what the Old Firm will bring, what we have to do … but it seemed like we weren't ready for it," Van Bronckhorst told Sky Sports. 

"You see the way we gave the goals away. It's the sharpness, I cannot say otherwise. It's not going with your man, not being ready for the battles. I think it was unbelievable the first half I saw. 

"I think our Old Firm game started in the second half. We were much better, much more aggressive and we played the second half really well. But in the first half we gave the game away. 

"It wasn't something I expected. When I see the trainings we had, the focus we had before the game, but when the whistle blew, we were just waiting for the goal to be scored. We were too naive and we deserved to be down 3-0 with the way we played. 

"We had an honest conversation in the locker room after the game.  

"We're not the first Rangers team to lose. I lost very big here as a player, but we eventually became champions that year. Of course, we wanted to win this game, but these games don't decide the championship. We still have many games to play and we have to be ready." 

The victory was Ange Postecoglou's first since taking charge of Celtic and ended a six-game winless run against Rangers in the league. 

The Australian was thoroughly impressed with how his team outplayed Rangers and believes there is still plenty more to come from the Bhoys. 

"Our first 45 minutes were outstanding; three great goals," Postecoglou told the BBC. 

"Our football was pretty special and their keeper pulled off some great saves. In the second half, we had to defend a bit more but we've been a team that can do that. It shows another layer. We knew the consequences, what it meant to our supporters, and we stood up. 

"Considering the context of the game and the opposition, I thought our football was outstanding. It's the kind of football team we want to be. It doesn't mean you disrespect or dismiss the opposition. We are still developing, but we want to take it to the opposition, and if we do that, we can take it to any opposition. 

"We've still got key players missing, very influential players. Some are just in the door. Reo Hatate and Matt O'Riley have played fewer than five games. Our target was not top spot, our target is to win things, and if we're going to win things, we have to keep improving." 

Celtic overthrew Rangers at the Scottish Premiership summit after Reo Hatate inspired a resounding 3-0 victory in the Old Firm derby at Parkhead on Wednesday. 

Hatate continued his blistering start to life at Celtic with a first-half double that played a crucial role in securing a first league win against Rangers since September 2019. 

The Japanese midfielder set up Liel Abada with a tantalising cross two minutes after netting his second of the game, practically ending Giovanni van Bronckhorst's hopes of salvaging a result in his first Old Firm at the Rangers helm. 

Rangers' 21-game unbeaten run in the league consequently came to an ignominious end, with Ange Postecoglou's first win over Celtic's arch-rivals sending his team one point clear at the top. 

Celtic took a fifth-minute lead when Hatate's effort from the edge of the box deflected off Glen Kamara and found the bottom-right corner. 

Allan McGregor produced a brilliant double-save to keep Jota and Giorgos Giakoumakis at bay, but he was helpless when Hatate curled in a second in the 42nd minute. 

Hatate then turned provider before half-time, crossing for Abada to steer home after Rangers were caught napping by a quick throw-in. 

Rangers tightened up after the restart but found it difficult to create chances to test Joe Hart, although Ryan Jack rattled the crossbar with a 30-yard piledriver in the 79th minute.

Celtic were able to comfortably see out the victory, and the new league leaders are now unbeaten in 18 straight top-flight matches.

What does it mean? A shift in Rangers' outlook 

Rangers just could not keep track of Celtic's interchanging attack in a blistering first-half display, and it ultimately cost them their place at the top of the league. 

The defeat sees Rangers go from being on a 21-game undefeated streak to having won just one of their past four matches in the top flight. 

A Reo-lly good start 

Hatate was named man of the match on his debut against Hibernian last month and scored a screamer at Hearts the following week. The 24-year-old produced another stand-out display, with two goals and an assist making it a maiden Old Firm outing to remember. 

Barisic ball watches 

Had Rangers gone into half-time at 2-0 down, they may have had hope of mounting a second-half comeback. However, Borna Barisic was completely idle as Abada nipped in front of him to get Celtic's third before the break. He did not return for the second half.

What's next? 

Celtic head to Motherwell on Sunday, when Rangers face another difficult challenge at home to Hearts. 

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