GLASGOW: Celtic knocked holders Rangers out of the Scottish League Cup with a 2-0 win over their rivals in Wednesdays quarter-final to pile yet more pressure on under-fire manager Alex McLeish.
Shaun Maloney rifled a spectacular 30m shot into the top right-hand corner after 27 minutes to open the scoring in a ragged first half at Parkhead.
Celtic began to dominate the match after Rangers Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos was sent off for a second booking when he applauded a foul against him in the 66th minute.
The home side sealed their place in the last four with eight minutes left as Bobo Balde challenged Rangers German goalkeeper Stefan Klos for a ball into the box and as they collided and fell it bounced off the back of the keeper and into his own net.
A defiant McLeish said: I will keep fighting for as long as it takes, I dont quit easily. Its tough at the moment but Ill keep soldiering on and believe we can do it (turn it around).
Asked if it was a comfortable victory against 10 men, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan told the BBC: If you ask them (the players) if it was an easy game then theyll lynch you!
I thought it was a very hard game. The atmosphere does make it difficult and I thought we stayed above that.
What you expect in an Old Firm game with tackles and nervousness, well, we stayed above that. The result was foremost.
Celtic join Livingston, Dunfermline Athletic and Motherwell in the semi-final draw on Nov 19.
On Tuesday Premier League basement side Livingston beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-1 after extra time, Dunfermline beat Hibernian 3-0 and Motherwell dismissed Aberdeen 1-0. Reuters
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