12172017

Moult double sends Motherwell into cup final

Louis Moult scores for Motherwell against Rangers

Louis Moult fired home two goals in Sunday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final

A clinical double from Louis Moult sent Motherwell into the Scottish League Cup final at the expense of Rangers.

Moult pounced to volley home seven minutes into the second half following a scramble in the Gers’ six-yard box.

The striker then lifted a sublime first-time lob over goalkeeper Jak Alnwick 22 minutes later to double his side’s advantage.

The Steelmen will meet cup holders Celtic on 26 November.

It will be the club’s first national cup final since the Scottish Cup showpiece of 2011, and their first League Cup final since 2005.

Sitting fourth in the Scottish Premiership, Motherwell are just a point and a place below Rangers and both had identical form guides from their last six matches before Sunday’s showdown.

The men in blue started the sharper, with Josh Windass firing tamely at keeper Trevor Carson when clean through before Alfredo Morelos dragged an effort wide after Well defender Cedric Kipre badly misjudged a high ball.

Louis Moult<!–

Moult brilliantly cushioned his chip over Jak Alnwick from the edge of the Rangers box

Colombian striker Morelos then went down under a challenge from Charles Dunne when he looked to be racing clear, but referee Steven McLean was not interested.

Rangers were knocking on the door and Morelos and Windass had shots blocked before Bruno Alves powered a near-post header just wide from Declan John’s free-kick.

The Steelmen then enjoyed a period of pressure that Rangers were lucky to survive.

First, Moult’s effort from distance took a deflection that had Alnwick scampering as it squirmed wide.

From the resulting corner, Kipre seemed set to slam home from six yards out, but his half-volley was brilliantly blocked on the line by Ryan Jack, with Alnwick then reacting superbly to snuff out the danger from the rebound.

John had the last chance of the half, and it was one of the clearest, but his diving header from six yards slipped wide of Carson’s left-hand post.

The second 45 started with Rangers dominant, as Morelos, Pena and Windass all missed chances, and the Ibrox side were made to pay for their profligacy.

The opener arrived from Chris Cadden’s corner to the back post, with Peter Hartley’s initial header striking the bar. Moult nodded the rebound off the bar again via Jack’s touch before it fell to the Well striker once more and he smashed it into the roof of the net.

Motherwell were now brimming with energy and showing the type of high pressing that has served them so well recently.

Rangers came back, though, with Windass inches away from connecting with John’s delivery into the six-yard box. Daniel Candeias then blasted high over the bar at the end of a fine Rangers move as the frustrated fans in blue tried to drive their side towards parity.

Those supporters were soon dealt another blow as Stephen Robinson’s side broke upfield and scored a second.

Moult was quickest to react as the ball was launched forward, running on to it and sumptuously lobbing the ball over Alnwick from the edge of the box and into the corner.

Stephen Robinson of Motherwell and Rangers' Pedro Caixinha<!–

Stephen Robinson and Pedro Caixinha faced off on the touchline after Ryan Bowman’s heavy aerial challenge left blood pouring from the face of Fabio Cardoso

By then, both managers had been sent to the stand following a touchline spat, Pedro Caixinha furious when referee McLean took no action against Ryan Bowman after a challenge which forced Rangers centre-back Fabio Cardoso to depart with a bloodied face.

That added to the frustration and loss of fluidity in the Rangers side, whose passing deserted them when they needed it most.

With five minutes left, the prone Alves kicked out at Moult on the floor after the pair collided in mid-air, but the Portuguese escaped any censure, with only Moult and Rangers substitute Eduardo Herrera being booked for the aftermath.

Rangers could find no way through and it was Motherwell who looked more likely to add to their tally in the closing stages.

Two goals proved enough, though. It was a day to savour for Well boss Stephen Robinson, his players and their fans, who will be back at Hampden next month to take aim at holders Celtic.

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 0, Motherwell 2.

Second Half ends, Rangers 0, Motherwell 2.

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ross McCrorie (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Chris Cadden (Motherwell).

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Bruno Alves (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Eduardo Herrera (Rangers).

Substitution, Motherwell. Alex Fisher replaces Ryan Bowman.

Eduardo Herrera (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

Louis Moult (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ross McCrorie.

Attempt missed. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Graham Dorrans.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.

Substitution, Rangers. Eduardo Herrera replaces Josh Windass.

Goal! Rangers 0, Motherwell 2. Louis Moult (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Charles Dunne.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Carl McHugh.

Substitution, Motherwell. Gael Bigirimana replaces Allan Campbell.

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cedric Kipre (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Substitution, Rangers. Ross McCrorie replaces Fábio Cardoso because of an injury.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Richard Tait.

Attempt blocked. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution, Rangers. Aaron Nemane replaces Carlos Peña.

Attempt saved. Carlos Peña (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Bruno Alves.

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfredo Morelos (Rangers).

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Declan John (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Peter Hartley (Motherwell) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

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