Killie 1-0 Celtic
Scottish League Cup. Rd of 16. BBSP Rugby Park, Aug 20th 2023
Scottish League Cup. Rd of 16. BBSP Rugby Park, Aug 20th 2023
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
Killie: Dennis, Mayo, Deas, Findlay , Ndaba, Armstrong, (McKenzie 81), Lyons, Watson , Magennis, (Donnelly 81).Kennedy, Watkins . (Vassell 74).
Subs Not Used: O'Hara, Wright, Murray, Davies, Wales, Polworth. .
Attendance: 8,002 Man of the Match Vote
Battling Kilmarnock inflicted Celtic's first cup loss under Brendan Rodgers to set up a Viaplay Cup quarter-final meeting with Hearts.
During his first spell at Celtic, Rodgers picked up this trophy on three occasions, along with two successes in the Scottish Cup.
But his side struggled to create openings against their energetic Premiership hosts and Marley Watkins touched in the only goal on 59 minutes.
Kilmarnock, who beat Rangers at Rugby Park on the opening day of the league season, pressed bravely and worked with unflagging spirit.
Despite having just 30% of possession, Derek McInnes' side had the best of the few chances there were.
Defender Corrie Ndaba twice went close in the first half, with an early volley and a header in stoppage time. After the break, Kyle Magennis had a shot pushed round a post by Joe Hart.
Watkins started the move that led to the goal with a strong surge down the left and he was in the right place to divert Danny Armstrong's shot across goal into the net.
Kilmarnock goalkeeper Will Dennis was seldom troubled, making a few routine stops.
When Celtic substitute Yang Hyun-Jun did get a good glimpse of goal late on, Brad Lyons made a fantastic lunging block.
Kilmarnock were camped in their own penalty area during seven minutes of stoppage time, holding firm to spark wild scenes of celebration in the home ends of the stadium.
Derek McInnes: "To beat such a top opponent at this stage of the season, you have to do a lot right, I'm really pleased with everything I saw today. I thought we limited Celtic to very little. It's testament to the players in front of my goalkeeper, who, across three games, has faced two or three shots. We dealt with the changes Celtic have the luxury of making really well and I'm delighted we're through to the next round of the cup tie. There's no point in beating Celtic if we don't go on to win it now. I've just said that to the boys. No one will remember this result if we don't go on and win it. We had a wee bit of an advantage over Celtic today. We looked a wee bit more together as a squad. They're still pitching towards where they want to be. We've got there a wee bit sooner than we thought and it's been a huge help today."
Brendon Rodgers: "You have to give all the credit to Kilmarnock. They defended strong, got their blocks in and took one of the few chances they had in the game.
Neil Lennon: "We said the first goal would be pivotal and Kilmarnock got it, and defended resolutely. They were worthy winners in the end. Celtic were a little flat and a work in progress for Brendan.
Match Notes: It was just the third time Killie have beaten Celtic in this competition – the others came in the 1964/65 group stage and the 2011/12 final. This was Brendan Rodgers’ first defeat as Celtic manager in a domestic cup competition – he had 24 wins out of 24 in his first spell.
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