Phil McGhee at Hampden Park
Stephen Robinson’s team created history with a first cup win over Rangers in over a half a century.
And his recently assembled squad is now one hurdle away from becoming Motherwell legends when they head back to Hampden to face Celtic in the final of the Betfred Cup at the end of November.
Louis Moult might have been the goal hero with a second half double but every player in claret and amber had a starring role as ‘Well tamed and overcame a more fancied Rangers.
Despite a lengthy history of disappointing cup experiences at the hands of the Ibrox side, the huge ‘Well support travelled to Hampden with a genuine belief that a long overdue win was achievable.
And following a slow start, the fans’ faith was repaid as the Steelmen controlled the final 15 minutes to signal wild celebrations at the final whistle.
In a frenetic and physical opening, Rangers tried to hold possession while ‘Well opted to go directly from the back hoping to find Moult and Ryan Bowman. Subsequently, neither ‘keeper was troubled although most of the play was towards Trevor Carson’s goal.
The first real chance though came ‘Well’s way after 12 minutes when a great interception by Cédric Kipré sent Alan Campbell scurrying towards the Gers’ goal but with support on either side of him the midfielder blasted his shot high over the bar.
At the other end, a slip by Kirpe presented Alfredo Morelos with a chance but he dragged his effort well wide of Carson’s goal.
It was on the half hour mark before the ‘Well ‘keeper made the first save of the game. After some desperate defending to ward off a series of tempting crosses from Daniel Candeias, Carson comfortably held Josh Windass’ low drive.
From then until half-time, though, it was the Fir Park men who looked the more likely to make the breakthrough.
Moult’s appeals for a penalty when his shot clattered off Declan John were waved aside but Chris Cadden played on forcing a good save from Jak Alnwick.
Five minutes later and still recovering from a whack to the head, Moult’s deflected shot bounced narrowly past the post. With the striker off receiving treatment, Cadden whipped the corner into the six yard box and as Gers’ failed to clear the loose ball, Kipre hammered in a shot which was blocked on the line by Ryan Jack. As Peter Hartley waited to ram home the rebound, Alnwick made a terrific save to scoop the ball away from the defender’s boot.
While ‘Well should have been ahead at the break only a brilliant stop from Carson standing strong to block Windass prevented Rangers from opening the scoring five minutes into the second half.
However, it was ‘Well who broke the deadlock a minute later when the Gers’ defence was breached at the third time of asking
Cadden’s corner to the back post was met by Hartley and after his header crashed off the bar, Moult’s header from the rebound was nodded on to the bar by Jack but Moult made sure lifting the ball high into the net to send the Motherwell fans wild.
Bowman’s challenge with Fabio Cardoso resulted in a touch line skirmish between the managers with both being forced to watch the remainder of the game from the stand.
With Keith Lasley left in the technical area, ‘Well made their first change in the 71st minute with Gael Bigirimana replacing the hard running Campbell. But before he could bring his calm influence to the game ‘Well had doubled their lead and the grip on the game.
And it was a goal worthy of winning any cup tie. Charles Dunne clipped a long ball between Bruno Alves and Moult and before the Portuguese internationalist could react the Fir Park ace delicately hoisted the ball over the stranded Alnwick and under the ‘keeper’s bar for a finish of the highest quality.
That sent the ‘Well fans into ecstasy and with 16 minutes still remaining knocked the stuffing out of the Ibrox side.
While in previous encounters a Motherwell side might have buckled, Robinson’s men were resolute in defending their lead until the end with Carson required to make only one superb full length save from Morelos and earn himself another clean sheet and Motherwell a cup final place.
Alastair Reilly at Hampden Park
FT: Rangers 0 – 2 Motherwell
@louismoult’s double sends the Steelmen into the final!!! COYW!!!!!!
90+2′ | 0-2
Cadden booked. Clearly frustrated as McCrorie went down easily.
90′ | 0-2
There will be four minutes added on.
90′ | 0-2
Motherwell sub, Bowman off for Fisher.
85′ | 0-2
Sensational save by Carson to deny Herrera!
82′ | 0-2
Decent chance for Bowman as he takes the ball down on his chest but he volleys well over the bar
74′ | 0-2
WHAT A GOAL!! Dunne’s ball over the top is incredibly clipped over Alnwick by MOULT!!!
72′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, Bigirimana on for Campbell
66′ | 0-1
Both managers sent to the stand after a bit of a stramash following Cardoso leaving the pitch with a blood injury
62′ | 0-1
Ball is pulled back to the edge of the area where Candeias is lurking but he fires wildly over the bar.
61′ | 0-1
Campbell gets down the left but his cross/shot is gathered by Alnwick.
60′ | 0-1
Rangers sub, Pena off for Nemane
58′ | 0-1
Morelos booked after bundling Campbell over in the centre of the park.
56′ | 0-1
Alves plays his ‘keeper into danger with a short back pass but Bowman is just beaten to the ball.
52′ | 0-1
The Steelmen have the breakthrough!! Deep corner to Hartley which bounces around the box and is eventually hammered home by MOULT!
51′ | 0-0
Great chance for Rangers as the ball breaks to Windass inside the box but he stabs his effort straight at Carson
50′ | 0-0
Morelos’ cross into the box finds Pena but he heads well wide of the post.
49′ | 0-0
Hartley covers well, getting across the box the block at the feet of Morelos.
McHugh gets the second 45 underway. COYW!!!
HT: Rangers 0 – 0 Motherwell
There will be one minute added on.
42′ | 0-0
Rangers counter a Motherwell corner which leads to John heading inches past the post.
39′ | 0-0
Moult currently receiving treatment for a blood injury after taking an elbow off Cardoso.
39′ | 0-0
Close! Moult’s shot from range is deflected wide for a corner… Kipré’s shot is cleared off the line by Jack!!
36′ | 0-0
Dangerous free-kick to Rangers after Tavernier trips himself up…..headed just wide by Alves.
34′ | 0-0
Alnwick is forced into a fine stop by Cadden, whose curling shot from inside the box looked goalbound.
32′ | 0-0
Windass with plenty of time and space to settle himself inside the box but he fires straight at Carson.
31′ | 0-0
Two chances there for Rangers but a combination of Hartley and McHugh leaves Carson untested.
28′ | 0-0
Candeias swings in a good ball but Carson is off his line quickly and punches clear.
26′ | 0-0
Harlety booked as his trailing foot catches Morelos and causes him to crumple to the ground.
24′ | 0-0
Rangers fans irate as Morelos goes down but Dunne got the vital touch on the ball
23′ | 0-0
Half chance for Bowman has he breaks away down the left but as he cuts inside he is crowded out and the chance is gone.
20′ | 0-0
Kipré can’t quite get enough on his header which allows Morelos in but thankfully he fires wide with his left foot
17′ | 0-0
Kipré clips a ball u to Moult which he takes in well but on the spin he can’t trouble Alnwick with his shot.
13′ | 0-0
Kipré dispossesses Jack in an advanced position which allows Campbell some time to drive forward but he shoots well over.
7′ | 0-0
Bowman booked for a flailing arm which caught Cardoso on the face.
1′ | 0-0
Early chance for Rangers as Windass gets on the end of flick-on but his shot is comfortable for Carson.
Rangers get the action underway. COYW!!!!
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson:
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha