Kyogo Furuhashi spearheaded the victory for Angelos Postecoglou’s side, with the Japanese striker notching two goals in either half of the game.
The opening period of the game was marred by a succession of fouls, with both sides looking to establish early dominance. But Celtic made the first real effort to take the lead in the 21st minute.
Jota latched on to a pass on the edge of the box, and his brilliant touch set him up nicely for a shot. But his low attempt was saved by Allan McGregor.
Furuhashi made himself a menace to the Rangers’ backline, but the Japanese forward spurned two chances before breaking the deadlock just before halftime.
A sublime pass into the box from Greg Taylor set the 28-year-old up nicely for a simple tap-in, and he made no mistake.
Rangers began the second half on a positive note looking for a quick response to Celtic’s opener. But for all their intent, it was Celtic who extended their lead 11 minutes after the restart.
Furuhashi combined nicely with compatriot Reo Hatate to slot home and give his side a two-goal lead with his 24th goal of the season in all competitions.
Rangers were left chasing shadows, but Beale’s side were handed a lifeline when James Tavernier’s free-kick found its way to Alfredo Morelos amidst the chaos. The Colombian slotted home to cut Celtic’s lead in half.
However, Postecoglou’s side survived a late onslaught from Rangers to ensure victory for the Hoops – their 21st Scottish League Cup triumph.
Having lost the 2019/20 final to Celtic, Rangers were desperate to end their 12-year wait for success in the competition. They last lifted the title in the 2010/11 campaign.
Celtic have continued their imperious run of form, having won all but one of their last 18 games in all competitions. Their only slip-up in that span came in a 2-2 draw with Rangers in the league.
Both teams are also going head to head for the Scottish League crown, with nine points separating them.
Celtic are keen to retain the trophy for a third successive season, but Rangers, who have been a different side since Beale took over, are not giving up the chase without a fight.
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