Celtic’s cup run ends in shock defeat to Ross County

Pressure increases on Neil Lennon after his side's 2-0 home defeat.

Celtic’s cup run ends in shock defeat to Ross County SNS Group

Celtic’s 35-match unbeaten run in domestic cup competition has been brought to an end with a shock 2-0 home defeat to Ross County in the Betfred Cup.

Ross Stewart put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 39th minute and Alex Iacovitti sealed the win with a header from a corner seven minutes from full time.

The result will increase pressure on Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who has seen his position questioned after a run of only two wins in ten games.

County were without a win against a Premiership side since September but now find themselves in the draw for the quarter-finals after knocking out the side that has held the trophy since November 2016.

Celtic boss Lennon had made changes following his side’s 4-1 defeat to Sparta Prague on Thursday, bringing back goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas for Scott Bain but also replacing Callum McGregor, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Olivier Ntcham with Tom Rogic, Nit Bitton and Albian Ajeti. Ross County’s Stuart Kettlewell was able to bring back Callum Morris, Keith Watson and Iain Vigurs.

Celtic had the better of the early chances, with Odsonne Edouard testing County keeper Ross Laidlaw with a free kick before Tom Rogic shot wide.

The visitors struck first though. Agyer Josh Reid put a low cross into the box, Stewart dashed ahead of Christopher Jullien and was caught on the heel by the French defender. Kevin Clancy pointed to the spot and Stewart put the penalty past Barkas with ease.

Celtic looked to bounce back immediately and went close when Ajeti hit the post after being found by Rogic but the holders found themselves behind at the break.

County dug in to defend their lead, restricted to counter attacks as Celtic threw what they could forward in search of a leveller.

Mohamed Elyounoussi and Edouard had chances but Celtic couldn’t make the breakthrough and were stunned further as the clock ticked down.

County won a corner and Iacovitti found space to thump in a header and end Celtic’s run while putting his side in the last eight of the competition.

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