Rob Maclean: Five things we learned in the weekend's Scottish football

Dejected Aberdeen players
Aberdeen will be hoping to avoid the sinking feeling they felt in the League Cup final against Celtic

Rob Maclean continues his series assessing the main talking points from the weekend's football action.

Brown so vital for Scotland cause

We have to be happy that Scott Brown will lead out Scotland against England at Hampden in June.

I know some of you will vehemently disagree and read no further. But, if you have your football head on, I think you'll take my point.

The Celtic captain turned in a masterful performance as the treble-chasers swatted Rangers aside to leave themselves with only one game to go in pursuit of a domestic clean sweep.

It looked like a stroll in the Sunday sunshine for Brown, but that's the impression you get from good players when they're at the peak of their powers.

Manager Brendan Rodgers knew what he was doing when he appealed against his skipper's red card from Dingwall to have him available for the all-important Scottish Cup semi-final.

There were quite a few star turns for Celtic, but Brown ran the show.

Scott Brown
Scott Brown was in top form as Celtic beat Rangers at Hampden on Sunday

Summer signings required at Ibrox

Celtic were mighty impressive and Rangers appeared to be among their admirers in the first half as they stood back and watched their rivals dictate the flow of the game.

They eventually turned up on the other side of the interval.

But, after a five-minute flurry of attacking play, Pedro Caixinha's team were caught out by a counter attack and were never going to come back from two goals down.

Yes, Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn could have done better with second-half headers, but Celtic hit the post and failed to make the most of other promising openings.

The dramatic difference in quality between the two teams is plain to see. The worry for Rangers supporters is that it's a growing gulf.

Celtic will improve again next season. If Rangers are to warrant any sort of comparison with their runaway rivals, they will need to make some significant summer signings.

Dons must do better in this final

Aberdeen are on track to complete a clean sweep of Scottish football's runners-up prizes.

But, while there would be no disgrace in finishing second-best in all the major competitions to a team at Celtic's level, it's not a treble that Derek McInnes and his team will be thinking about.

The Dons know they'll have to be firing on all cylinders in the Scottish Cup final to have any chance of ending Celtic's domestic dominance.

They don't want to be the support act at Hampden Park on 27 May and they will be if they repeat their timid showing in this season's League Cup finale.

Aberdeen will be determined that this outbreak of seconditis is coming to an end.

Hibs should hang on to Holt

I wonder if Hibernian are planning to extend veteran striker Grant Holt's Scottish sojourn into another season.

That would make a lot of sense to me, even if he's just celebrated his 36th birthday.

Holt's performance off the bench against Aberdeen at Hampden on Saturday gave a clear demonstration of what he adds to the Hibs team.

Like Kenny Miller at Rangers, it's not just about his own contribution, it's the effect he has on the players around him.

I expect Hibs to hit the ground running on their return to the top league and the continuing presence of Holt will help.

Grant Holt scores for Hibs
Grant Holt scored with his first touch on Saturday at Hampden and also set up Hibs' second

Gable Endies eye final flourish

Away from Scottish Cup semi-final weekend, what a story it would be if Montrose manage to win promotion from League Two.

As recently as the middle of last month, they were nearer the bottom of the division than the top.

But Stewart Petrie's team have put together a remarkable run of form.

They've picked up 16 points from their last six matches and conceded only one goal.

That puts them in one of the play-off positions with a couple of games to go.

This Saturday's trip to face promotion rivals Annan Athletic could decide their fate.

It's all about maintaining momentum for the Gable Endies if they're to pull off one of the surprises of the season.

Montrose manager Stewart Petrie
Montrose manager Stewart Petrie was previously a coach with Arbroath

Top Stories