Saracens had too much power, speed and guile for Glasgow Warriors and won their European Rugby Champions Cup handsomely in the end at Allianz Park.
Glasgow had hung on grimly under pressure in the first half and Lee Jones’ early second half try got them to 14-8 behind and well in the game with an hour played, but Saracens pulled away powerfully in the final 20 minutes to reach their fourth semi-final in as many seasons.
The Warriors couldn’t make much impact against the Saracens’ smothering defence with little space for Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg to cause havoc, and spent too much time without the ball.
Losing co-captain Jonny Gray after just 11 minutes after he took a blow to the head didn’t help but Saracens were pretty much in charge throughout.
They held on to the ball through phases and the amount of dummy runners when attacking had the Glasgow defence chasing shadows for much of the game, but their scrambling defence was outstanding throughout.
Russell had a brilliant cross kick for Glasgow’s tries but playing on the edge produced too many errors by the Scotland stand-off, who missed two key penalties to touch when the Warriors had a chance to exert some rare pressure in the home 22.
The Warriors rode their luck early on from an onslaught by the champions who could have scored in either corner but for last-gasp tackles.
First Lee Jones just forced Chris Ashton’s knee in touch as the wing looked to stretch out to score after just three minutes, and then Stuart Hogg barely got enough to force Scotland colleague Sean Maitland over the line in the other corner.
Saracen’s pressure brought a Farrell penalty but it was equalised almost immediately by Finn Russell on Glasgow’s only real probe into the Saracens half when Jim Hamilton was penalised. But that came at a huge cost to the Warriors with Jonny Gray going off for a head knock and not returning.
Continual pressure from the English champions on both sides of the ball brought two more penalties for Farrell before Saracens finally broke through.
It was almost inevitably Ashton who got the score going through the covering tackles of Pyrgos and Russell after Brad Barritt’s sharp offload out of the tackle created the space.
Another covering tackle, again by Jones, forced Ashton into touch as Saracens went for the kill before the break.
But having dodged that bullet, Glasgow were suddenly in the game early in the second half when they won an attacking scrum in a rare visit inside the home 22.
From solid ball Russell’s perfect cross kick found Jones and he beat two defenders to go in for the score, but the stand-off’s kick was missed and he also failed with a key touchfinder on the hour marl which proved the crucial point in the game.
With veteran Springbok Schalk Brits giving them a spark off the bench, they reasserted dominance and the Glasgow defence wilted as Marcelo Bosch went through a clumsy challenge by Russell and Peterson for the key score.
That was the Warriors’ last chance and after Farrell landed another penalty, Saracens skipper Brad Barritt went in for a try and Ashton scored his second as the champions pulled away.
Ryan Wilson went in for a late try as Glasgow stayed defiant but in the end they were a well beaten side.
Saracens: A Goode; C Ashton, M Bosch, B Barritt (capt), S Maitland; O Farrell, R Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, J George, J Figallo; M Itoje, J Hamilton; M Rhodes, J Wray, B Vunipola.
Replacements: S Brits for George 55, T Lamositele for M Vunipola 73, V Koch for Figallo 28, K Brown for Wray 75, J Conlon for Hamilton 73, N de Kock for Wigglesworth 75, A Lozowski for Barritt 75, D Taylor for Bosch 61
Glasgow Warriors: S Hogg; T Seymour, A Dunbar, P Horne, L Jones; F Russell, H Pyrgos; G Reid, F Brown, Z Fagerson; B Alainu’uese, J Gray (capt); R Harley, R Wilson, A Ashe.
Replacements: C Flynn for Brown 61, A Allan for Reid 61, S Puafisi for Fagerson 48, G Peterson for Gray 11, C Fusaro for Peterson 71, A Price for Pyrgos 50, N Grigg for Horne 57, R Hughes for Hogg 74.
Ref: J Garces (FFR)