Celtic’s sheer dominance in Scottish football, as well as the Old Firm derby, could have had a huge setback this afternoon when they visited age-old rivals Rangers FC at Ibrox. Rangers have shaken off the darkness of their gloomy years and seemed to be rejuvenated in recent weeks ahead of the derby clash. Graeme Murty, the Gers boss, were determined to break the curse and beat the Hoops whom his side has not defeated since March 2012.
The Light Blues, meanwhile, had a scintillating inception with an early opener, but it was Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic gaffer, who inspired his boys to come back twice from behind and score the winner despite being down to 10 men for the final half an hour of this extremely engaging encounter. Celtic continue their dominance and grab record four consecutive wins at Ibrox against their Glasgow rivals.
Below are the Celtic players rated in their exhilarating victory against Rangers.
Scott Bain: 8
The Dundee loanee finally made his debut this afternoon following the injuries of two of Celtic’s veteran custodians – Craig Gordon and Dorus de Vries. The pressure was mounting on the Scotsman due to the intensity of the occasion, but he stood tall and despite conceding two first-half goals, he helped his side to stay in the game, especially being down to ten men and delivered a remarkable save in closing minutes to deny Josh Windass. Bain made his debut memorable by clinching three points from their bitter rivals in adverse circumstances.
Dedryck Boyata: 5
Returned from his injury and was gambled in an unfamiliar defensive role down the right. The gamble, however, didn’t pay off as he was bullied by Josh Windass in Rangers’ opener and was troubled throughout the game against the young Englishman who was pacy and tricky with his runs.
Jozo Simunovic: 5
Should have done better to mark at the far post while Rangers’ second of the afternoon and put his side in deep trouble after elbowing Alfredo Morelos in the second half which, in turn, resulted in a marching order. The game was perfectly balanced at that time and could have gone the other way if Brendan Rodgers’ tactical masterclass had not paid off.
Kristoffer Ajer: 6.5
The youngster impressed once again with his aerial supremacy and calmness as he performed with added responsibility after Simunovic’s dismissal and never let Morelos to trouble much except one final occasion which the Colombian could not finish into the back of the net from two yards out.
Kieran Tierney: 7.5
Was unlucky as the Gers’ second of the afternoon took a little deflection off him but kept on attacking persistently down the left-hand flank with runs, crosses and link-up play. Maintained defensive composure too, especially in the second half when the game was perfectly balanced and Simunovic received a marching order.
Scott Brown: 9
Was at his absolute best in the middle of the park as he did not let the opponents build the game in midfield with an extra-man advantage and found Dembele with a sublime pass who made no mistake to make it 2-2 late in the first-half.
Olivier Ntcham: 7.5
Was clumsy at times, and misplaced a few passes. But worked hard, carried the ball forward from a deeper midfield role and his holding ability allowed the Hoops to be in the game despite being a man short.
James Forrest: 6.5
Registered another assist to his name with a simple pass to Tom Rogic who did the hard work and scored with a stunning long-range effort. Struggled to get into the game since half-time and Rodgers played the gamble by taking him off and bringing on out-and-out striker Odsonne Edouard who scored the winner minutes after entering the pitch.
Tom Rogic: 8
Scored a stunner that left Foderingham with no chance whatsoever to stop it from going into the back of the net. Tested the Gers custodian once again in the first-half but had to sacrifice his place following Simunovic’s red card as Rodgers opted to bring in young Jack Hendry to restore the defensive composure.
Callum McGregor: 7
Was handed a start in place of star winger Scott Sinclair. McGregor was not as direct as the former Premier League attacker but worked hard and covered a lot of areas to overcome the deficit of playing with a man lesser than the hosts.
Moussa Dembele: 8.5
Maintained his composure while scoring his side’s second and also found out Edouard who netted the winner in the second-half for ten-men Hoops. Was replaced by Stuart Armstrong in closing minutes.
Jack Hendry: 7
Was brought in to restore the defensive discipline and did well not to concede again and protect the lead.
Odsonne Edouard: 8
Brendan Rodgers’ masterstroke paid off as the PSG loanee’s surprise inclusion worked out for the ex-Liverpool gaffer who scripted a memorable derby triumph when Edouard scored the winner minutes after coming on replacing James Forrest.
Stuart Armstrong: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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