Brendan Rodgers’ impressive run in the Old Firm derby finally came to an end as he lost his first game in the 11th attempt. His side was definitely outplayed on the day, and they just didn’t know what had hit them when they turned up at Ibrox.
Celtic took a real hammering in the first half from Rangers as they failed to create any meaningful opportunities. Scott Brown almost scored an own goal as his header hit the post. Rangers deservedly took the lead around the half hour mark through Ryan Jack after some good work by Ryan Kent. The intensity and pressing were too much for the Hoops to handle and their midfielders were hardly being allowed to take a turn on the ball.
The same sequence continued even in the second half, and Celtic continued to shoot themselves on their foot as they kept giving the ball away cheaply. It was surprising to see such a quality side not even managing to string a few passes together. Rodgers was definitely not expecting this kind of display from his players.
Here is how they fared in the 1-0 loss at Ibrox.
Craig Gordon 6.5
Kept his side in the game by making some brilliant saves. A slight deflection from Brown put him off for the first goal. His distribution was way off the mark.
Mikael Lustig 4
Guilty of allowing too much space to danger man Ryan Kent for the goal. Ended up on his backside as he committed himself in the challenge. Substituted at halftime. Continues to be a weak point.
Filip Benkovic 6
Looked assured for the most parts but wasn’t helped by his midfielders as they kept on giving the ball away cheaply. Came off with an injury.
Dedryck Boyata 2
A shocker of a game for the Belgian. If he is trying to leave the club in January, then potential suitors would definitely be thinking twice before making a big money offer. The scoreline was 1-0 in the end, and that was probably his saving grace. Poor in possession and in his challenges. His body was at Ibrox, but his head certainly wasn’t.
Callum McGregor 6
Played in an unfamiliar position as a left back and found it tough to deal with Tavernier and Candeias on the defensive front. Enjoyed some good moments on the offensive front in the second half. Almost stole Rangers’ thunder by scoring the equaliser but was ruled offside.
Scott Brown 3
An absolute horror show from the captain. Lucky to not score an own goal. Gave the possession away far too cheaply on various occasions. Just seemed a notch behind the pace of the game.
Olivier Ntcham 4
Absolutely diabolical in possession like most of his team-mates. Lost the ball countless times when he was under no pressure. The Frenchman is definitely fighting for his place in the starting lineup now even though he possesses so much natural talent.
Ryan Christie 5
Wasn’t able to get on the ball in dangerous areas as Rangers had pinned Celtic in their half. Spent most of the game doing the nitty gritty job. Produced a moment of quality in the second half but McGregor slightly miss timed his run.
Scott Sinclair 4
Tavernier had his number throughout the game, and he never got an opportunity to surge forward. Was always hurried off the ball.
James Forrest 5
Quality player but again never got a chance to run at Rangers defence in dangerous areas. Spent most of the game tracking back. Halliday never allowed him to turn and run at the defence whenever he had the ball further up the pitch.
Michael Johnston 4
Isolated and non-existent throughout the game. His lack of physicality didn’t suit him in the game of this nature. Substituted at the hour mark.
Kristoffer Ajer 5.5
Came on to replace Benkovic and looked the only sane head at the back.
Anthony Ralston 5
Got thrown into the big game at halftime. So far had played in games when Celtic enjoyed good possession. Was tested defensively and was often found wanting.
Odsonne Edouard 6
Created one chance with a good run but Rangers were too good on the day as he never got too many opportunities to get on the ball.