Celtic were understandably high on confidence ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm derby at their own backyard. They defeated Rangers twice already prior to this afternoon’s meeting, and a home win would have potentially ensured their ‘nine in a row’ mission despite the Gers’ upsurge under Steven Gerrard. But the visitors had other ideas as they stunned Neil Lennon’s men with a headstrong display and snatched an exquisite 2-1 win to close the gap to two points with a game in hand in the Premiership title race!
Below are the Celtic players rated in their disappointing derby defeat against Rangers.
Fraser Forster: 6
His heroics saw Rangers suffer a League Cup final defeat despite being the better side. He was aiming to replicate a similar show on Sunday lunchtime but failed to resist the visitors’ will, grit and determination of turning things around defying the odds.
Jeremie Frimpong: 7.5
The teenager was lively from the right flank as he kept on making marauding runs and whipped in crosses inside the box. He, however, often left the space behind him and the Gers took advantage of it to stage counter-attacks. Improved his defensive game later on and denied Alfredo Morelos with a timely tackle in the closing seconds of the match.
Christopher Jullien: 7
His solitary goal sealed the League Cup glory earlier this month. Could have been the Hoops hero again this afternoon but was denied off the line twice by Steven Davis. Earned a spot-kick when Nikola Katic brought him down inside the box. Allan McGregor was majestic though as he denied Ryan Christie from the spot moments later.
Kristoffer Ajer: 6.5
Failed to contain Nikola Katic who headed home to restore the lead early in the second half. The Norwegian was immense otherwise and worked tirelessly late in the game in search of an equaliser.
Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo: 6
Defended well down the left-hand side of Celtic’s backline. Tried to get more involved in the attacking build-ups during the second half, but his crosses and passes were not good enough to break down the Gers’ resilient defensive third.
Scott Brown: 5.5
Looked off paced at times and often struggled against Ryan Jack, Steven Davis and Glen Kamara in the middle of the park. The skipper failed to dominate possession and lacked composure while having the ball on his feet.
Callum McGregor: 6.5
His effort from a distance deflected off Edouard controversially and ended up into the back of the net minutes after Ryan Kent’s opener. But the Scotsman was not as effective as he has been all season and could not create enough chances from behind.
James Forrest: 5
Had a disappointing afternoon as he could not threaten the visitors using the width of the pitch. James Tavernier did exceptionally well to contain the wingman and Lennon, therefore, was left with no choice but to replace him midway through the second half. Olivier Ntcham was brought in as his replacement.
Mikey Johnston: 5.5
Signed a new five-year deal yesterday but failed to deliver big time and was eventually taken off to be replaced by Nir Bitton around the 68th-minute mark of the match.
Ryan Christie: 6.5
His spot-kick was sensationally parried away by Allan McGregor. Looked purposeful from set-pieces, but was running out of options. He was eventually replaced by Leigh Griffiths late in the game.
Odsonne Edouard: 6
Callum McGregor’s strike deflected off his hand to beat past Allan McGregor in Rangers goal. The Frenchman was not very productive otherwise and failed to beat the Bears’ zonal marking.
Nir Bitton: 6
Lennon brought him in to alter his strategy which didn’t pay off at all.
Olivier Ntcham: 6
Had a few attempts from distance to bring the Bhoys back in the game.
Leigh Griffiths: 5.5
Yet another disappointing cameo from the Scotsman who could not utilise his chances.
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