Masterful Celtic cruise to victory in Old Firm derby

September 23, 2017 7:15 am0 commentsViews: 21
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths

Second-half goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths eased Celtic to victory over Rangers at Ibrox.

The win extended Celtic’s lead in the Premiership over their Old Firm rivals to eight points and their run of unbeaten domestic games to 57.

Rangers survived an early flurry but could not prevent Rogic opening the scoring just after the break when he pounced on a loose ball to drive home.

Griffiths added the second when he converted Patrick Roberts’ superb pass.

There were the usual moments of tension, with Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha particularly irked with Celtic captain Scott Brown as the teams left the field at half-time.

The visitors, though, were unfazed with the lively atmosphere, and after the break were more accurate and decisive in the final third.

Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic

As a result of their depleted resources, Rangers knew they needed to find a sense of resilience to make the game as competitive as the home fans expect.

Celtic’s domestic record under Brendan Rodgers illustrates the threat the champions pose, but the line-ups were also a stark demonstration of the difference between the sides.

Celtic arrived with their first-choice defensive line-up available, whereas Rangers were missing two of their starting defenders in the injured Lee Wallace and Bruno Alves, as well as back-ups Declan John and Danny Wilson.

Those absences meant Ross McCrorie, a 19-year-old centre-back, stepped in to make his first start for the club in the most daunting scenario.

Celtic, too, had four potential match winners on the bench – Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Moussa Dembele and Jonny Hayes – while in contrast Rangers had Dalcio, who had not played a domestic game, Aaron Nemane, yet to play for the club at all, 18-year-old defender Aiden Wilson and veteran forward Kenny Miller.

So it was no surprise when Celtic were immediately vibrant, the game less than a minute old when Rogic, in typically ambling but effective style, rifled a shot from 20 yards that Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham had to tip over.

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha and Celtic captain Scott Brown

The visitors dominated possession in the opening quarter, and worked a handful of promising openings without finding the shrewd final ball that would unlock Rangers’ defence.

Griffiths sent a free-kick wide and saw another effort saved while, before half-time, Roberts veered past Lee Hodson and into the penalty area, but shot straight at the advancing Foderingham when Rogic was well-placed in the centre.

McCrorie grew into the game after surviving the ball inadvertently brushing his hand as he challenged Griffiths.

One sliding tackle on Celtic’s lone striker that saw him cleanly win the ball drew cheers from a home crowd witnessing a largely stuffy if unimaginative performance from their side.

Alfredo Morelos might have earned a penalty when Jozo Simunovic slid in but failed to make contact with the ball and forced the striker to hurdle over and collide with him.

The Colombian striker was otherwise regularly caught offside, but nevertheless always carries a threat and almost made contact at the back post with a James Tavernier cross.

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos and Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic

The goal-less half would have heartened the home side but they had to renew their poise after the break, McCrorie doing well to block Griffiths inside the area after the restart.

But when Rangers did defend sloppily, Celtic made them pay.

The ball travelled past several defenders into the box and Rogic thumped it high into the net with a powerful finish from the Australian.

For the second goal, Fabio Cardoso failed to cover Griffiths’ run, but in his defence he was beaten by a clever, well-weighted pass from Roberts, whose set-up play was rewarded with an accurate finish from the Scotland striker.

In between the two goals, Morelos won a header at close range, but Gordon blocked it with his chest, and soon after Josh Windass drove just wide.

It was a comfortable win for Celtic, and while not as painful for Rangers as the 5-1 at Ibrox last season, the visitors were well worth their victory.

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4Cardoso
  • 40McCrorie
  • 17Hodson
  • 27PeñaSubstituted forMillerat 53′minutes
  • 8Jack
  • 10Dorrans
  • 21CandeiasBooked at 72minsSubstituted forNemaneat 84′minutes
  • 20MorelosBooked at 44mins
  • 11WindassSubstituted forHerreraat 73′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Dálcio
  • 9Miller
  • 15Herrera
  • 23Holt
  • 25Alnwick
  • 28Nemane
  • 34Wilson

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 20BoyataBooked at 64mins
  • 5Simunovic
  • 63Tierney
  • 8Brown
  • 14Armstrong
  • 7RobertsSubstituted forForrestat 69′minutes
  • 18RogicSubstituted forMcGregorat 62′minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forDembeleat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Bitton
  • 10Dembele
  • 15Hayes
  • 21Ntcham
  • 24de Vries
  • 42McGregor
  • 49Forrest
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
50,116

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home6
Away18
Shots on Target
Home1
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away11
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 0, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 0, Celtic 2.

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

Aaron Nemane (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Wes Foderingham.

Attempt saved. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Kieran Tierney (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt saved. Mikael Lustig (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aaron Nemane.

Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Graham Dorrans (Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Aaron Nemane replaces Daniel Candeias.

(Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alfredo Morelos (Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Moussa Dembele replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Attempt missed. Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lee Hodson.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ross McCrorie.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Jack (Rangers).

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Ross McCrorie (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Eduardo Herrera replaces Josh Windass.

Booking

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kieran Tierney (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Daniel Candeias (Rangers).

Attempt missed. Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Daniel Candeias.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Patrick Roberts.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right.

Patrick Roberts (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Hodson (Rangers).

Goal!

Goal! Rangers 0, Celtic 2. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Patrick Roberts.

Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Booking

Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).

goal

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