They battled back and forth throughout the course of 90 minutes, but in the end, the Old Firm derby ended in a very familiar way – Celtic defeated Rangers. Beyond what we’re used to seeing, though, we also saw the emergence of a new ‘rivalry’ of sorts in the form of Brendan Rodgers vs Steven Gerrard. Of course, it’s probably going to be a pretty friendly one considering that they enjoyed some time together at Liverpool, but it was Rodgers who came out on top during their first ever managerial war.
Rangers hadn’t won a league derby since back in 2012 heading into this game, and it never seemed as if they were going to change that as Gerrard continues to settle into his role as boss. Still, with this being his first loss in 13 games, he can be pretty proud of how his team defended given that Celtic hit either the crossbar or the post on four separate occasions – although there’s clearly a great deal of work to do if Rangers want to get on Celtic’s level.
The home side never seemed as if they were in any real kind of danger from the first whistle until the very last, although they’ll probably be disappointed that they weren’t able to find the back of the net more than once. As the game approached the final half hour it seemed as if Rangers could start to grow in confidence, given that they’d managed to keep their rivals out for so long. Unfortunately, their resilience was finally undone in the 62nd minute to break the hearts of the travelling faithful.
Olivier Ntcham put the finishing touch onto a great counter attack to put Celtic into the lead, and they held onto their advantage with relative ease in order to pick up the three points. Rodgers’ men will be back in action after the international break when they face St Mirren, before kicking off their Europa League group stage campaign against Rosenborg. In contrast, Rangers will play Dundee on September 15th which will be followed up by a game against Spanish side Villarreal. Whatever happens, you can bet that Gerrard’s side will learn from today.
Celtic: Gordon (6.5), Lustig (7), Boyata (6.5), Ajer (7), Tierney (7), Ntcham (7.5), Brown (6), Forrest (6.5), Rogic (6.5), McGregor (7), Edouard (6.5)
Rangers: McGregor (6), Tavernier (6.5), Katic (6), Goldson (6), Barisic (6.5), Jack (6), Ejaria (5.5), Kent (6), Arfield (6), Morelos (5.5), Lafferty (6)
Referee: William Collum
Yellow Cards: Brown, Edouard, McGregor, Goldson, Barisic, Morelos
Red Cards: N/A
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