Rangers manager Caixinha furious over Scott Brown’s challenge

Ibrox boss accuses Celtic captain of elbowing Alfredo Morelos during Old Firm clash

Celtic’s keeper Craig Gordon punches the ball away during the Scottish Premiership match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.  Photograph:  Jane Barlow/PA

Celtic’s keeper Craig Gordon punches the ball away during the Scottish Premiership match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

 

Furious Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha hit out at Scott Brown after accusing the Celtic skipper of aiming an elbow at Alfredo Morelos during Saturday’s Old Firm defeat.

The Ibrox manager saw his side lose out again to their Old Firm rivals at Ibrox as Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths handed the Hoops a 2-0 win.

But Caixinha was furious Brown was allowed to remain on the pitch after his clash with Rangers’ Colombian forward just seconds before the interval. He even had a nose-to-nose confrontation with the Parkhead captain as the teams made their way down the tunnel and was still fuming over the incident after the full-time whistle.

“I was angry at half-time, did you see it?” asked Caixinha. “It’s the second time it happened, it was the same in April. “I saw an elbow from Brown and I told the fourth official – but the referee let it go.”

Celtic defender Mikael Lustig hailed keeper Craig Gordon for the save that kept the Hoops on course for Old Firm victory.

Brendan Rodgers’ Ladbrokes Premiership champions were made to work by Rangers during a compelling first 45 minutes at Ibrox on Saturday.

The win that took the Parkhead side’s domestic unbeaten run past the 500-day mark.

However, Swedish defender Lustig said the result could have been so different had it not been for Gordon’s intervention.

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has been a vocal critic of the Scotland number one’s displays for both club and country in recent months. But he proved his quality with an instinctive save to stop Alfredo Morelos levelling for Rangers with a point-blank ranger header just moments after Rogic’s opener.

“Maybe Rangers had a short two or three minute spell just after we scored but after that we were really comfortable,” said right-back Lustig.

“Craig made a top-drawer save to keep it at 1-0. You need a really good keeper in these games and we have got that in Craig.

“His save was vital. Maybe had they gone to 1-1 it could have been a different game. “But from that moment one we proved we’re the best team again.”

Victory over the Light Blues – their sixth from seven clashes since Rodgers was appointed last year – was the perfect warm-up performance for Celtic as they prepare to Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Anderlecht.

The Hoops got their group-stage campaign off to a nightmare start two weeks ago as they were hammered 5-0 by French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

But Lustig hopes they can follow up their derby triumph with another win which will put them in the box seat for a Europa League slot.

He said: “We know it’s a massive game on Wednesday, especially as we were not satisfied with the game against PSG. “We want to be in Europe [after New Year] so hopefully we can grab some points and play some good football.”

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