Celtic back on top at Ibrox with first Old Firm win of the season
Jonny Hayes seals victory over Rangers after Edsonne Édouard’s opener for champions
Jonny Hayes celebrates after scoring Celtic’s second against Rangers at Ibrox. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty
Rangers 0 Celtic 2
Tales of Celtic’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated. So, too, perhaps, suggestions Rangers are capable of ending the domestic dominance of their oldest foes.
One piece of quality was sufficient to send Celtic ahead in this scrappy encounter. A late counterattack added gloss for Neil Lennon. That said, Celtic were the better – and better structured – side throughout. Rangers huffed and puffed during the second period but were unable to answer Odsonne Édouard’s latest Old Firm goal.
Typically, a piece of poor defending played a part in the match’s early key moment. Connor Goldson dallied on the ball when breaking from defence, with the Rangers centre-back subsequently passing the ball directly to an opponent. Mikey Johnston played in Édouard, who finished coolly under the advancing Allan McGregor.
Curiously against a side whose full backs had been widely pinpointed as a weak link, Steven Gerrard opted not to deploy wingers from the outset. Rangers could not profit from a cluttered midfield, with Gerrard’s removal of Glen Kamara at the interval suggesting he had realised his mistake. It took 57 minutes for the hosts to properly test Fraser Forster, with the on-loan Celtic goalkeeper saving well from Sheyi Ojo.
McGregor did likewise, twice within a matter of seconds, as Hatem Elhamed and the outstanding Christopher Jullien sought to double the visitors’ lead. Scott Arfield headed wide and James Tavernier blasted over as Rangers sought salvation as never really looked likely to arrive.
Jonny Hayes scored Celtic’s second, in stoppage time, after McGregor saved his initial attempt. The scale of Leigh Griffiths’ celebrations on the touchline caused a minor rumpus behind the Celtic bench, with the smell of cordite intensified by the red card issued to Jordan Jones. The substitute had upended Moritz Bauer on the touchline, in wild fashion. This was about as menacing as Rangers had been all afternoon. - Guardian