Champions Celtic lose final Old Firm derby of the season

Rampant Rangers blow away rivals at Ibrox after taking an early lead through Tavernier

Scott Arfield scores Rangers’ second against Celtic. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Scott Arfield scores Rangers’ second against Celtic. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

 

Rangers 2 Celtic 0

Perhaps there really is no such thing as a meaningless Old Firm fixture. The scale of Rangers celebration here certainly suggested as much.

On a wounding Sunday afternoon for Neil Lennon, a timid Celtic display saw Rangers dominate and duly return a fully deserved victory. That Celtic will be champions once more – with Rangers long since confirmed as runners up – looked irrelevant to the Ibrox masses. Steven Gerrard has secured victories over Celtic on both their visits to Rangers this season. Lennon, who is only secure in his position until the season’s end, cut a dejected figure on the touchline.

James Tavernier set the hosts on course to success within two minutes.

Scott Bain, the Celtic goalkeeper, was deceived by an inswinging free-kick from the Rangers captain. In Bain’s defence, he seemed to expect a deflection which never arrived.

Jermain Defoe and Scott Arfield were denied as Rangers chased a first-half second. There was also a ludicrous piece of simulation from the former England striker, which somehow escaped action from the referee Kevin Clancy.

Rangers didn’t need assistance from officialdom. Their second goal saw Glen Kamara thread a ball through the centre of the visiting defence, with Defoe delivering a clever dummy. Arfield, exceptional throughout, strode forward to slot underneath Bain.

Defoe clipped the crossbar before being substituted as Rangers chased a third. Celtic’s only chance for salvation fell to Oliver Burke, who watched his close-range effort batted away by Wes Foderingham.

Celtic’s eyes have already turned towards the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on May 25th. For Rangers, it felt as if another season could not arrive quickly enough. - Guardian

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