Rangers 1-0 Celtic: Steven Gerrard’s Gers end Old Firm derby pain
Steven Gerrard guided Rangers to their first victory over Celtic in a league game since 2012. In doing so, Rangers moved level on points with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, although Brendan Rodgers’ side have a game in hand.
Ryan Jack scored the only goal of the game in the 31st minute as the Gers got the better of a below-par Celtic side on Saturday afternoon at the Ibrox.
Steven Gerrard’s side started the game on the front foot, with Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Daniel Candeias forcing Celtic onto the back-foot. Rangers should have gone in front in the 16th minute when Kent drilled in a low cross for Candeias, whose shot from the centre of the penalty area was brilliantly saved by Craig Gordon.
Within a minute, Gordon produced another top-class save when he denied Connor Goldson’s goal-bound header and from the resulting corner, Brown’s mistimed header cannoned off the woodwork before bouncing to safety.
Morelos then had a shot blocked as the Celtic defence sought to re-establish order at the back. But they had their task cut out as the Rangers players relentlessly pressed with energy and intensity.
But with half an hour played, Rangers finally got the breakthrough they fully deserved.
Having returned from injury, Kent forced Lustig to back off with his dribbling skills and pace before leaving the Celtic right-back in no man’s land. From the byline, he passed the ball to Jack into the box and the midfielder’s strike beat Gordon with the help of a deflection off Scott Brown.
Kent might have scored in the 38th-minute but his shot from outside the box didn’t curl enough to find the back of the net.
Two minutes into the second half, Boyata was robbed of possession by Kent, whose shot was partially kept out by Gordon. The loose ball fell to Arfield who saw his shot cleared off the line by Boyata as the Celtic defender made amend for his earlier mistake.
Rangers were unlucky to not double their advantage through Jack after Gordon produced another crucial one-handed save with a desperate dive to his left in the 55th minute. In the 67th minute, though, Celtic’s travelling fans had a cause for celebration when McGregor had the ball in the net, but their hopes of an equaliser were shattered by the offside flag.
Five minutes from time, Halliday threw himself in the way of Ntcham’s goal-bound shot to rescue Rangers. Despite Rodgers’ men throwing the kitchen sink in the latter stages of the game, the Gers kept their nerves and defended brilliantly to earn the Old Firm bragging rights.
Ecstatic with the victory over arch-rivals Celtic, here’s how some Rangers fans reacted on Twitter.
Fair play to Steven Gerrard. He’s made this Rangers team competitive again.
— CJayAFC (@Charlie_Jay_) December 29, 2018
Kent lifetime contract now
— connor🃏 (@_CS1872_) December 29, 2018
Get in lads
— Liverpool GFN (@LiverpoolGFN) December 29, 2018
GET IN LADSSSSS 🔵⚪🔴
— Adam🏴🇬🇧 (@AdxmW_EFC) December 29, 2018
CONGRATULATIONS RANGERS WELL DONE GERRARD
— Enjoy your life (@english4alu) December 29, 2018
Honestly rangers deserved the win, complete dominance for the entire match
— Aidan (@Aidan_1874) December 29, 2018
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS! WATP!!!! 🔴⚪️🔵
— Joseph Longmuir (@joelongmuir1985) December 29, 2018
Super Rangers Great Win Today your Scotlsnds Greatest from Sheffield/Hillsborough/Sheffield Wed Fc.
— Mark,Pitsmoor Owl (@Markmoorhouse2) December 29, 2018
Fantastic result. Kent was immense
— Derek Stocks (@derekstocks3010) December 29, 2018
Fully deserved victory Ryan Kent 🙈🙈 outstanding performance Halliday wasn’t bad either 👏👏👏
— Yid123 (@RobinsonDarryl) December 29, 2018
What a performance!! Congratulations Rangers👏💙
— MiguelR🇵🇹 (@MiguelRPes) December 29, 2018
HWGG WHAT A GAME💙
— Hi (@HYYPPEEEE) December 29, 2018
Jack was MOTM for me, never stopped the entire game and played with his heart right on his sleeve!
— ScotLivingLife (@BritLivingLife) December 29, 2018