Glasgow Celtic had solely ruled Scottish Premiership for years, until this season saw the resurgence of their old rivals Glasgow Rangers.
Celtic still held the upper hand after beating Rangers early on the season at Ibrox Stadium and then, perhaps undeservedly, in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park. Both games had Rangers in command for many parts and it was only a matter of time when they would get the result they were longing for.
With all the pressure on Celtic, leading the league with five points’ difference and defending their streak of 11 straight wins in Scottish Premiership, Rangers struck with force. The visitors took the initiative and held on to the control of the hard-fought game to take their first Premiership win over Celtic at Celtic Park since 2010. Result 1-2 was duly deserved after the display put on by Steven Gerrard’s side.
Celtic have had their issues in high-pressure games this season and Rangers came into the match with such vigor rarely witnessed at Celtic Park. The visitors took control of the game early on and allowed no clear cut chances for the hosts. Celtic were given the chance to take the lead on 33rd minute, with Nikola Katic hanging on to the shirt of Christopher Jullien surging for the corner kick and causing a penalty.
Ryan Christie stood up to take it, but Rangers keeper Allan McGregor stretched out to brilliantly parry the shot. It was only minutes later the ball found its way into the net in the other end. Borna Barisic sent a low cross in to the box from left flank and Ryan Kent scored off the post with a superb one-touch shot on 36th minute.
It’s not an Old Firm derby without some controversy. This time the advantage of it all went to Celtic, who came even on 42nd minute by questionable means. Callum McGregor sent the shot on goal from 20 yards out, but Odsonne Edouard stood in the way – the ball deflected off the hand of the Frenchman, but despite plenty of protests the goal was allowed to stand.
Invigorated by the assumed wrongdoing, Rangers kept on piling the pressure and it paid off early in the second half. Arguably the man of the match, Borna Barisic was at it again, this time delivering a perfect corner kick to meet the head of fellow Croatian Nikola Katic. Celtic woke up to the challenge too late, even if the final 35 minutes were dominated by the home side chasing the lead. Rangers held off with 1-2 lead and climbed within two points of their rivals, with a game in hand.
The final minutes saw some unsportsmanlike conduct from both sides and it became obvious the Old Firm is back with a blast. Rangers now hold the bragging rights and by winning their game in hand, can leapfrog Celtic in the Premiership table.
Scottish Premiership heads to winter break and returns on January 22nd, with Celtic visiting Kilmarnock and Rangers playing host to St. Mirren. Don’t miss out on Dafabet’s Celtic FC Prediction Challenge to win weekly free bets!