Neil Lennon’s side put in a brilliant display as Celtic beat Rangers 2-0 away at Ibrox through goals from Odsonne Edouard and Jonny Hayes. This is a huge victory for the Scottish Champions as they now sit alone at the top of the table with 12 points.
There were rumblings around Scotland that this could be the season that Rangers finally end their cross-city rivals 8 year stronghold over the Premiership trophy. But judging by Celtic’s performance against Rangers as they blew them away in a 2-0 win at Ibrox, it is clear that a few pundits might have been a bit premature in declaring Rangers as title favourites.
Heading into the game, there was genuine fear among the Celtic fans that Steven Gerrard’s men might be too strong for them. After all they had been defeated both times that they traveled to Ibrox last season with Rangers blowing them off the pitch the last time the two sides had met.
Things looked shaky early on for the Scottish champions as they let Jermain Defoe in on goal in the 9th minute only for the returning Elhamed to make a heroic late challenge to clear the ball away and keep things scoreless. They would then let Katic have a free header from the resulting corner and thankfully, he headed over the bar.
But as the game approached the 15th minute mark, Celtic started to take things over. While Rangers enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, Celtic were easily the more dangerous team throughout with their direct football. The pressing from Neil Lennon’s men was impressive to say the least as they didn’t give the Rangers players neither time nor space to control the game. As a result, someone would eventually nick the ball and a quick attack would follow.
Celtic went up in the 32nd minute as Edouard made no mistake in putting the ball in the back of the net after a brilliant run and then through-ball from Mikey Johnston. No clear cut chances were created in the rest of the first half but the second half was a different story with the team creating multiple chances and it was only the brilliance of Allan McGregor in goal that kept Rangers in the game.
The defence was impressive as well as they managed to handle everything that the Rangers attack threw at them and keep a clean-sheet away at Ibrox. Things remained 1-0 till the end of regulation time but as Rangers pushed for an equiliser, Celtic managed to hit them on the counter and substitute Jonny Hayes scored in the 3rd minute of injury time to make it 2-0, handing the men in green and white the victory.
This will be a satisfying victory for Neil Lennon who had to answer questions regarding his side being the ‘underdogs’ going into the game despite winning 8 Premiership titles in a row. Good thing that Celtic did all their talking on the pitch and it is safe to say that they shut up a lot of critics’ mouths on Sunday.