How did Celtic beat Rangers?

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Earlier this week we discussed the Arsenal Milan match, where an on-form Milan side were fully expected to give floundering Arsenal a bit of a hiding. The reasons we cited were mainly experienced based, where Arsenal’s wily nous and time-led experience was enough to outclass a dismal Milan whose most (read-‘only’) experienced European players were Leonardo Bonucci from his Juventus days and Lucas Biglia from his Anderlecht ones (we forgot about him at the time).

While we would not say Celtic gave Rangers anything like the hiding Wenger’s men dished out in Northern Italy today, and we would definitely testify that the gap between Rangers and Celtic has been narrowed in some contexts, the match-winning experience Celtic have in these big occasions told hugely and even more worryingly for Graeme Murty, once Celtic lost a man, it was they who benefited rather than our Govan favourites.

That first half was rip-roaring stuff. So many of Rangers’ big players showed up – Bruno Alves was colossal in defence, while Declan John and James Tavernier raged up and down their respective flanks, and the Sean Goss partnership with Greg Docherty bloomed further, not to mention Jamie Murphy’s menace down the left.

Daniel Candeias and Josh Windass were both bizarrely quiet and ineffective outwith their goals though, and for all his sterling work deeper in attack, Alfredo Morelos will come out this Old Firm making all the wrong headlines.

But overall, it was a boisterous first half and Rangers maybe even shaded it marginally.

But once Celtic lost a man, Rangers lost their way.

Whatever the reasons, whether it was Graeme Murty’s inability to strategise for facing a team down to 10 men, whether it was Rangers’ players legs running out of gas, Celtic more or less strolled their way to the finish line.

The experience from the East End told as they held Rangers easily at bay, and while many will point to Morelos’ staggering open goal miss (not his first by any means) that would only have salvaged a draw, rather than any real bragging rights.

This was a match in which Brendan Rodgers’ experience told, while his players’ Old  Firm winning mentality carried them through.

Rangers’ loss of all punch, quality and zest in the final 25 minutes was absolutely stunning and the players almost looked like they had given up. Ibrox was a very flat venue once Eduard stroked in the winner.

Are Rangers on the right path? We thought they were, but events the past week gave us a different perspective. We can say the gap to Celtic, bizarrely despite the backwards step of Graeme Murty’s first loss to Rodgers, has narrowed a bit, and the Light Blues gave a far better fist of the match.

That much is pleasing. But Celtic remain the benchmark and until this Rangers era learns how to beat them, the gap will never fully close.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Celtic beat Rangers because Cardosa cannot defend and Morelos misses sitter after sitter in big games .

  2. Obviously watched the game through various Internet Streams and Overall…
    Celtic Didnt Deserve to Win 👊
    …Rangers Had The Game for 55-60 mins

    A Draw would have been a Fair Result 👐

    The Gap has been closed but their is still room for improvement! 🤔💙

  3. The rangers lack big match experience, their early adrenaline ran them out of gas in the last 30mins.

    Celtic had a much stronger bench.

    Would have liked to have seen Holt rather than Goss at half time to mark Brown out the game.

    When they went a man down we went out wide but had nobody in the middle to bully their defence.

    Morelos looks great holding the ball but left showing when reaction speed is needed.

    Should have gone 2 up front when they went a man down.

    If Murty can consistently beat the smaller teams rest of season, then would give him a contract, but if not then he might make a good assistant for McCleish next season.

    At the end of the day we need to be aiming for more points than previous season. We don't need to beat Celtic to win the league, just beat everyone else more consistently that them.

    Though not sure how many more seasons we can afford to be in a deficit. And not sure how we'll go with additional European games to content with. On the same point we need to get all the big earners not playing off the wage bill. Then to bring through some of our youth stars.

  4. For me, the key to this result was the injuries to our centre backs. Alves has never lived up to his billing and Cordoso coming on for Bates was the final straw, Cardozo was so easily bullied off the ball by Dembele to make it 2-2. Had Martin and McCrorie been available then this game would have not have unfolded in the way it did.
    On Celtic going down to 10 men, the reason why Rangers were ineffective was because Celtic sat deep and counter attacked leaving none of the space in between or behind that Rangers had been exploiting.The game was much more open before the sending off which suited Rangers but as soon as Celtic shut up shop it was clear that Rangers didn't have an answer to it. Candeias and Tavernier were guilty of taking too many touches in the final third rather than keeping the tempo high and making first time crosses and passes.

    • Reasonable points but Celtic were missing key players too such as Hayes, Gordon, Bitton, Griffiths and Lustig.

    • They were also missing players, but have the experience and depth to cope. We lacked that experience.

  5. A sore, sore one to take today! The quick answer is Rangers cannot defend. The second goal just before half time was a shocker. I don’t think Dembele scores if Bates is on the pitch – Cardosa isn’t strong enough and his positional play s also poor, also for the third goal.
    The second reason Dembele and Edouard had one chance each and scored. What to say about Morelos! First half he ran the Celtic defence ragged – but you can’t miss chances like that in big games which he frequently does. In the summer take the money and use it to add 2/3 players of quality to the squad.
    Also what to do about Murty? I would have to say that although I was against a rookie manager getting the job – the improvement in Rangers is such that he deserves the opportunity – plus if we bring in someone else then to an extent we start again. Having said all that however he is a ROOKIE manager and therefore learning on the job. When Celtic went down to 10 men they went to a back four and closed the space on the wings but Rangers didn’t change anything tactically. An old head like Walter would have seen it all before and made changes accordingly. We are just going to have to accept that Murty will not always get it right and that will cost us.
    Couple of other observations.
    Injury now to Bates shows that we should have held on to Wilson.
    Windass scores – Windass fades. We need to get 90 mins out of him.
    Goss – you can see today why he maybe doesn’t get a game in the rough and tumble of the Championship. Cultured player but doesn’t dominate when its fast and furious.
    Brown – we will never beat Celtic as long as we continue to allow him to stroll through these games – how we need a Souness, or a John Brown, or someone to snarl back in his face and boss him!
    Genuinely sick – but just a glimmer of hope that we’re getting closer and might just stop 10 in a row.

    • Dexter – I agree with you on Murty. He's done more in his short time than the last two to make us proud again. Today didn't quite work out but as you say he's learning. Also we need to remember many of our team today are new and hardly played most of the season…Murphy/Goss etc. Then there are the Dorrans, Jack ( he's have been useful today), Wallace and McCrorie out.

      At the sending off Jimmy Nick should have stepped forward and told Murty…get a forward on now son we need to go at that. Don't know if he did or not but he should thats why he's there.

      As for Brown we have 4 guys that can take care of him, Dorans, Jack, McCrorie or young Docherty. I think with some schooling from the like of Jimmy Nick young Doc could sort Brown out.

      Anyway the team should be angry with themselves after today and desperate to get revenge at Hampden…can't wait!!

  6. I've said on here before my biggest concern was the midfield which everyone has been raving about, we had 2 in the middle facing their 3, unless windass puts in a shift for the majority of the game and helps out Docherty n Goss then it just won't work. We were out worked and outplayed in the middle, Goss was lightweight! I was screaming for Halliday or Holt to give us more bite and workrate. Substitution made 10 minutes too late. Morelos?? I'd never start him in front of Cummings again! 2 great chances and blew them AGAIN!! Added to that…cardoso, Tav, windass (goal aside) were bang average at best.

  7. Morales needs dropped… I blame him for the whole thing, one stupid offside. One one on one missed and an empty net

    • I wouldn’t buy him after today. If he hadn’t been stupidly caught offside they wouldn’t have went straight up to score their 1st. The one on one was the same with them scoring seconds later. Would have put us 2 ahead either time and they wouldn’t have countered and scored

  8. Celtic beat us because as soon as they went down to 10, Cummings should have been on. We do not have anyone like Brown (dare I say it) who grabbed the players by the scruff of the neck and pushed them on for the win when they went down to 10. We looked lost and as if we couldn't handle the expectation when they went down to 10. Really thought that today was going to be the day but all I'm left with is a sense of deja vu. Gutted is an under statement.

  9. A think we need to calm down a bit here. This is a rangers team that is only going to get better and better. One thing we should be working on apart from defense is the ability to get a player at the back post. A few times in that game we had great crosses into the box. Id one striker goes to the front surely the second should be at the back post or atleast have a runner in there. If we done that better we wud have aeen a few more goals our way. It will make dor a good next season i think.

  10. Why was windass not taken off. Done bugger all second half as bloody usual. As for morelos,puts in a great shift but how many sitters can one man miss
    So so disappointed, really thought today was the day. WATP

  11. To be fair we gave them a right good fright. They were lucky, first with Bates being injured then Morelos miss. On another day we’d have won. Rangers day is coming and hopefully it starts with the semi-finals.

    • As much As I admire your general optimisim – Simple facts are we are not as good as news media made us out to be.We have to get rid of some of of the squad, realistically though guys like Docherty & Murphy didn't do much damage when they played for previous teams, so why think they are the answer to all our problems ?

    • i agree, we gave them a gd game support needs to stay behind team. i think we are still learnin/improvin, dissapointed t lose but optimistic fur the future

  12. Great start to the game today against a team that has the confidence gained from steam rolling the league.
    Make no mistake they knew they were given a game today. We had enough chances to get at least a draw. Morelos is struggling to find the net from tap-in range. His overall play is good but the boots ain’t working in the 6 yard box when we need them! Our opponents seem to have built their team on having as many six feet plus players on the park as possible. This of course gives them a significant aerial threat, which we struggle to combat. Granted the goals we lost today were from players running at our defence but the aerial threat puts us under undue pressure. Sadly the loss of goals today were down to poor positioning and the loss of Bates. Unfortunately Cardoso is not strong enough and is easily brushed aside.
    Our pool has been weakened by injuries and has beens. To increase the churn must be a high priority in the close season, especially the ‘Pedro and Warburton no-shows’.
    At the moment we are good enough to finish 2nd and that pains me to admit, however that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. I firmly believe the management team now in place will ensure that the improving trend will continue under Murty and Allen. As supporters we must stay positive. Six years ago we were facing meltdown and the worst time in our long and illustrious history. Rangers are currently progressing through the field, despite today’s setback, in a marathon. Any thoughts that it would be a sprint should be consigned to Room 101. Onward and Upward!

  13. Fod – average could have done more with Dembeles goal

    Tav – Average

    Alves – Need to get rid!
    …there is nothin left …hes ready for retirement 👴👐

    Bates – unlucky to go off with that injury, if he had still been on the park…think we would have won it. He woudl have done a better job at stopping Dembele.

    Cardoso… as much as i have a soft spot for him…Sell! Sell! Sell!
    Was absolute pish…2nd Goal? 😣

    John – Played Well Today,
    Put in some effort! And made some decent runs 😃👍💙

    Candeias – played well
    Really good control for 2nd goal

    Docherty – Average

    Goss – Pish…was not in the game at all.

    Windass – apart from the goal(usual pish we've seen the past season or two)

    Morelos – good shift in first half ….but that miss??? SERIOUSLY?!
    a small part of me says we should take the money in the summer but the bigger part wants him to stay a bit longer

    Cummings – Average (not his fault)
    Was brought on too late and not really much for him to do or that he could do

    Summer Window
    ——–
    Bin – Alnwick, Hodson,Cardoso,Alves, Dalcio, Dodoo, Rossiter, Herrera, Kranjcar, Miller(coaching role) …and maybe Morelos

    Shopping list 😅💰💙
    ———
    New Gk(2) – someone who can give Fod a real fight for the Gloves!

    New RB – Cover for Tav

    New CBs(x3) – need a whole new Defence aside from Tav, Martin, Bates, Wallace and John

    New RM …Cover for Candeias
    Me personally, Id Give MOH a Chance

    New CM …need a midfield Enforcer, Someone who aint afraid to get stuck in! ..and get rid of Niko and JRoss

    ST(x2) – Aside from Cummings and Morelos need a new forward line
    …with Miller nearing retirement,
    Hardie not getting a chance and Herrera not being good enough and if morelos gets sold it will be ST(x3) but me personally would like to see Hardie given a chance to fill one if those slots ⚽

  14. Why the feck would we bring on Holt to Mark Brown. That guy is the most over rated player in the history of Scottish football and the worst player to ever captain Scotland. The day he plays a forward pass I'll buy a season ticket for the midden. Hard man? Do t make me laugh!!!

    • You must have gone for a pie when he played a 70 yard forward pass that Dembele converted…!

      As much as I hate to admit it, he is the best midfielder in the league and the only one who comes close is John McGinn. We should push the boat out to get him in the summer. I know it wouldnt be an easy transfer but have to try to make it happen.

      I'd also stick Kenny Miller on Brown in next game. We need to stop him dictating games and so need a disciplined attacking player who is experienced enough to know when to shackle him and when to break away and join attacks. Windass can't do it and other midfielders are too defensive so wouldn't be in areas of the pitch where he starts their moves…

    • Hahaha I agree Rob but he gets the plaudits every time…because nobody will go for him, except the wee boy at Hearts I think it was?

      I think Holt would have been more in his face but he's not strong enough. Personally I would get Jimmy Nick to coach young Docherty as I think he would love stopping him. Maybe we'll see that at Hampden.

    • BT when does a 70 yard pass become a long hopeful punt. Answer when Cardoso and Alves fail to read the game and get caught hopefully out of position. If either defender had been in the correct position they wouldn't have had a sniff at goal.

  15. Gutted today but we matched them without playing well.
    Taverniier never got going till they went down to 10. John flitted in and out and never really got forwArd enough, centre backs a disaster, Goss worst game in a Rangers jersey, Docherty excellent but faded badly in last 20 minutes when we needed him most, Murphy dangerous but faded either side of half time, Windass disappeared after his goal, Morelos strong but missed 2 great chances. All of these players are capable of playing 20-30% better than they did. When we pull all that together we'll beat them comfortably. The one to win is the semi. Let's be positive. We are getting closer and proved today we can live with them.
    Long term we are still 3 transfer windows away from where we want to be but we're getting closer.

    • Robroy ,Getting closer?We just got beat at home against 10 men!!Do you think they played well?They will say they win and a lot of there players could up it 20-30%. We are still miles away.

    • This time last season we lost 5-1. Even with 2 draws since we've hardly laid a glove on them. In the lead twice yesterday with Morelos in good position to put us 2 in lead, closely followed by equalisers. I felt for most of the 90 minutes that we would win despite not playing well at any particular point. I will also go into the next game believing we can win if we perform. Would you have said that a year ago? I think that is progress for us and we ARE getting closer. But note my other point about still needing 3 transfer windows to get anywhere close to where we want to be.

  16. We need Mcrorie and Dorrans back big time! Murty said the benefits of a big squad is having people hungry to take the shirt of anyone not performing at their best…. Cummings MUST replace Morelos next week!

    • Lets face it you or I can replace Morelos and score those missed chances ! I agree Murty has to drop Morelos now…if he's a manger he will.

  17. We failed to do the basics we lost to 10 men we are responsible for our own failure we talked a good game but let them get the better of us after going ahead lessons must be learned before the scotish cup semi finals the positives are we gave the a game and ran them closer than we have before so lets not dwell on it let's pick ourselves and focus on the next game as for boys he's got some nerve criticising Sean when he was never perfect when he was with us .so come on boys let's kick on and prove we are closing the gap on them we are a force to be reckoned with and all the medit mafia can keep the comments to themselves six months ago you said we were a joke we might have lost the game but we are still in the fight .

  18. Our CD is needing sorted, far to weak.
    Murty looked lost as in inexperienced.
    We defo have closed the gap big time.
    Next window very very important for the club.
    I'm not too downbeat we played well and that second half could have either way.
    Scottish Cup still a strong possibility

  19. We all like to have our say, who we would praise, who we would chop, criticise, etc., but I thought before the game in the past six years was the 5ime of been eat Celtic and to be honest we were so very close.
    We can have our opinions who caused us not to win, but for once we can’t blame the referee and his officials, the other teams psyche, cheating, etc. We lost three possibly stoppable goals, scored two good goals and possibly should have had one definite score with a potential second. Our goalkeeper had two competent saves, with their keeper not really having a meritorious save to make.
    The outcome; possibly the first proper time we might have won three points in the league but ended up with none.
    I have supported Rangers for 60 years, today was hurtful, as has the past six years and as they were in the late 60’s, early 70’s, early to mid 80’s and more present times but I also remember the Rangers renescensances and today I feel we are in that phase.
    I like many have my opinion on the manager, I thought he did some things wrong today, certain players gave all they had today and I take pleasure from their performance, others failed today but will improve and contribute to our progression for success, others failed and should take no part in the clubs future, but we all hurt today, losing to our biggest rivals is painful, but I am ever known for my pessimism, but today I see a big chunk of hope, it might not happen this season, but I feel optimism for the future. I just keep hoping I live long enough to see my beloved club get back to where we belong and once again I see the banners that used to be seen in the crowd ‘Nil secundas’ and ‘We welcome the chase’.

  20. They have two shit CH and we still could not beat them that says it all to me,even if they are not playing at top of there game and we are we still can not beat them,and it all comes down to one thing you can make there keeper save shots we can hit posts and bars all day long but to win a game we must hit the back of the net more than them and that is some thing we can not do.

  21. Maybe a thought to cheer us up. I see Rodgers referred to the "noise" coming from Rangers (fans mostly). Made me think back to the days when Alex Ferguson slapped down Manchester City as "the noisy neighbours". Well look at City now!!!
    Ok we don't have their money but our immediate ambitions are a bit more modest and we only need to get from second best in Scotland to first best. We welcome the hunt!!!

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