Gerrard laments indiscipline after costly Celtic defeat
Alfredo Morelos sees red again (pic: SNS Group)
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos is set to miss more than half of Rangers’ remaining seven league games after being sent off for the fifth time this season in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Celtic.
The Colombian is facing a four-match ban after being dismissed for throwing an elbow at Scott Brown in the first half of a stormy Parkhead clash.
The victory sent the champions 13 points clear of their arch rivals at the top of the table and with three more wins needed for Celtic to clinch an eighth straight title, SPFL chiefs will be keen to avoid another potentially explosive Old Firm clash after the split with the Hoops due at Ibrox.
Rangers also had Andy Halliday sent off after picking up a second yellow card after the final whistle following a flare-up with Bown. Ryan Kent could also be in trouble with the Scottish FA after lashing out at the Celtic captain in the wake of James Forrest’s late winner.
The hosts had gone in front through Edsonne Edouard before Morelos’ moment of madness. Rangers, though, fought back after the break to level through Kent and looked capable of pulling off a shock victory until Forrest’s late strike after a bad mistake by James Tavernier.
“It’s hurt us on too many occasions,” he said. “I think that’s five reds for Alfredo, which is not acceptable, and as a group we must be in double figures now.
“There are times in matches when you need to put your body on the line and put yourself at risk with a challenge.
“Sometimes you get a double yellow or you are hard done by. Earlier in the season he got done for violent conduct when it wasn’t and I can defend that. I will defend my players and I’ve gone above and beyond for them.
“But it gets to a stage where enough’s enough and that’s where we are now.”
Opposite number Neil Lennon said: “It’s a brilliant win. It was a cracking Glasgow and I’m delighted we have come out on the positive side of it.
“Overall, we deserved it, but when Rangers scored they gained a psychological edge and it got a little anxious around the stadium.
“They really threw things at us but we came through and scored a great goal to win it. I couldn’t be happier for the players and supporters.”
Elsewhere in the Premiership, St Mirren moved off the bottom with victory over fellow-strugglers Dundee, while Hearts kept alive their hopes of European football next season with a win over Aberdeen at Tynecastle.
Scores: Celtic 2 Rangers 1, Hearts 2 Aberdeen 1, Kilmarnock 5 Hamilton 0, Livingston 0 Hibs 2, Motherwell 3 St Johnstone 0, St Mirren 2 Dundee 1.