Old Firm joy for Gers
Rangers overcome Covid chaos to complete good week
Match-winner Filip Helander is congratulated (pic: SNS Group).
Rangers 1 Celtic 0
Rangers completed a successful week with another Old Firm victory, the Ibrox win stretching their unbeaten run against Celtic to seven games.
The triumph courtesy of Filip Helander’s second-half header will have felt all the sweeter for the home side given it came against a backdrop of Covid chaos.
Self-isolating boss Steven Gerrard was absent, along with first-team stars Allan McGregor, Nathan Patterson and James Tavernier but Rangers made light of their issues to inflict defeat on Ange Postecoglou’s side.
With the international scene now the focus for the next week, Rangers should be very much back to normal once the full squad returns to duty.
The win followed defeat of Alashkert on Thursday to secure a place in the Europa League group phase and Ibrox assistant Gary McAllister said: “It’s fantastically pleasing. It has been a very strange three or four days.
“People were playing with injuries today. Not knowing who was available. But you saw people coming together.
“From one to 11 we were outstanding.”
It was Postecoglou’s first Old Firm game as Celtic manager and he will have been frustrated his team which has been rattling in the goals recently, didn’t test third-choice Rangers keeper Robbie McCrorie.
Odsonne Edouard wasted his side’s best opportunity, somehow missing the target from just five yards out with only the keeper to beat, much to the amusement of the 50,000 Rangers fans inside Ibrox – no tickets were made available to Celtic for the clash.
“It could have gone either way. We had a couple of good chances towards the end,” said the Hoops boss.
“When you know it’s going to be tight getting the first goal important. We didn’t, and unfortunately we paid the price. It was a game where we needed to take a foothold and capitalise on our chances.”
The game may well have been Croatian left-back Borna Barisic’s last in a Rangers jersey.
The defender appeared emotional at the end as he waved to the fans, prompting suggestions his exit from Ibrox is imminent.
Gerrard admitted that Rangers’ failure to make the lucrative Champions League group stage would have ramifications as far as the squad was concerned and Barisic looks like he’s the first player the club will be selling.
Rangers: McCrorie, Balogun, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Aribo, Davis, Kamara, Roofe (Lundstram, 74), Morelos (Sakala, 84), Kent (Arfield, 89).
Celtic: Hart, Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Juranovic, Christie, McGregor, Turnbull (Rogic, 67), Abada (Montgomery, 86), Edouard (Soro, 67), Furuhashi.
Goals: Rangers – Helander (66).