Reuters

Celtic snatch thrilling Old Firm win

Celtic snatch thrilling Old Firm win
By Eurosport

31/03/2019 at 14:57Updated 31/03/2019 at 15:22

Scottish Premiership, Celtic Park – Celtic 2 (Edouard 27, Forrest 86) Rangers 1 (Kent 63)

James Forrest scored a late winner as Celtic took a giant stride towards the Scottish Premiership title with a frantic 2-1 victory over 10-man Rangers, who had Alfredo Morelos sent off for the fifth time this season.

The Rangers forward threw an elbow at Scott Brown in an off-the-ball incident, only four minutes after Odsonne Edouard had given the hosts a 27th-minute lead with a fine solo effort.

Steven Gerrard's side had been second-best before the dismissal and their numerical disadvantage made life ever more difficult. But against the run of play, and with their first shot on target, Ryan Kent levelled the scores just after the hour following a mazy run through the middle.

Ryan Jack spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to give Rangers an unlikely lead, blazing over from point-blank range, and Celtic made the visitors pay when Forrest popped up with an 86th-minute winner following a horrible mix-up in the Rangers defence.

With tempers at boiling point, Kent was fortunate not to be sent off for connecting with Brown's face with his hand, but referee Bobby Madden did not spot the unsavoury incident, though the on-loan Liverpool midfielder could face a retrospective ban.

A mass confrontation then greeted the final whistle as Celtic moved 13 points clear with seven games to play.

Celtic v Rangers

Celtic v RangersGetty Images

TALKING POINT

Morelos' stupidity - is his time at Rangers up? The 22-year-old is leading the scoring chart with an impressive 17 goals, but with five red cards this season, he is also topping the disciplinary board. Too many times this season Morelos has let his team and manager down. No one can question his ability, but his temperament is proving too costly for Gerrard. Is there any way back for the Colombian striker at the club or will Rangers cut their losses at the end of the season?

MAN OF THE MATCH

Odsonne Edouard (Celtic): In another impressive performance, the 21-year-old is really maturing and developing as a player at Celtic Park. Clearly a man for the big occasion, Edouard gave Celtic the lead with a mouthwatering goal, and his sharp work outside of the box was terrific.

PLAYER RATINGS

Celtic: Bain 6, Lustig 7, Boyata 7, Ajer 8, Tierney 6, Brown 7, Ntcham 6, McGregor 7, Forrest 8, Hayes 6, Edouard 8. Subs: Sinclair 5, Rogic 5, Toljan 5.

Rangers: McGregor 8, Tavernier 6, Goldson 7, McCrorie 6, Worrall 6, Arfield 6, Jack 6, Halliday 6, Candeias 7, Morelos 3, Kent 8. Subs: Defoe 5, Davis N/A, Kamara 5.

KEY MOMENTS

27' - GOAL! Celtic 1-0 Rangers. Edouard scores, who else?! Celtic have a deserved lead. And what a goal from the young forward. Rangers make a mess of a short free-kick and Celtic pounce on the counter-attack. The ball is played up to Edouard just past the half-way line, he is all alone and has a lot still to do, but he rides a couple of challenges and sticks the ball past McGregor at his near post.

31' - STRAIGHT RED CARD! Things go from bad to worse for Rangers as Morelos is sent for an early bath! Replays show he threw his left elbow at Brown in an off-the-ball incident. It's his FIFTH red card of the season.

63' - GOAL! Celtic 1-1 Rangers. Oh my, who could have seen this coming? Unbelievable, Rangers are level! It's a brilliant equaliser. Candeias feeds Kent, who does the rest. He skips past Boyata to close in on goal and slots the ball past Bain.

74' - WHAT A MISS! Rangers squander a huge chance to go in front. A cross comes all the way through to Kent at the far post, unselfishly he squares it to Jack who leans back and blazes the ball over the bar from point-blank range.

86' - GOAL! Celtic 2-1 Rangers. Forrest scores what should be a late winner for Neil Lennon's side! Rangers only have themselves to blame, after Tavernier's loose pass gifts Celtic possession. Edouard picks out Forrest unmarked in the box and he coolly finishes past McGregor!

87' - FLASHPOINT! Kent appears to connect with Brown's face with his hand, but it goes unnoticed by the referee and the Rangers forward somehow stays on the pitch.

KEY STATS

  • James Forrest has scored a career best 16 goals this season and Celtic have now won each of the last 37 games when he has netted.
  • Alfredo Morelos has been sent off five times in all competitions this season, three of which have come in the first half.
0
0