Reuters

Football news - Rangers beat Celtic to go level on points at top of table

Rangers beat Celtic to go level on points at top of table
By Eurosport

29/12/2018 at 16:03Updated 29/12/2018 at 17:10

Scottish Premiership, Ibrox - Rangers 1 (Jack 31') Celtic 0

Ryan Jack's first-half goal proved to be the winner as Rangers claimed their first league victory over Celtic since 2012 to move level with their arch-rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Brendan Rodgers had never lost an Old Firm Derby before but determined to end a winless streak of 12 games, Rangers completely dominated the contest with an intense performance.

In the first-half, Craig Gordon made two excellent saves, Scott Brown struck his own crossbar before Jack sent the home fans wild with a deflected goal just after the half-hour mark.

Rangers' pressure was relentless and if anything Steven Gerrard's side only stepped up their game after the restart, with Gordon again called in to make two superb saves to deny the impressive Jack and the impressive Ryan Kent.

The home side ought to have had their first Old Firm victory since 2012 wrapped up but their profligacy meant a tense finale and Celtic fluffed their big chance when Oliver Ntcham had his goal-bound shot bravely blocked by the Man of the Match Andy Halliday, as Rangers clung onto the points.

The victory puts both teams on 42 points, though Celtic have a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and Andrew Halliday of Rangers are seen at full time during the Ladbrookes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and Andrew Halliday of Rangers are seen at full time during the Ladbrookes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Hungry Rangers make a statement for 2019

Rangers have made tremendous strides under their manager Gerrard since his appointment in the summer and it seems only fitting that the club signs off a memorable year with a convincing victory over their arch nemesis - a win that draws the Glasgow giants level at the top of the table going into the new year.

Nearly 15 points separated the sides this time last year but with only one defeat at home since the start of his reign, Gerrard has worked miracles to close the gap between the clubs.

The Scottish Premiership has been dominated for too long by Celtic but the shift is turning, if this performance is anything to go by. For the first time in years there is a competitive title race in the SPL and how badly it is needed.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Andy Halliday (Rangers)

Playing in the unfamiliar role of full-back, the 27-year-old was immense in defence while also providing a considerable threat in attack, running the channels tirelessly full of heart and desire. Made an unbelievable block right at the death to rescue his side.

James Forrest of Celtic battles for the ball with Andy Halliday of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League between Celtic and at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

James Forrest of Celtic battles for the ball with Andy Halliday of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League between Celtic and at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

Rangers: McGregor 7, Tavernier 8, Goldson 7, Worrall 8, Halliday 9, Jack, 8 McCrorie 7, Arfield 7, Kent 8, Candeias 7, Morelos 8. Subs: Coulibaly 5, Flanagan N/A.

Celtic: Gordon 7, Lustig 4, Boyata 4, Benkovic 5, McGregor 6, Brown 4, Ntcham 5, Christie 5, Forrest 5, Sinclair 6, Johnston 4. Subs: Edouard 5, Ajer 5, Ralston 5.

KEY MOMENTS

16' - GREAT CHANCE FOR RANGERS! The hosts should be in front! Kent drills a sublime cross into the box, it's flicked on to Candeias in the centre of the penalty area, he ought to score but Gordon makes a wonderful reaction save.

17' - ANOTHER FINE SAVE FROM GORDON! Oh, what a stop from the Celtic keeper. Goldson's header is goal-bound but somehow the fully-stretched Gordon manages to claw it behind for a corner.

18' - OFF THE CROSSBAR! Halliday whips in the resulting corner, it comes off the head of Brown and cannons off the woodwork before bouncing to safety.

31' - GOAL! Rangers 1-0 Celtic: It's been coming and now the hosts finally have their lead! Jack sends the Ibrox faithful into hysterics! Celtic fail to deal with the pace and direct running of Kent on the left as the winger skips past Lustig at the byline before cutting it back to Jack inside the box. Jack shoots with the side-foot, it takes a deflection off Brown and sneaks past Gordon at his near post.

47' - TWO HUGE RANGERS CHANCES! Boyata is robbed of possession by Kent who is clean through on goal. This is a huge opportunity but Gordon makes a huge save. The loose ball falls to Arfield who sees his shot cleared off the line by Boyata who makes amend for his earlier mistake.

55' - ANOTHER GREAT SAVE FROM GORDON! Celtic's defenders continue to play at sixes and sevens here. They fail to clear a high ball into the box. It falls to Jack on the edge of the penalty area and he has time to pick his spot. Aiming for the far corner, he side-foots it towards goal but Gordon makes a remarkable save.

85' - HUGE BLOCK! Halliday throws himself in the way of Ntcham's goal-bound shot to rescue Rangers. Celtic are piling the pressure on as we enter the final five minutes!

Celtic players applaud their fans at the final whistle as Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Celtic players applaud their fans at the final whistle as Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.Getty Images

KEY STATS

  • Rangers ended a 12-match winless streak against Celtic.
  • Since their last home league game against Celtic - a 2-3 defeat in March - Rangers have conceded just eight goals in their 15 league games at Ibrox.
  • Celtic are the only side that Rangers striker Alredo Morelos has appeared against in the league without yet scoring a goal (six appearances, no goals).
0
0