First of all happy new year! How’s the heads?
Another routine win for us – this time at Ibrox. There’s nothing more satisfying than shutting up noisy neighbours, especially one’s that have clung on to mentioning us at every opportunity in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. In fact, they’re closer to Partick Thistle than they are to us.
Let’s give ourselves some extra credit though. No matter how big a gap between sides, they’re capable of giving you a game. Especially away from home. You only have to look back to Motherwell, Dundee & Partick Thistle who have run us close recently (even if we were utterly dominant). So to go to Ibrox where Rangers hadn’t lost in 15 months is an excellent result. It shows further testament that Rangers performance was probably their best of the season whilst we didn’t get out of third gear – and they still fell short!
Rather than match report (because let’s be honest, there’s a hundred of them around) I thought I’d make a few points instead.
Moussa Dembele is a big game player
I’ll be honest – I’ve given him a little stick recently. I think it’s been deserved – he’s been poor in the last 10/15 games. However, when the stakes have been at their highest this season, Moussa Dembele has stepped up each and every time. In the 3 games in this fixture and our Champions League campaign he’s been marvellous. Any inconsistencies in his game will eradicate themselves with experience. We’re blessed to have 2 excellent strikers.
The gap isn’t any smaller
In scoreline only has the gap between Celtic and Rangers been any smaller since the first meeting. Stat wise, the games have been exactly the same.
– In the 5-1 match we were clinical and efficient.
– The Cup semi final could’ve been similar – if not for an admittedly fantastic performance from Matt Gilks
– The hogmanay clash served up a number of missed chances which we should have buried.
This doesn’t bother me too much though. If they don’t feel there’s a widening gap then they wont feel an urgent need to try and plug it. Even more dominance for us.~
Callum McGregor is a lot better than he gets credit for
Don’t shoot me down for this one. I can already feel the knives sharpening. He can be frustrating with his decision making – I get that. However, his direct running with the ball coupled with his energy when not in possession gives him real value. Not a game changer, but does the job he’s asked to do to the best of his ability. A lot of his work is unappreciated. This game especially he played very well.
A wee tribute to Emilio
This game marked Emilio Izaguirre’s 250th appearance in a Celtic shirt. Always a fans favourite he’s one of the players that understands Celtic. Put in 100% effort and embrace the supporters and you’ll be fondly remembered. Again, compliments to how well he played in this fixture too.
Who fancies a giggle at Rangers’ expense? I thought Senderos being picked up at the airport by a white van man was funny but this tops it.
While professional players are normally treated by a full medical team – here’s Joe Garner taking a trip to A & E in full kit.
Header image Credit – @photo_Celtic (Twitter)