Ntcham hands Rodgers first blood in Old Firm battle

03 September, 2018, 17:01 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • Former Netherlands midfielder Aron Winter holds the slip of Rangers FC during the draw for UEFA Europa League football tournament at The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco

Celtic's win came despite the sale of striker Moussa Dembele in the build-up.

And while Gerrard claimed before the game he would happily settle for losing all four clashes between the two this season if it meant winning the league, the former Liverpool captain knows only too well Rangers have to land a blow on their bitter rivals to stand any chance of a first title since liquidation in 2012 forced Rangers to start again at the bottom tier of Scottish league pyramid.

Goldson experienced his first taste of the Parkhead crowd after moving to Rangers in the summer in the Old-Firm derby yesterday.

Psychologically now it remains to be seen just what effect the result has on both teams.

"It has been a long few months". Allan McGregor made some outstanding saves, we hit the bar, it probably kept the scoreline down a bit.

Rangers next play their rivals on 29 December at Ibrox.

Manager Steven Gerrard admits Rangers were lucky goalkeeper Allan McGregor wasn't sent off for kicking out at Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer.

"I thought we performed exceptionally".

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It was a game that for most of the first-half was dominated by Celtic without making the breakthrough whilst a much more even second-half might just have seen Rangers come away with a point. The last two meetings last season saw Celtic score nine goals with no reply.

The 'Gers 'keeper produced what was surely the save of the match four minutes after the restart when he diverted a 25-yard drive from Ntcham onto the crossbar - but the Ibrox men were beginning to probe the Celtic defence in an effort to turn the tide with Niko Katic seeing his 53rd minute header held by home 'keeper Craig Gordon.

Rangers' James Tavernier in action against Celtic's Callum McGregor.

Griffiths replaced Edouard minutes later and his corner was met by Lustig who skimmed a header past the far post.

But the French striker nodded nearly directly into the arms of McGregor as Rangers survived what was an opening 45 minutes of being heavily under the cosh.

Gerrard was furious that what he perceived as a foul on Ryan Jack was allowed to go unpenalized by Rogic it looked like a 50-50 challenge.

"We will improve and next time this fixture comes around we'll be better", said Gerrard.

With Forrest and Edourad keeping pace either side of the Rogic who hared his way forward, the Australian slipped the ball into the path of Edouard who then put Forrest through. Here, they had hit the crossbar three times in the same timeframe, but had otherwise only once found a way to stretch a Rangers back four - which included three new faces (and six overall) to a fixture not always kind on newcomers, particularly those as young as the ones representing Rangers.

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