It’s that time again – the Old Firm derby is live. Celtic Park the venue as these two Scottish giants go face to face once again. Celtic v Rangers is the biggest game in Scottish football and this game is a must-watch!
The hosts, Celtic, come into this one disappointed. Their last game resulted in a 0-0 draw against Dundee United and handed Rangers the title. Neil Lennon left the club in late February and John Kennedy has come in until the end of the season at least. This is a must-win game for Celtic as they try and not only win an Old Firm derby again but stop the Rangers unbeaten run.
Rangers last game in the league was a 3-0 win against St Mirren but most recently they faced disappointment following being knocked out of the Europa League at the hands of Slavia Prague in a controversial and disappointing game. This game their first game in the league following the win of their 55th league title in a season in which they are currently unbeaten.
What a game this will be!Embed from Getty Images
Before this game – earlier in the week – it was confirmed that Celtic would not give Rangers a guard of honour as they came out of the tunnel. That stands and no guard of honour is given.
During the warm-ups, Celtic captain Scott Brown came over to Glen Kamara after he received racist abuse on the pitch during Rangers midweek game against Slavia Prague. This a good show of respect and a strong message when two huge rivals can come together to battle racism in football. A great sign of respect.
Before the game gets underway the teams have decided to ‘stand united’ against racism rather than taking the knee.Embed from Getty Images
2″ This is bound to be an intense affair and the way the teams have lined up that is shown. Both will look to attack and score goals today in what is a must-win game for both sides.
8″ It’s early on in the game but not much created for either side. A couple of nice passes are being spread around but nothing really coming from it as of yet.
This is a game where you must be able to almost guarantee goals. Between them, these clubs have scored 142 goals (Rangers with 77 and Celtic with 65) this season which is an incredible amount.
Despite this, this season Celtic have failed to score against Rangers in all their meetings and Rangers have only managed three. Let’s hope the tally goes up.
13″ The first chance of the game goes to Celtic. After a freekick in a decent position for Celtic, Callum McGregor had a shot from the edge of the box. It goes just over the top. Unlucky but unchallenging for Allan McGregor in goal.Embed from Getty Images
The opening 15 minutes have been quite unusual. There is a sort of calm and slow feel to the game at the minute whereas in previous meetings this game has been incredibly fast-paced with both teams coming out strong. You would hope that this game picks up fairly soon.
21″ Rangers have their first chance of the game. Ryan Kent using his quick feet to his advantage and laid it off to Borna Barisic who whipped in a great cross. Alfredo Morelos got his head on it but it was easily caught by Scott Bain.
Alfredo Morelos has scored in his last four games for Rangers but is yet to score against Celtic in his career. Will today be the day that he finally breaks that curse?
23″ GOAL! Celtic 1 – 0 Rangers – Mohamed Elyounoussi
One of the few chances we have seen so far in this game but it’s a goal. A fantastic pass from McGregor puts Odsonne Edouard through and allows him to whip in a great cross. Elyounoussi gets on the end of it and it’s in the back of the net. Celtic take the lead in the derby.Embed from Getty Images
28″ The first yellow card of the game goes to Edouard. Some great play from Celtic yet again and it comes to Edouard’s feet. He takes a dive though rather than shooting – well spotted by referee Willie Collum.
This could cause some controversy as it seems the Celtic players and staff were certain it was a penalty. It seems like a good decision from the referee as mentioned but the discussion will surely continue.
30″ Celtic on fire now. Creating so many chances and are well on top. That right side of the pitch working to their advantage and I wouldn’t be surprised if they increase their lead fairly soon. Rangers need to improve.
The right-hand side for Rangers seeming an issue. Leon Balogun is the man playing at right back at the moment. James Tavernier who has played in every Old Firm game since signing for Rangers misses out with injury. Could Nathan Patterson make an appearance off the bench and make an impact. He has done well in the games he has played in so might be able to make a difference here.
GOAL! Celtic 1 – 1 Rangers – Alfredo Morelos
Rangers have been quiet all game. A corner whipped in by Barisic which Balogun gets on the end of. Morelos comes over from the back post and gets his head on it taking advantage of the chance that was looking like it was going wide.
His first goal against Celtic after making 15 appearances against them. Morelos getting his 55th SPFL goal in a season where Rangers have won their 55th league title. He will be delighted with that one.Embed from Getty Images
41″ Celtic with a huge chance again. Elyounoussi and Edouard linking up nicely again. McGregor makes the save – just about though after it went through his legs and he had to recover the ball.
42″ Kent with a huge chance at the other end now. This is the sort of action we were expecting. The ball over the top was superb from Ianis Hagi and Kent hits it wonderfully on the volley. Forces a good save from Bain.
44″ McGregor does well to make another good save and keep Rangers level. The corner comes in from Turnbull which Elyounoussi gets on the end of again. A good save to keep it off the line. Chance after chance now as the half comes to an end.
Half Time! Celtic 1 – 1 Rangers
The first half got off to a bit of a slow start with neither side creating much but as the half went on the action picked up. Elyounoussi opened the scoring before Morelos levelled the scoreline.
Celtic probably the better side in the first half definitely putting the pressure on Rangers. They have seen a bit more of the ball and created a few more chances but the game certainly isn’t being dominated by them.
Celtic probably won’t want to change much going into the second half. They will want to keep Rangers quiet which they haven’t done as much as they may have wanted to today. After Morelos scored especially. The game is there for the taking for them though with Rangers not up to the same standards as in previous games.
Rangers have created a few chances and came into it a bit more once the first goal went in. They will look to improve on the first half though as I’m sure they aren’t playing to the standards Steven Gerrard may look for. I expect Balogun to come off in the second half at some point as he has been tested and doesn’t look comfortable on the right-hand side.
The second half is bound to be interesting and the game will hopefully continue to provide more and more chances. Both sides will want the next goal to try and win it and take all the points – who will it be though if anyone?
Second Half begins!
49″ First chance of the half for Celtic. The ball comes in from the corner and Stephen Welsh gets on the end of it. Just over the bar. A good start for Celtic who will want that second goal desperately.
52″ Edouard with a great chance to put the hosts in front. He takes the shot on the half volley and forces a fantastic save out of McGregor once again. Celtic taking it to Rangers early on.Embed from Getty Images
54″ The second yellow card of the game goes to Brown after a foul on Kent.
61″ Morelos gets his name in the book now. He sees yellow for the 6th time this season.Embed from Getty Images
Celtic have control over Rangers right now. Chance after chance created and Rangers have been incredibly quiet. Something needs to change for Rangers to get back into it or Celtic will take advantage.
66″ Diego Laxalt sees yellow now. Another name in the book.
The game has slowed down a bit here. Celtic probably still the more dominant of the two sides but neither side really testing the other as much.
72″ Celtic with another chance and another save is made by McGregor. It goes out for the tenth Celtic corner of the game. Can they take advantage of all this pressure?
As the game comes to a close the second half has been fairly disappointing. Not much has happened at all. A few chances but nothing much has been created. Especially on a Rangers front.
83″ Most of the chances from Celtic have been unchallenging to McGregor. There is another chance that is hit straight at his feet.
88″ Corner for Rangers and Connor Goldson gets on the end of it. Just wide of the mark yet again to the frustration of the Rangers players who haven’t managed to do much in this game.
90+1″ Rangers on the attack as they add on three minutes. They win a corner. Could this be the chance to take a late lead and ultimately win the game? They would certainly hope so.
Goldson got on the end of the corner and yet again it goes over the bar. Unable to hit the target to Rangers’ frustration.
Full Time! Celtic 1 – 1 Rangers
The full-time whistle is blown and the Old Firm derby ends in a 1-1 draw. Certainly not an action-packed game here but a 1-1 draw is the final result. It was probably the right result for what we saw.
Celtic will come out of this one disappointed after dominating the play really and not being able to take advantage and end the Rangers unbeaten run. They go into the second half of the season – the league split – in second place still on 69 points. Although they can’t win the league anymore they will look to go into the end of the season strongly and maintain their second-place spot.
Rangers will be disappointed with the result and it wasn’t their strongest performance of the season by any means but they remain unbeaten as they look to go invincible come the end of the season. Improvements will need to be made but we can imagine that if they stay strong they will end the season unbeaten. Of course the champions remain top on 89 points.Embed from Getty Images