Player ratings as former Gers company victory extends lead to 19 points
Rangers claimed their second win of the season in Old Firm and extended their winning streak to 14 games in the Scottish Premiership, the goal against Callum McGregor shortly after Nir Bitton’s dismissal securing a 1-0 victory.
Celtic had the best of the first half and would undoubtedly have taken the lead without Allan McGregor’s heroics. The visitors ‘best effort came via Leigh Griffiths’ fantastic strike from the edge of the box, but McGregor was up to it as he tipped him over the post.
After Celtic dominated the opening hour, the game took a dramatic turn as they were reduced to ten men, with Bitton sacked for shooting down Alfredo Morelos who appeared to be on the end of the goal.
Rangers took the lead seven minutes later, with McGregor inadvertently passing his own keeper from a James Tavernier corner. The goal was enough to seal the victory and extend Steve Gerrard’s team lead to the top to 19 points.
This is the highlight of the game, now to those ratings from Celtic and Rangers players.
Allan McGregor (GK) – 8/10 – Griffiths’ incredible save in the middle of the first half as he tipped the Scotland international’s curling effort over the post. Was unbeatable and won all three points.
James Tavernier (RB) – 6/10 – Has struggled to impact the game as much as he would have liked, his generally reliable delivery dropping him down time and time again. He redeemed himself with the cross for the Rangers’ opener.
Connor Goldson (CB) – 7/10 – Responsible for hampering the lively Odsonne Edouard and did a fantastic job. On rare occasions he has been overtaken by his healing.
Léon Balogun (CB) – 6/10 – Fought well with Griffiths all afternoon, but he was guilty of rushing at times. I stood up to be counted as the Rangers started putting on the pressure late.
Borna Barisic (LB) – 6/10 – Came a few inches to grab the first game with a nasty free kick. A solid if not spectacular performance.
Steven Davis (CM) – 5/10 – The former Southampton man sat down in midfield and played well. A combative demonstration which sometimes exceeded the mark by awarding him the first yellow card of the match.
Glen Kamara (CM) – 6/10 – I’m not afraid to get stuck but got passed in midfield. Had more influence once Celtic was reduced to ten men.
Joe Aribo (CM) – 5/10 – Very wasteful at times and taken possession too often in his half of the field. Well carried the ball but little end product to show.
Kemar Roofe (RW) – 5/10 – Swallowed by Celtic’s back line and forced to feed on leftovers for much of the first half. Hooked at half-time after an ineffective 45-minute opening.
Alfredo Morelos (ST) – 4/10 – It took him five minutes to do a stupid challenge that went unpunished. Barely had a kick all afternoon and provided very little movement to suggest he wanted to get involved.
Ryan Kent (LW) – 6/10 – Still looking for the ball and was a threat in possession. Started brilliantly but its impact stifled a bit as the game progressed.
Ianis Hagi (RW) – 4/10
Cédric Itten (ST) – 6/10
Bongani Zungu (LW) – N / A
Brandon Barker (RW) – N / A
Vasilis Barkas (GK) – 6/10 – I probably couldn’t believe how much he enjoyed a comfortable first half, with a cross ripped off in the air closer to the test. There wasn’t much he could do for the Rangers’ first game.
Jérémie Frimpong (RB) – 7/10 – An all-action rear-side display. Never stopped running all afternoon and timed his challenges brilliantly every time he was called.
Nir Bitton (CB) – 4/10 – Tried a dismal 15-yard effort in his own half, which left Neil Lennon less than impressed. Sent just past the hour for bringing down Morelos.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB) – 8/10 – Handled the threat from the Rangers frontline brilliantly, stepping in to intercept anything at their feet. More than adept at moving to midfield and opening the game. Shot in wide areas at times but never seemed unstable.
Diego Laxalt (LB) – 7/10 – Played more as a side-back than a side-back and was a constant outlet on the Celtic left. Defended brilliantly on the cover to deny Morelos the first goal shortly before half-time.
Callum McGregor (RM) – 6/10 – Drifted into midfield and never neglected his defensive duties. A great performance which should not be spoiled by his unfortunate goal against him.
Ismaila Soro (CM) – 5/10 – Seemed to let the opportunity happen to him for a bit and received a yellow card after launching into a challenge.
David Turnbull (CM) – 8/10 – Guarded the ball very well and provided energy and enthusiasm in the middle of the field. I didn’t once shy away from a challenge and that was one of the main reasons Celtic took control of the game.
Ryan Christie (LM) – 7/10 – He carried the ball well into midfield as he looked to join the attackers. Recently linked with Arsenal and didn’t disappoint if his potential suitors watched.
Leigh Griffiths (ST) – 7/10 – Didn’t allow the Rangers to pull themselves together for a second and was a willful runner all afternoon. I would have opened the scoring if it hadn’t been for a good save from McGregor at the start.
Odsonne Edouard (ST) – 5/10 – Clearly identified as the main man by the Rangers and found himself surrounded every time he took the ball.
Shane Duffy (CB) – 6/10
Mohamed Elyounoussi (LW) – 5/10
Hatem Elhamed (CB) – 5/10
Scott Brown (CM) – 6/10
Tom Rogic (CM) – N / A