CELTIC won this afternoon’s Old Firm derby at Ibrox Stadium.
Despite a largely strong performance from Rangers, second half goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths earned Brendan Rodgers’ side the victory.
There was no question the early stages belonged to the visitors, who enjoyed the bulk of possession and a number of goalscoring chances.
Wes Foderingham was called-upon to make a smart stop inside the first minute as Tom Rogic let-fly from range before Leigh Griffiths shot wide from a 25-yard free-kick when Patrick Roberts was felled by Ryan Jack.
There was also something of a comedic moment as Josh Windass, who slid-in to win the ball from Roberts, continued to slide right into the technical area and took out manager Pedro Caixinha.
At the other end, Rangers’ first chance came when Alfredo Morelos was taken out down in the far-right corner. From there, Daniel Candeias’ ball caused trouble in the visiting area, with Craig Gordon required to fist the ball clear.
Then, after Morelos broke the offside trap from a Windass ball forward, the Columbian squared for Graham Dorrans 25-yards out, but crowded by Celtic defenders, his shot was over the bar.
All of a sudden it seemed, Gers had a real foothold in the game, and a James Tavernier cross from deep found Morelos on the stretch at the back-post. He could only get a toe to the ball however, and the ball slipped wide.
Debutant Ross McCrorie was enjoying an excellent starting debut to this point, and he produced a superb tackle on Griffths on the bye-line where he not only won the ball, but prevented it from going for a corner and drove away with it too.
Into the second half, and again Celtic began the brighter. Scott Sinclair got to the bye-line inside the first minute of the half and managed to cut the ball back for Griffiths in the middle of the box, but McCrorie was there again to get something on his effort and deflect it behind for a corner.
A further Celtic corner four minutes later then brought the opening goal. Rangers couldn’t clear a Griffiths corner and the ball eventually fell to Rogic, who, with the aid of a deflection from Lee Hodson’s boot, found the top corner.
It was naturally a huge blow for Caixinha’s side, but their response to going a goal behind was strong.
Firstly, Gordon was called-upon to make a superb, point-blank save from Morelos. After Tavernier did excellently to keep the ball in play, he crossed for substitute Kenny Miller at the back-post, and he, in-turn, headed across goal for Morelos.
The Columbian turned the ball goalwards, but somehow Gordon reached out a hand to deny him the equaliser.
Josh Windass then took on a speculative drive from more-than 30-yards which only just whistled wide before Tavernier headed a Graham Dorrans cross wide of target.
Against the run of play, Celtic then went 2-0 into the lead. Patrick Roberts found Leigh Griffiths with a ball down the right channel before the Scotland striker fired home beyond Foderingham.
It was a hammer-blow for the Light Blues, but again, they kept plugging away and came close to getting back into the game when Eduardo Herrera headed down for Alfredo Morelos on the edge of the box, but on the volley, the Columbian shot over.
Rangers now must pick themselves up for Friday night’s trip to Hamilton.
RANGERS: Foderingham; Tavernier, McCrorie, Cardoso, Hodson; Candeias (Nemane, 84), Jack, Pena (Miller, 53), Dorrans, Windass (Herrera, 73); Morelos.
SUBS NOT USED: Alnwick, Dalcio, Holt, Wilson.
CELTIC: Gordon, Lustig, Simunovic, Boyata, Tierney, Roberts (Forrest, 68), Brown, Armstrong, Rogic (McGregor, 62), Sinclair, Griffiths (Dembele, 80)
SUBS NOT USED: De Vries, Bitton, Hayes, Ntcham.
REFEREE: Craig Thomson
ATTENDANCE: 50, 116