RANGERS have beaten Celtic in the league for the first time in almost seven years thanks to Ryan Jack’s first-half goal.

Thoroughly dominant from start to finish, Gers could even have won by more, but everyone of a Light Blue persuasion will take this after so many years of hurt.

From the side which was held to a 1-1 draw here in Govan on Boxing Day by Hibernian, Steven Gerrard named two changes.

Out went Lassana Coulibaly and Glenn Middleton, with their places taken by Scott Arfield and Ryan Kent, both men making a timely return from injury.

The red-hot atmosphere inside Ibrox as the teams emerged from the tunnel was added to by a stunning fire and smoke display down the Main Stand touchline.

But then the stadium fell silent for the annual commemoration of those 66 supporters who so tragically lost their lives in the Ibrox Disaster of 1971.

It was the visitors who had the first two chances of the match as firstly James Forrest forced Allan McGregor into a pretty easy save before Ryan Christie shot wide from the edge of the area after being set up by Mikael Lustig.

But then Rangers took ownership of the ball in and around the Celtic penalty area, and after winning a number of corners and free-kicks to put their defence under pressure. A golden chance came the way of Daniel Candeias.

A ball from the left from Ryan Kent made it through to Candeias who had come in from his right-wing berth, and somehow, Craig Gordon managed to get something on it to keep the ball out of the net.

Seconds later, Gordon was again called into action, as following some pinball in the area from an Andy Halliday free-kick, Connor Goldson got a head to the ball to divert it towards the bottom corner only for Gordon to get down to claw the ball away.

Gers were all over their visitors all of a sudden, and another Halliday delivery, this time from a corner, was nodded onto his own crossbar by Celtic captain Scott Brown.

Goldson then had another opportunity, heading a Halliday corner wide while Afredo Morelos had his first sight of goal of the afternoon, being released down the right before cutting inside and having a shot deflected wide of the far post.

Finally, the pressure was going to have to tell, and it did on the half hour mark. Ryan Kent skinned Lustig down on the right and picked out the run of the incoming Ryan Jack, and with the aid of a deflection off Brown, he managed to squeeze the ball beyond Gordon for his first Rangers goal.

It was thoroughly deserved for the Light Blues – and boy – how Ibrox and Jack celebrated!

Kent came close to making it two soon after, curling a shot wide of Gordon’s far post but 1-0 is how it remained at the break, with Steven Gerrard’s men thoroughly deserving of their half-time lead.

Gers should have made it two within two minutes of the restart. Half-time sub Anthony Ralston was robbed of the ball in the advanced area by Kent, with Gordon getting down to save his shot, although Scott Arfield was open to his right for a tap in.

The ball rebounded, however, for Kent, and he slipped it wide this time for Arfield, although Celtic had bodies back by now and his shot was blocked on the line by Olivier Ntcham.

Kent had another one blocked on the line, albeit from close range, from a James Tavernier cross while Gordon saved from Jack with a shot from the edge of the area and Morelos tested the keeper with a shot to his near post after turning Kris Ajer.

Morelos then spun away from Dedryck Boyata and squared for Arfield, but he was closed down by Brown before he could get his shot away while Ross McCrorie had a pop of goal from 25-yards, sending it just over the bar.

There was a heroic block from Andy Halliday from Ntcham on 85 minutes as Celtic threatened for really the first time in the half, but that was to be that for them, and for the game as Gers held on for a famous win.


RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Worrall, Goldson, Halliday; Jack, McCrorie, Arfield (Flanagan, 90); Candeias (Coulibaly, 70), Kent, Morelos.

SUBS NOT USED: Foderingham, Wallace, Lafferty, Katic, Middleton.

CELTIC: Gordon, Lustig (Ralston, 46), Boyata, Benkovic (Ajer, 45) Forrest, McGregor, Brown, Christie, Ntcham, Sinclair, Johnston (Edouard, 60)

SUBS NOT USED: Bain, Hayes, Morgan, Tierney.

REFEREE: John Beaton


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