RANGERS were defeated by 10-man Celtic in this afternoon’s Old Firm derby at Ibrox Stadium.
Despite twice taking the lead through Josh Windass and Daniel Candeias, Tom Rogic and Moussa Dembele both equalised before Jozo Simunovic was red carded. Despite that, Odsonne Edouard grabbed a winner to consign Gers to their first loss in seven.
Atmospheres at Old Firm games are always special, but this felt different – the noise and the positivity coming from the home stands at Ibrox was just incredible, and with just three minutes on the clock, somehow, that noise found a new level with Rangers grabbing a sensational lead.
A slip from Dedryck Boyata allowed Josh Windass to rob him and run in-behind the Celtic defence. Coming off the right flank, he still had plenty to do, but produced the most outstanding finish right into the opposite top corner to send Ibrox into utter delirium.
It was no more than Graeme Murty’s side deserved at that point in the game – they were on top and forcing Celtic deep into their own half – with the visitors looking shell-shocked.
They overcame that pretty quickly however, and with Gers allowing too much s before pace in the midfield area, Tom Rogic was allowed to venture forward and unleash a curling effort into the top corner from 25-yards out.
As if that wasn’t enough of a blow, in an attempt to stop Rogic, David Bates suffered a serious-looking injury and had to be replaced by Fabio Cardoso with just 14 minutes showing on the clock.
Gers’ response was decent, Declan John flashed a shot just over having checked inside following a lung-bursting run before with 26 minutes showing on the clock, the Light Blues re-took the lead.
Again, John was involved, crossing from the left and finding Alfredo Morelos at the front post. He held the ball up well there under pressure and managed to get it across goal to find Candeias who had come in from his right-wing berth. He met it with aplomb, slamming it beyond Scott Bain to again send Ibrox into uproar.
Morelos could have made it three just a couple of minutes later – skinning Boyata out on the right before sending a shot just wide of the far post.
At the other end, Wes Foderingham was forced into two excellent saves in the space of a couple of minutes.
Firstly, he clawed away a Moussa Dembele header from a corner and then got down low to deny Callum McGregor after he had wriggled his way into the penalty area.
Rangers looked to have carried their lead through to half-time, but in injury time, Dembele brought Celtic level once more.
Scott Brown sent a ball over the top of the Gers defence for Dembele to run on to – and he held off Cardoso to lob the ball over Foderingham.
The second half began in the same frantic manner of the first, with both sides taking it in turns to attack each other.
Then, five minutes after the restart, Celtic were reduced to 10-men. Jozo Simunovic caught Alfredo Morelos in the face with a flying arm right in front of assistant referee Douglas Ross, with man in the middle Collum immediately reaching for his top pocket.
That dismissal allowed Rangers to begin to dominate the match territorially – although chances were still at a premium.
Alfredo Morelos passed up a good opening after capitalising on a slip from Jack Hendry, but he shot straight at Bain before Celtic went ahead on the break.
Odsonne Edouard entered the Gers’ box from the left wing and curled a fine effort beyond the outstretched arm of Foderingham.
Rangers were huffing and puffing, trying to find a way to goal, with James Tavernier testing Bain with seven minutes to go from a free-kick.
Bain then made another superb save from Windass after he shot on the turn in the area, before somehow getting to the loose ball before Morelos could tap it home on the line.
RANGERS: Foderingham; Tavernier, Alves, Bates (Cardoso, 15), John; Docherty, Goss (Cummings, 74); Candeias, Windass, Murphy; Morelos.
SUBS: Alnwick, Miller, Herrera, Holt, Halliday,.
CELTIC: Bain, Ajer, Boyata, Simunovic, Forrest (Edouard, 67), McGregor, Brown, Rogic (Hendry, 59), Tierney, Dembele (Armstrong, 86), Ntcham.
SUBS: Doohan, Roberts, Sinclair, Musonda.
ATTENDANCE: 50, 215