Rangers recorded a 2-1 win over Celtic on Sunday afternoon, to end 2019 on a huge high.
Much like in the League Cup final at Hampden earlier in the month, Rangers dominated the opening stages, but this time without overly testing Fraser Forster.
It was Celtic who had the first clear-cut chance, with referee Kevin Clancy awarding a penalty for a Niko Katic tug on Christoper Jullien. Allan McGregor was up to the challenge though, pulling off a brilliant save from Ryan Christie low to his left.
Just minutes later, Rangers took the lead courtesy of a stunning Ryan Kent goal. Fed by Borna Barisic just inside the area, he swept a first-time left-footed finish in off the near post.
Celtic hit back just prior to half-time, though, benefitting from a major refereeing error. Callum McGregor’s shot took a big deflection off Odsonne Edouard’s hand and wrong-footed Allan McGregor, but the goal was wrongly allowed to stand.
In the second half, the telling contribution came from Nikola Katic. Rising to meet a Borna Barisic corner, he powered home a thumping header at the near post.
The game went back and forth at a frantic pace thereafter, and Alfredo Morelos was sent off in the closing stages, but the Gers pulled through to secure a well-deserved victory and their first win at Celtic Park in nine years.
Here’s how we thought the Rangers players fared today:
Allan McGregor – 9
Stunning penalty save, beating away Ryan Christie’s spot-kick with a full-stretch dive to his left. Could do nothing about the equaliser, but pulled off another excellent stop in the second half from a rasping Bolingoli drive.
James Tavernier – 8
Caught out once or twice by Johnson’s pace, but other than that defended very capably. As always, looked to drive forward down the right to keep the Gers on the front foot. Lead by example and deserves this one.
Connor Goldson – 8
Wasn’t called upon much in the first half, but a lot busier in the second, when he made multiple heroic challenges and clearing headers as Celtic threatened. Much improved against Edouard.
Nikola Katic – 8
Perhaps a little unfortunate to be penalised for the tug on Jullien although it did seem as though he had been warned in advance. Recovered well thereafter to help deal with any Celtic forays forward and bulleted home a fantastic winner.
Borna Barisic – 9
Thrived in the Old Firm atmosphere as he continues to be one of Rangers’ standout performers. Defended stoutly and assisted both goals, firstly with a cutback and secondly with an excellent corner. Now has a remarkable 13 assists for the season.
Glen Kamara – 8
Used his body extremely well during the first half in particular, skipping away from tight situations and retaining possession. An excellent pick from Gerrard. Booked for a heavy challenge in the second half. Subbed for Arfield in the 80th minute.
Ryan Jack – 7
Got stuck in as usual, providing real steel in the Rangers midfield. Strangely off-colour in possession at times, though, giving the ball away on more than one occasion to grant the hosts opportunities. It was his choppy tackle when tracking back that inadvertently set up McGregor for the equaliser.
Steven Davis – 8
Helped Rangers control portions of the game, which is remarkable after missing most of December through injury. Two goal-line clearances from Jullien headers were key to the win.
Joe Aribo – 7
Equipped himself much better than in the reverse fixture in September. Showed some excellent touches in the final third without quite managing his own big contribution, but mucked in defensively showing more grit than he’s sometimes given credit for.
Ryan Kent – 8
Loves the big occasion, loves scoring at Parkhead. Stunning finish from Barisic’s cutback to open the scoring, the type of contribution the Gers paid the big money for. Lively and full of running in the second half.
Alfredo Morelos – 6
100% effort as usual from Alfredo, but without the end product. He made life extremely difficult for Jullien and Ajer throughout the game. Just about failed to play in teammates on several occasions and missed a guilt-edged chance in the second half, spooning over from four yards following great work from Kent. Sent off for two bookable offences in the final moments.
Subs: Scott Arfield and George Edmundson – N/A