Rangers’ eight-and-a-half year wait for a win at Celtic Park will continue after an agonising 2-1 defeat by Celtic this afternoon.

Celtic made the better start and forced a number of early saves from Allan McGregor as they tried to get an early lead.

After a frenetic opening five minutes, the game settled into a more steady rhythm as both sides pressed and probed looking for a gap in defence.

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As the first-half wore on, Celtic began to assert their dominance and started to find spaces to play into and threaten the Gers defence.

Edouard opened the scoring after 25 minutes when he capitalised on a wasteful free-kick by Joe Worrall and then really slack defending by Goldson before firing past McGregor.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 31: Scott Brown of Celtic and Olivier Ntcham of Celtic challenge Ryan Jack of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 31, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Minutes after Celtic’s goal, referee Bobby Madden made himself the centre of attention by sending Alfredo Morelos off for an off-ball-clash with Scott Brown.

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The red card completely neutralised the Gers and gave all the impetus to Celtic as the first-half ticked away.

Rangers started the second-half a bit brighter and had a really good shout for a penalty when Scott Sincair brought Tavernier down but somehow Madden saw nothing in it.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 31: Alfredo Morelos of Rangers argues with match Referee Bobby Madden after he is shown the red card for a tackle on Scott Brown of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 31, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Sinclair and Lustig both had pops at McGregor’s goal as they looked to extend Celtic’s lead but couldn’t find a way past the Gers’ number one.

With just under 30 minutes left, Ryan Kent turned the game on his head when he left Boyata, Brown and Lustig for dead before stroking the ball home and silencing Celtic Park.

Kent’s goal gave Rangers some real belief that they could find a winner despite being down to ten men and they really putting Celtic under pressure.

Ryan Jack almost gave the Gers the lead when Kent picked him out but he fired his shot over the bar.

Celtic were reduced to ten men in that move when Boyata popped a hamstring and had to go off despite Neil Lennon’s side using all three subs.

There was a late hammer blow for Rangers when James Tavernier had an absolute horrific moment when he gifted to ball to Celtic who promptly went up the pitch and scored.

 

Incredibly there was still a bit more drama to come as Kent’s cross was spilled by Bain but Worrall’s follow-up was deflected inches wide.

Here are how Steven Gerrard’s side performed against their bitter rivals:

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 29: Allan McGregor of Rangers in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Allan McGregor – 7

Made an incredible point-blank reaction save from Olivier Ntcham after only a few minutes. Kept Rangers in it for long spells and such a massive player for Gerrard’s side.

James Tavernier – 5

Tried to push forward at times but looked lost for spells. Grew into the game as it went on and helped push the Light Blues in search of goals. Ruined a good performance with an atrocious pass that gifted Celtic their second goal.

Joe Worrall – 5

Woeful distribution.  After being the best defender in the side recently, Worrall returned to the Worrall of old and showed why Nottingham Forest were keen to ship him out on loan.

Connor Goldson – 6

Crucial first-half challenge on Edouard stopped the Frenchman threatening Allan McGregor. The first-half only went downhill for Goldson from there. Looked really unsure of himself when put under pressure.

Andy Halliday – 5

Invisible in the first 45. Slightly better in the second – but not by much. If Borna Barisic isn’t going to be the answer at left-back then it definitely won’t be Halliday.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 31: Rangers fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 31, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ross McCrorie – 7

Worked hard to stop Celtic’s midfield pushing forward but was left covering far too much space to really have any influence in the first 45. Really stepped up after the break and showed why he needs to be an integral part of the side

Scott Arfield – 6

Got into a physical battle with Scott Brown and done well against the Celtic captain. Booked just before the break. Some of his link up play was really impressive and worked well with Tavernier on the right.

Ryan Jack – 5

Quiet afternoon for the former Aberdeen captain and really should’ve made it 2-1 when he fired over the bar. Replaced by Glen Kamara.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 31: Dedryck Boyata of Celtic battles for possession with Alfredo Morelos of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 31, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Daniel Candeias – 5

You’d have been forgiven for forgetting Candeias played in the opening 45. Contributed more after the break as he and Kent moved more central. Replaced by Defoe late on.

Ryan Kent – 7

Looked sharp and tried to get at Celtic’s defence but little came off for the on-loan Liverpool winger in the first 45. Took his goal fantastically well as he gave the Gers a lifeline with 30 minutes left.

Alfredo Morelos –  0

Barely involved in the game before getting sent off.

Substitutes: Glen Kamara (6), Jermain Defoe (6), Steven Davis (6)

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