Rangers fans love to mock Aberdeen, but they led the way with the high press against Celtic yesterday.
Sure, Celtic won the game 4-3 and did tremendously well to do so, but Rangers should take a lot from it. If Steven Gerrard truly wanted to find a formula on how to get the most out of this Celtic defence, he needs to study the Dons yesterday. Whilst he’s at it, get some footage of the Hibs-Celtic game from earlier this month too.
The returning Dedryck Boyata looked all over the place when under pressure from the high press. Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove, two forwards who many have laughed at in the past, never gave them a moment of peace.
Aberdeen didn’t score three goals against Celtic down to sheer luck. Whilst two may have been penalties, they had the Celtic defence worried for long spells and forced them into errors.
The reason this is relevant is down to how Rangers approached the previous fixture between themselves and Celtic at Parkhead. It very much looked like a containment job from the start. Gerrard tried to sit back an invite Celtic onto them, but in the end they just got ran over.
Two wrongs won’t lead to a right
A similar approach would once again spell disaster at Ibrox on Saturday. Rangers fans want to see their side come out and attack Celtic with some force and aggression.
To put it bluntly, if they could get a performance from Alfredo Morelos similar to the ones put in by Cosgrove and May, Rangers fans would be happy.
If you haven’t watched it, try and pluck out some extended highlights of the contest. May and Cosgrove don’t give them much time to pick out passes, especially in the first 45. Granted, they sat off in the second half, but the first half they were up and at them.
Gerrard may also look to the Dons’ approach and feel he needs to change to a two up top. That’s not necessary, however. Kyle Lafferty simply isn’t suited to the high press. Whilst he may throw himself about well, he doesn’t deserve to start and certainly hasn’t earned it.
Morelos has shown in the past he can bully Boyata on his own. So long as Rangers have support for him for second balls, then Celtic can be seriously hurt at the back.
Fnas will consistently slag off Cosgrove and May for their previous failures at Pittodrie. In truth, however, they’ve just given Rangers a formula to finally tackle their rivals properly.