As the dust settles on Sunday, former captain Barry Ferguson believes Rangers missed Lassana Coulibaly against Celtic.
Olivier Ntcham got the only goal of the game as Celtic cruised to a 1-0 victory over Steven Gerrard’s men. The result wasn’t as disappointing as the performance for many Rangers fans, who felt their side should’ve been more positive.
Particularly in the first half, Rangers stood off Brendan Rodgers’ side. Questioning Gerrard’s tactics has been just one of the topics Rangers fans have been over since full-time.
I wonder if Celtic would have been so dominant had Lassana Coulibaly been fit because he was a big miss. Gerrard could have used a powerhouse like him and he’ll become a very good player for Rangers, powerful and athletic. Exactly the kind of player you need in a derby. Rangers could have played better in the first half when Celtic had more than 70 percent possession – yet they didn’t really cut Gers open.
Ferguson’s analysis on the game is largely correct. Despite the huge swathes of Celtic possession, they didn’t really find a way through the Rangers defence. Both Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic put in terrific individual shifts, and this halted the Hoops’ flair players going forward.
But not having Coulibaly was certainly a big blow. He’s a midfield enforcer who has shown real tenacity in the midfield since joining the club. His inclusion would’ve led to a more feisty midfield battle.
As Ferguson says, his bite in the midfield would’ve been crucial against Rodgers’ side. Celtic had it all too easy when it came to keeping possession, and strolled through Rangers’ midfield too easily.
It will be interesting to see how Rangers approach the next Old Firm. Gerrard has to make some big changes in the next encounter.
In order for Coulibaly to be involved, however, the Mali international needs to get over his injury problems and fast.