Rangers and Celtic clashed for the first time in 2020 this afternoon with the Gers coming out on top thanks to Connor Goldson’s double nine minutes into each half sealed three points for the Gers.
Gerrard made four changes from his side’s last outing against Ross County a fortnight ago, but it was one of his most regular picks who he had to thank after Connor Goldson’s goal fires the Gers into an early lead.
It only took nine minutes for Rangers to break the deadlock after an excellent set-piece was headed home by Goldson as the Gers looked for back-to-back wins against Celtic for the first time in over a decade.
Both sides had chances to add to the scoring in the opening 45 but went in with Rangers impressively defending their slender advantage, while also looking threatening going forward.
After the second half started in a similar pattern to the first, there was an identical outcome as Goldson poked the ball home to double the Gers’ lead.
With the game looking beyond them, Celtic had little to offer after that and Rangers were able to control the game through to the end and secure a deserved three points.
Here are three talking points from 2020’s first Old Firm clash:
Gerrard doesn’t trust Ianis Hagi in the big games for Rangers – yet
For all the talent Hagi possesses, it is clear that Gerrard still lacks faith in his ability to perform in big games. Yet again the Romanian international is left out of the starting XI for a massive fixture with Brandon Barker taking his place in the side. Despite Hagi’s ability to change games with a single pass, he clearly needs to do more to be the man Gerrard turns to when Rangers need someone to pull them forward.
It would be unfair on Hagi not to mention his relative inexperience – he’s younger than Ross and Robby McCrorie – but his transfer fee and reputation suggest he shouldn’t be getting left out of these games. And that’s without mentioning that he’s created more goals than anyone in the Scottish Premiership this season.
Brandon Barker has had enough chances to show he can cut it at Rangers
Brandon Barker’s arrival at Rangers was baffling. His continued involvement in the side is downright ridiculous now. Another game an another disappointing performance from the former Man City kid. Despite the odd good showing, Barker simply doesn’t come close to having even a decent game often enough. without expecting him to be a game-changer.
While he might shine in training on a consistent basis, he doesn’t do it when it matters anywhere near often enough and Gerrard’s insistence on playing Barker – particularly in big games – needs to be addressed before it ends up seriously costing the Gers. It’s hard to even argue that he offers as much as someone like Glenn Middleton would
Rangers are really adapting to football’s ‘new normal’
Rangers have now played everyone in the Scottish Premiership this season and Steven Gerrard’s side look to have adapted well to the changes to the usual football environment and lack of fans.
Despite many games having the feel of training games or just generally lacking intensity, the Gers have shown few signs of it hindering them as they put in an impressive shift at the home of their bitter rivals.
Whether it has been domestic or European games, Rangers have handled pretty much everything thrown at them so far and, while we want fans back in grounds as soon as possible, it bodes well for however long this will continue.