As the Old Firm misery continues, here we look at how Rangers can beat Celtic at Ibrox.
For Rangers supporters, yesterday was just another painful day on derby day. Despite promising so much heading into the contest, Rangers ultimately fell flat in a 1-0 defeat to Celtic.
It was one of the most disappointing displays Rangers have ever produced in this fixture. Failing to get in Celtic’s faces, the Gers were poor in almost every aspect of the contest.
The shape of the team looked good enough, but they never looked to exploit Celtic’s weaknesses. Whether tiredness came into it or not, this was a woefully flat display.
Indeed, Rangers barely mustered an attack before Celtic scored. It was only after that moment that Steven Gerrard urged his side forward to attack.
Therefore, what changes need to make for the next time Celtic come to Ibrox?
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First of all, Rangers simply can’t sit so deep. Not only does it give Celtic the ball to control the tempo, it sets a tone. It also ends out the wrong message to the supporters and smacks of an inferiority complex.
Celtic have proven to struggle when sides get up and at them. Looking at Hearts earlier on this season, they refused to give the Celtic defence time and space in possession. Rangers should’ve followed that model at Celtic Park. Instead, the Gers sat off Brendan Rodgers’ men and allowed them to dictate proceedings.
A higher press will force this Celtic defence into some errors, and that’s where Rangers will need to profit.
Secondly, Lassana Coulibaly starting is a must if he’s fit.
Rangers were unfortunate that the Mali international wasn’t available for the Old Firm contest yesterday. Coulibaly would’ve added some tenacity to a midfield strongly lacking in it.
Once again, Scott Brown bossed this derby fixture unopposed. Nobody knows if Coulibaly will definitely be the one to halt that success. But one thing’s for sure, it wouldn’t have been the stroll in the park it was yesterday.
Thirdly, getting Borna Barisic more involved at Ibrox is a necessity, not an option.
The left-back is one of Rangers’ best sources of inspiration throughout the squad going forward. The Croatian has a terrific cross on him, as does James Tavernier down the right. More emphasis on working the Celtic defence with better quality of delivery should’ve been a priority.
When Rangers did go forward at Celtic Park, this was what they tried to do. But in the end, it was too little too late and Celtic were relatively unharmed.
If Gerrard is to have some success in this fixture, these are the areas that need focused on.
Failure to do so, and yesterday will continue to be the norm against Celtic .