4 takeaways from Celtic’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Ibrox

Brendan Rodgers galvanised his team and got the fans back on side as Celtic earned a hard-fought 3 points in a 1-0 win at Ibrox.

The players who needed to step up did just that and there were some career-defining performances from players like Liam Scales who had been written off. The likes of Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley battled hard, whilst the Celtic defence withstood wave after wave of attack to ensure the visitors took all 3 points and a clean sheet from Ibrox.

Here are 4 takeaways from today’s game:

Joe Hart’s experience shining through

Joe Hart has come under criticism from fans over the last year, some warranted and some unwarranted, but today’s performance from the stopper showed just how valuable he can be to the team when he is at the top of his game.

He helped shepherd a young and unfamiliar backline and led them well. He pulled off some fantastic saves to deny Rangers from point-blank range towards the end of Sunday’s game and was one of the standout performers on the day.

Scales and Lagerbielke’s breakout performances

Joe Hart may have received criticism from fans, but Liam Scales was completely written off. The thought of the Irishman lining up for Celtic at Ibrox was enough to have fans fearing the worst but Scales put in the best performance of his Celtic career.

The makeshift pairing of Gustaf Lagerbielke and Liam Scales defended like their lives were on the line, winning aerial duels as well as standing up and showing guts and courage when the Rangers forwards were bearing down on goal. If Scales can maintain similar performance levels, he could see a new lease of life at Celtic.

McGregor and O’Riley stepping up

There was a running trend today of players stepping up and rising to the occasion and Callum McGregor did just that.

The captain hasn’t looked himself this season but he was back to his brilliant best and he and Matt O’Riley defended well and bossed the middle of the park.

O’Riley’s defensive work has often gone under the radar but he was composed and assured and helped ward off any potential Rangers attacks. McGregor had a lot more space and time on the ball which benefited his game massively and allowed the captain to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

Kyogo the game-winner

The value of a player who can win you a game without having their best game can never be understated. Kyogo Furuhashi is the epitome of that. The Japanese forward is often the difference maker against Rangers and he fired in a brilliant, clinical strike past Jack Butland to win the game this afternoon.

Plenty of chances had gone begging for Kyogo in the first-half with two chances being served on a plate for him to finish off, but he never did. However, when he ghosted past the Rangers backline and only had Jack Butland to beat, he made sure to make no mistake.

Brendan Rodgers needed a result like that to get the fans back on side heading into a busy few weeks and one result has completely shifted the mood around Celtic Park.


Leave a Reply