Every Celtic player rated as Brendan Rodgers’ men defeat Rangers

Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic team rose to the occasion at Ibrox this afternoon as the Hoops were calm amongst the chaos.

After the match, Brendan Rodgers said: “It’s a massive result, when you consider that virtually half the team weren’t available. I said before the game to them, ‘I need my men today. With 50,000 baying for blood you need to come and play like a man even though you’re young.’ They did that.”

Question marks around players’ form and whether they were Celtic quality were answered as the players stepped up and secured all 3 points in the first derby match of the season. To a man the team was sensational and A Celtic State of Mind will take on the tricky task of putting a rating on each player.

Joe Hart – 8

Joe Hart was relatively untested in the first-half but his experience shone through and was on full show in the second period. The English stopper organised and galvanised a makeshift Celtic backline and pulled off some vital point-blank saves to deny Danilo and Sam Lammers in the final few minutes. He gets a lot of criticism but today he showed his leadership qualities and the best of his abilities.

Alistair Johnston – 7

Alistair Johnston relishes these sorts of encounters and his grit and fighting spirit shone through. He also showed some very intelligent play to help relieve the pressure off the team when their backs were against the wall. He was taken off with an injury and replaced by Anthony Ralston on 65 minutes and fingers will be crossed that it isn’t anything serious.

Gustaf Lagerbielke – 8

The Swede has been thrown into the deep-end in his early days at the club and he put up arguably his best performance in a Celtic shirt so far today. He’s had a baptism of fire and relished it this afternoon, dominating aerially and, despite a nervy moment in the first half, he was composed and assured.

Liam Scales – 9

The Irishman put in a statement display and he was awarded man of the match for a valiant and gutsy performance at Ibrox. Scales had come under criticism from fans, this writer included, and has quite often been made out to be a scapegoat, but in amongst a backline that had the fanbase worried, Scales stood out and was a titan at the back whilst Celtic were under the cosh.

Greg Taylor – 6

Taylor put in a solid enough performance today as he got forward often, linking up with Daizen Maeda and the Celtic midfielders. The 25-year-old was hobbling before he got subbed off and, much like Johnston, fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that it isn’t anything serious.

Callum McGregor – 8

The captain was back to his brilliant best today, a performance that was much needed after a lacklustre start to the season from the 30-year-old. McGregor rose to the occasion as he was afforded far more space in the middle of the park than he may have anticipated. It was a true captain’s performance as McGregor ran the show in the midfield.

Matt O’Riley – 9

O’Riley showed professionalism and leadership beyond his years today as he partnered and battled alongside Callum McGregor in the heart of the Celtic midfield. The Dane has been the most consistent performer for Celtic so far this season and he showcased his often understated defensive abilities.

Liel Abada – 6

The Israeli had an odd game. Whenever Celtic threatened in the opening period, Abada was always involved. Unfortunately, Celtic weren’t getting him involved in the game enough. The 21-year-old probably should have notched an assist had Kyogo not opted to try for a cool flick instead of putting his laces through it.

Kyogo Furuhashi – 8

Kyogo had enough clear-cut chances to have bagged himself a hat-trick. He missed two massive opportunities in the first-half but, as all good talismen do, he stepped up when Celtic needed him most. Arguably his toughest chance of the game, the Japanese international ghosted past the Rangers defence to latch onto a looped O’Riley header and rifled Celtic in front.

Daizen Maeda – 8

Despite an unimpressive start to the season, Maeda’s importance in nullifying James Tavernier was highlighted pre-match and he did just that today. When the pressure was on, particularly in the second half, Maeda dug in and did a lot of the hard work and running for Celtic.


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