Celtic 1 - 0 Rangers: Steven Gerrard's Rangers suffer first defeats at the hands of Old Firm rivals
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Steven Gerrard had boasted a decent start to the season as the new Rangers gaffer, securing one win and two draws before suffering his first loss against the title defenders, Celtic. All the stats point towards a total Celtic domination, with the title defenders boasting 57% of the possession as well as nine shots on target as opposed to Rangers’ two attempts. Celtic also managed to hit woodwork four times, with Brendan Rodgers claiming that his side should’ve appeared on the score sheet much more than they actually did. Celtic appeared to lack the clinical finishing required to properly see off Rangers, with numerous near misses. The reality is, Steven Gerrard should consider himself lucky to have only conceded one goal against the Champions. Rangers appeared to be on the ropes from the off, defending Celtic’s constant and frequent attacks. Celtic couldn’t quite undo the Rangers defence, but their solidness eventually let slip as Ntcham finally netted an attempt following a Celtic counter attack on the 62 minuite mark. The game appeared more of a training session between attack and defence, with a strong pattern emerging of consistent Celtic attempts. For a moment it looked like Celtic wouldn’t have to wait long before they got the ball in the back of the visitor’s net after the Rangers keepers, Allan McGregor, caught Kristoffer Ajer with the back of his heel. Many have claimed that the incident should’ve been a sending off as well as a penalty, but on the day, the referee opted for a simple telling off. Regardless of the incident, McGregor must receive commendation for his stellar performance between the sticks. Making some critical stops and saves, one has to consider how different the result could’ve been for Rangers. The only goal of the match was beautiful to watch, with the Celtic attack easily slicing open a Rangers defence that had appeared to be quite solid beforehand. Celtics eventual breakdown could’ve easily shaken Rangers, but they hung on for just a one goal defeat with few opportunities’ presented to them to be able to make a comeback. The result means Rangers are now 7th in the Scottish premiership, gaining five out of a possible 12 points; whereas Celtic are second with a total of nine points. Celtic have won every single meeting with Rangers since 2012, a statistic that the new gaffer was unable to shake. Feature image - Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/celticphotos/6065012526
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