Rangers 1-0 Celtic: Player ratings as Gers' Old Firm win extends lead to 19 points

Ross Jackson
Jan 2, 2021, 2:30 PM GMT
Rangers celebrate taking the lead
Rangers celebrate taking the lead | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Rangers grabbed their second Old Firm victory of the season and extended their winning run to 14 games in the Scottish Premiership, with Callum McGregor's own goal shortly after Nir Bitton's dismissal securing a 1-0 win.

Celtic had much the better of the first half and would undoubtedly have taken the lead were it not for the heroics of Allan McGregor. The visitors' best effort came via Leigh Griffiths' fantastic strike from the edge of the area, but McGregor was equal to it as he tipped it onto the post.

After Celtic had dominated the first hour, the game took a dramatic turn as they were reduced to ten men, with Bitton dismissed for hauling down Alfredo Morelos who looked to be through on goal.

Rangers took the lead just seven minutes later, with McGregor inadvertently heading past his own goalkeeper from a James Tavernier corner. The goal was enough to seal the win and extend Steve Gerrard's side's lead at the top to a massive 19 points.

That's the match highlights out of the way, now to those Celtic and Rangers player ratings.

RANGERS

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Barisic backs out of a challenge
Barisic backs out of a challenge | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Allan McGregor (GK) - 8/10 - Unbelievable save from Griffiths midway through the first half as he tipped the Scotland international's curling effort onto the post. Was unbeatable and won his side the three points.

James Tavernier (RB) - 6/10 - Struggled to impact the game as much as he would have liked, with his usually dependable delivery letting him down time and time again. Redeemed himself with the cross for Rangers' opener.

Connor Goldson (CB) - 7/10 - Tasked with shackling the lively Odsonne Edouard and did a fantastic job. On the rare occasion he was caught out his recovered well.

Leon Balogun (CB) - 6/10 - Battled well with Griffiths all afternoon but was culpable of lunging in at times. Stood up to be counted as Rangers began to pile on the pressure late on.

Borna Barisic (LB) - 6/10 - Came within inches of grabbing the opener with a wicked free kick. A solid performance if not spectacular.

2. Midfielders

Steven Davis battled well in midfield
Steven Davis battled well in midfield | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Steven Davis (CM) - 5/10 - The former Southampton man sat deep in midfield and knitted up play nicely. A combative display which overstepped the mark at times as he was awarded the first yellow card of the game.

Glen Kamara (CM) - 6/10 - Not afraid to get stuck in but was overran in the midfield. Had more of an influence once Celtic had been reduced to ten men.

Joe Aribo (CM) - 5/10 - Very wasteful at times and caught in possession too often in his own half. Carried the ball well but little end product to show for it.

3. Forwards

Morelos struggled to have an impact at times
Morelos struggled to have an impact at times | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Kemar Roofe (RW) - 5/10 - Swallowed up by the Celtic backline and was forced to feed off scraps for much of the first half. Hooked at half-time after an ineffective opening 45 minutes.

Alfredo Morelos (ST) - 4/10 - Took him all of five minutes to make a stupid challenge which somehow went unpunished. Barely had a kick all afternoon and provided very little movement to suggest he wanted to get involved.

Ryan Kent (LW) - 6/10 - Always looking to get on the ball and was a menace in possession. Started brightly but his impact fizzled out a little as the game wore on.

4. Substitutes

Ianis Hagi (RW) - 4/10

Cedric Itten (ST) - 6/10

Bongani Zungu (LW) - N/A

Brandon Barker (RW) - N/A

CELTIC

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Ajer lunges into a challenge
Ajer lunges into a challenge | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Vasilis Barkas (GK) - 6/10 - Probably couldn't believe what a comfortable first half he enjoyed, with a cross plucked out of the air the closest he came to being tested. Not a lot he could do for the Rangers opener.

Jeremie Frimpong (RB) - 7/10 - An all-action display from the full-back. Never stopped running all afternoon and timed his challenges brilliantly whenever he was called upon.

Nir Bitton (CB) - 4/10 - Attempted a woeful effort from 15 yards inside his own half which left Neil Lennon looking less than impressed. Sent off just past the hour mark for bringing down Morelos.

Kristoffer Ajer (CB) - 8/10 - Coped with the threat of the Rangers frontline brilliantly, stepping in to intercept anything into their feet. More than adept moving into midfield and opening up play. Pulled into the wide areas at times but never looked unsettled.

Diego Laxalt (LB) - 7/10 - Played more like a wing-back than a full-back and was a constant outlet down the Celtic left. Defended brilliantly on the cover to deny Morelos the opening goal shortly before half-time.

6. Midfielders

Ryan Christie battles in midfield
Ryan Christie battles in midfield | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images


Callum McGregor (RM) - 6/10 - Drifted across the midfield and never neglected his defensive duties. A good performance which shouldn't be marred by his unfortunate own goal.

Ismaila Soro (CM) - 5/10 - Seemed to let the occasion get to him somewhat and was given a yellow card after lunging into a challenge.

David Turnbull (CM) - 8/10 - Kept the ball very well and provided energy and enthusiasm in the centre of the pitch. Didn't once shy out of a challenge and was a big reason why Celtic took control of the game.

Ryan Christie (LM) - 7/10 - Carried the ball well through midfield as he looked to link up with the forwards. Recently linked with Arsenal and didn't disappoint if his potential suitors were watching on.

7. Forwards

Odsonne Edouard struggled to get into the game
Odsonne Edouard struggled to get into the game | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Leigh Griffiths (ST) - 7/10 - Didn't allow the Rangers backline a second to compose themselves and was a willing runner all afternoon. Would have opened the scoring were it not for a fine save from McGregor early on.

Odsonne Edouard (ST) - 5/10 - Clearly pinpointed as the main man by Rangers and found himself surrounded whenever he got on the ball.

8. Substitutes

Shane Duffy (CB) - 6/10

Mohamed Elyounoussi (LW) - 5/10

Hatem Elhamed (CB) - 5/10

Scott Brown (CM) - 6/10

Tom Rogic (CM) - N/A

facebooktwitterreddit