We all had our ideas/hopes/dreams/fears/chugs over what would happen in this game, but it may be safe to say this was the least expected of all of them. After looking like we had absolutely nothing left in the tank against Hibs, Rangers completely steamrolled Celtic and didn’t let them out of their half for essentially the entire game. The only criticism is really that it should’ve been about 4 or 5 nil.
That dominance was due to some absolutely monstrous performances from key players. That scoreline was also due to a couple of lax moments from some others. Here’s the player ratings...
Allan McGregor 6.9
Had the square root of hee haw to do all game, and his distribution was as average as usual.
James Tavernier 8.2
“Tav canny defend but.” A superb, disciplined performance from our captain. He moved the ball quickly and efficiently, and absolutely destroyed anything that came down the right. Wasn’t as big an influence going forward as he can be, but this his best defensive performance since joining the club for a mile, his best in an Old Firm, and certainly one of his top five overall.
Connor Goldson 6.8
Didn’t have a huge amount to do, missed a couple of opportunities at the other end, and if we’re being particularly critical, a couple of slightly lax moments in the rare times he was called into action in his own half.
Joe Worrall 7.0
This Bear has been extremely critical of Worrall since he came to the club, but he has been looking more assured of late. This was a solid display. Like Goldson and McGregor, his rating is low largely due to the fact he didn’t have enough to do.
Andy Halliday 8.7
The redemption of Andy Halliday is one of the most unexpected and lovely things about this season. To see him perform so brilliantly in an Old Firm will surely bring a warm glow to the briefs of any true blue.
Ross McCrorie 9.0
It’s sort of gone under the radar due to disappointing recent results, and those results being mostly down to a lack of creativity which McCrorie is not expected to provide, but the young boy has been outstanding since being brought into the team. When he plays, the other team simply cannot get out of their half. An automatic starter from now on. If he can get half as good on the ball as he is off it, he’ll be a phenomenon.
Ryan Jack 9.4
After a superb start to the season, Jack picked up an injury and was rubbish after coming back. He’s improved in recent games, and built it up to a majestic display here. His goal was slightly fortunate, owing much to Scott Brown (how bad was he by the way, and how enjoyable was it to see) and his delightful backheeled finish. But everywhere else, he was all over the Celtic midfield, never gave the ball away, was constantly progressive and determined in his forward play, and completely ran the show. There have been games this season where This Bear has seen fans praise Jack to the hilt afterwards and been utterly baffled. This was not one of them. As close to a perfect performance as you’ll find in an Old Firm derby.
Scott Arfield 5.5
The game today was essentially played entirely in Celtic’s third of the pitch, yet Rangers won by a solitary goal. There is a reason for that, and its name is Scott Arfield. Slow to make decisions, unconvincing when eventually settling on them, lacklustre at executing them, and capped by a shoddy first touch. Was good off the ball in the first half but even that silver lining tailed off.
Daniel Candeias 7.0
Worked solidly, showed good interplay with Tavernier, and generally gave a solid, disciplined, reasonably effective performance. Could have shown slightly more invention but he did what he’s there to do.
Alfredo Morelos 7.7
Not one of his best games, and could possibly have done better with one or two chances, but he pressed superbly, linked up play brilliantly, and generally gave both centre-backs a torrid time. Even when he doesn’t score, he occupies two centre-backs, bullies defenders with ease, constantly wins 50-50s, and links with the midfield superbly. Do not expect us to replace him when he goes, because we won’t. 90% of the teams in the world would kill for a player like him.
Ryan Kent 8.2
A delightful surprise on the teamsheet, and played absolutely nothing like a man who has barely kicked a ball in recent months. Celtic simply could not stop him. The only mark against him was a poor finish when presented with an opportunity to make it 2-0. We’ve been bemoaning a lack of creativity throughout December, but we do have Kent and Murphy in this squad and they can provide it.
Lassana Coulibaly 7.3
Came on late and broke up the game with a brief masterclass of niggly fouls, egregious timewasting, backwards passes and crunching challenges. Exactly what we wanted to see. Walter would have a tear in his eye.
Jon Flanagan N/A
Thanks for coming!