Celtic 0-2 Rangers: Scottish Premiership – as it happened

Will Unwin on 17 October 2020

Thank you all very much for joining me. Here is Ewan Murray’s report from Celtic Park.

John Hartson says the Celtic strikers were ‘non-existent today’, which is being polite.

Goldson says Rangers got everything right on the day and controlled the game.

The defender continues to talk in a few cliches on how they need to focus on the next game and it is far too early in the season to know the significance of the win.

Who would have thought beforehand that Celtic would fail to have a shot on target in the match?

Celtic were impressively insipid. What a dreadful outing for them. The players will be pleased there were no fans to see how bad they were.

Full-time

Goldson took both of his goals extremely well for Rangers against a woefully mediocre Celtic, who failed to have a single shot on target in 90 minutes. Let’s hope there will be a title race this season.

90 mins: Three minutes added on.

88 mins: Tavernier curls a free-kick over the wall from 30 yards or so, forcing Barkas to tip it over for a corner. Rangers will look to waste time in the final third now.

86 mins: Morelos and Duffy both get cautioned. The striker is late on the defender and then the Celtic man reacts to earn himself a yellow. Morelos is immediately taken off with Itten on.

85 mins: Laxalt and Welsh are off, with Turnbull and Taylor on. Could this change the game? Almost certainly not.

83 mins: Kent sends a pass into Kamara only for Welsh to clean him out but the referee sees no foul.

81 mins: Ajer slips Griffiths through, he goes round McGregor and then tries to pull the ball back for Ajeti but the goalkeeper recovers and intercepts the pass. Griffiths probably could have gone down but kept his feet and is probably regretting that.

McGregor shuts out Griffiths
McGregor shuts out Griffiths Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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78 mins: I wonder if a packed house would have made a difference, as Celtic just do not look up for this match at the moment. No energy or tempo on display.

76 mins: If you like misplaced passes, then Celtic really are the team for you. They really are nowhere near it at the moment. Again, they have created nothing since the break and do not look like doing so.

74 mins: Celtic are playing against Milan in the Europa League in midweek. Good luck with that, lads.

72 mins: Celtic still do not look like they will threaten Rangers. They have been ruddy mediocre so far.

70 mins: Arfield has a speculative shot from just outside the area but Barkas gobbles it up.

68 mins: Griffiths and Rogic replace Ntcham and Klimala. Lennon rolls the dice in the hope of changing the outcome.

66 mins: Barisic breaks free down the left and lifts a perfect cross for Kent who volleys it first time from 12 yards but Ajer is there to block the shot and stop a certain goal.

64 mins: Celtic just look woefully short of ideas and quality in the final third.

62 mins: Brown gets his traditional Old Firm booking for taking down Kent. Rangers bring on Jack for Barker, as they look to control the middle of the park for the last half an hour.

60 mins: I assume we all had money on a Goldson hat-trick beforehand. Would be a cracking story if he someone completely a triple today.

Arfield goes into the book for taking down Klimala.

58 mins: At the very least Celtic are showing a bit more willingness and aggression, not that it will lead to goals but it’s a start.

56 mins: Lennon gets Ajeti to strip off immediately, as he needs someone to get them back into the game. The striker replaces Elyounoussi, who has brought very little to the party. Ajeti has run on shouting at everyone to get them going.

GOAL! Celtic 0-2 Rangers (Goldson, 54)

The centre-back has scored again! A fine Rangers move culminates with a drilled cross from Arfield to Goldson, whose first shot is blocked but he recovers to jab home the rebound from six yards out. Celtic have it all to do.

Goldson scores his team’s second goal
Goldson scores his team’s second goal Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

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53 mins: Laxalt sends in a cross which makes its way to Frimpong on the opposite flank and he gets the ball to Elyounoussi via Ntcham but the forward’s first touch takes the ball into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Rangers break down the other, leading Kent breaking into the box but Ajer recovers well to put in a fine tackle on the Rangers forward.

51 mins: A lot of action in the midfield but not much actually happening.

49 mins: Celtic are trying to look more aggressive in the opening stages of the second half but with little success. A reminder that they failed to have a shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

47 mins: A quick throw from Morelos almost sends Barker through but Brown reads it and sweeps up any danger.

Second half

Here we go again!

Plenty of analysis of how thick Morelos. I, for one, look forward to his sending off.

What changes can Lennon make? I suspect Griffiths might be on for Klimala quite soon as the striker is offering very little.

Half-time

It has all been quite even, to be honest. Rangers look to have a little more going forward, which is no surprise as Celtic are missing a few attackers. The difference is a well-taken set-piece and a fine finish. Let’s hope for more of the same after the break.

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45 mins: Welsh tries to get involved in the final third but his pass into the box is read by no one and the goalkeeper scoops up the ball.

One minute added on.

43 mins: Morelos’ latest misdemeanour is to clatter into Duffy mid-air a second after the defender heads the ball clear. The striker really is a liability. He then also trips Brown once more, just for laughs.

41 mins: Morelos is getting increasingly angry, as he is yet to muster a decent chance in the game and therefore is yet to scoring in an Old Firm game in 13 attempts.

39 mins: Celtic are certainly missing Edouard up top today, as they have lacked any form of dynamism in the final third when in possession.

Morelos fouls Brown and keeps giving him a bit of lips after. Classic Morelos. The striker then slaps the Celtic skipper on the back of the head in a jovial manner. I am quite upset that Brown did not go down in an attempt to get Morelos sent off.

37 mins: Frimpong gets into trouble on the right flank and is dispossessed just outside the area. The defender will be breathing a sigh of relief after Kent’s shot is deflected behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

35 mins: Ntcham swings in another cross but McGregor comes to claim and does so with aplomb. The Rangers goalkeeper is yet to be tested today.

33 mins: Brown misplaces a pace, which ends up with Arfield who is immediately cut down by McGregor, giving Ranger a free-kick around 40 yards from goal. Tavernier lifts into the box but the ball is cleared.

31 mins: Duffy pings a 50-yard pass out to Frimpong but the right-back is offside. The former City youngster really has struggled to get into the game in an attacking sense thus far.

29 mins: Klimala needlessly pushes Barisic in the back inside the Celtic half to giveaway a free-kick. The felled man swings in a cross but the flag goes up for offside. Still ... what a thick thing for Klimala to do.

27 mins: Ntcham whips in a dangerous cross from deep on the right but it lands perfectly on Goldson’s head, allowing him to nod it well clear.

25 mins: Klimala looks decent at holding up the ball, which is an attribute he might need to use quite often in order to get help and support from his straggling teammates.

Klimala battles for the ball with Helander and Kamara
Klimala battles for the ball with Helander and Kamara Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

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23 mins: A Celtic corner is whipped in by McGregor from the right but Duffy is penalised for clambering on Goldson. Not the smartest move from the experienced defender.

21 mins: Celtic are not providing much for Klimala at the moment, with the striker struggling to get into the game. Another cross goes over his head and Rangers clear.

19 mins: Morelos gets round the back, showing no signs of the injury he was treated for earlier, eventually wining a corner off a defender. The set-piece is flicked clear by Celtic and they launch a counter which ends with McGregor’s shot being blocked by Goldson.

And here is the goal. Should the goalkeeper have done better?

17 mins: Another poor clearance from Rangers sees Kamara head the ball into Ntcham’s path but his shot from the edge of the area is blocked.

15 mins: A long ball down the pitch by Duffy is not dealt with by Goldson, allowing Elyounoussi a chance to lob the onrushing goalkeeper but he sends it well over the bar.

Simon McMahon is looking ahead: “Nice appetiser this ahead of the main course, today’s New Firm derby between Dundee United and Aberdeen at Tannadice. Don’t know about you, but I‘ve been pretending it’s 1982 since March, with the world on the brink of destruction. But we’ll get through it, as we did then, and the bonus is that United will win the league next May!”

13 mins: There is plenty of aggression in the game, even without the fans. Additionally, there is no shortage of skill, with Kamara showing some lovely feet to dance around a few defenders.

Kent has his first chance of the game - he cuts in from the right and gets the ball onto this left foot before hitting a weak shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Morelos is down with what looks like a thigh issue.

11 mins: Lennon now looks very grumpy on the bench, probably due to his defenders letting Goldson go and Barkas’ inability to keep the header out.

Things almost get worse for Celtic as Tavernier smashes a volley from the edge of the box but it flashes a few yards wide of the goal.

GOAL! Celtic 0-1 Rangers (Goldson, 9)

Tavernier swings another free-kick into the box after Kent is brought down 35 yards from goal. The delivery is perfect and lands on Goldson’s head, after he gets the wrong side of the defender, allowing him to glance it home from six yards out or so.

Goldson celebrates scoring
Goldson celebrates scoring Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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8 mins: McGregor makes a run down the left, gets to the byline and pulls dangerous ball into the box but Helander is there to intercept.

Down the other end, Rangers have a dangerous attack of their which culminates in Barisic flashing a shot high and wide when in a good position.

This is an incredibly open game and is plenty of fun to watch. More of this, please.

6 mins: Duffy saunters out of the back but it quickly dispossessed by Morelos. Maybe the defender thinks he is playing in a testimonial. Luckily, for the Celtic man, the attack comes to nothing.

4 mins: Celtic are looking pretty slick, passing it around freely until Barker leaves one on Brown to ‘make him know he’s there’.

2 mins: Laxalt’s first involvement as a Celtic player is to give away a dangerous free-kick on the right flank. Tavernier swings it into the box and Celtic - after a bit of panic - manager to send it clear.

Kick-off

Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!

Some things we definitely do not want to see today ...

As a child I went to see Rangers lose to AEK Athens in the Champions League. I can’t remember much about it but someone drove me from Glasgow to Manchester in a Land Rover.

How will Celtic attempt to wind up Morelos without the crowd adding to the ire against the striker? I reckon there will be some sneaky fouls put it on the Rangers man to just test his nerve.

Gerrard says the performance is not important today, as long as the result is the right one.

Things will be a touch quieter today ...

Lennon says he is “very excited’ about the game. The Celtic boss adds that his new signings have integrated well into the squad.

Welsh has never let Celtic down when he has been used by Lennon, the manager says. Big day for the lad.

Laxalt is making his Celtic debut today after arriving from Milan. He has not played a competitive game since July, so it is a tough ask for him to start his Scottish Premiership career against their biggest rivals.

Ianis Hagi is a decent player to have on the bench, as he has the ability to open up tired defences later on in the fixture. Although, being able to make five subs might counteract that slightly.

Gerrard has given Brandon Barker the nod today, hoping his dribbling might worry a the Celtic backline. There could be plenty of space for him to utilise on that flank, I feel.

Celtic defender Stephen Welsh is making only his second first-team appearance for the club. He started in a win over Hamilton last season following a loan spell with Greenock Morton but this will be his first Old Firm derby.

A longer explanation why you are probably disappointed you did not make the Celtic squad today.

Starting lineups

Celtic: Barkas, Frimpong, Welsh, Ajer, Duffy, Laxalt, Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Elyounoussi, Klimala

Subs: Bain, Taylor, Griffiths, Ajeti, Soro, Turnbull, Rogic, Henderson, Ralston

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Kamara, Davis, Arfield, Barker, Kent, Morelos

Subs: McLaughlin, Bassey, Balogun, Jack, Jones, Hagi, Aribo, Itten, Defoe

Good morning!

It seems an age since Scottish football’s two fiercest rivals faced each other, but it is only 10 months. However, that is a long time for two teams who are used to playing each other so regularly.

The good news is that Rangers are once again giving the early impression that they might be up for a title challenge, currently topping the league, although Celtic do have a game in hand. Steven Gerrard’s side also knocked Turkish giants Galatasaray out of the Europa League so they mean business. A front free of Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Ianis Hagi is enough to scare most oppositions, although the Romanian only makes the bench today.

Celtic have endured a difficult buildup to this match caused by a number of their players testing positive for Covid-19, meaning a weakened squad available to Neil Lennon. As is traditional, Celtic are, like their rivals, unbeaten in the league thus far and will be aiming to keep their record considering they are the home team but this is certainly the strongest Rangers side they will have come up against in recent memory.

It will be a mildly surreal experience to see the Old Firm take place without fans, however used we are now to such a scenario. Will that impact the renowned ferocity on the pitch? We will have to wait and see.

Here is to a good game!

Kick-off 12.30pm.

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