Rangers – Celtic: Match Review

We didn’t sign Denayer, but it doesn’t matter cos we got Boyata. The big man gave us that today. If it was not for his interpretation of a man on fire doing a Zidanesque movement in the first two minutes of the match, while he was the last line of defence, and with a goalkeeper short of game time this season and making his Celtic debut at Ibrox, hoping to ease into the game, we would not have got to scream so loudly when the Wizard of Oz slapped down Rangers players and curved a belter past Paolo di Canio’s fav goalie.

He likes to bring us down so that the elation will be stronger. He is the personification of the #bantz of telling someone you have not got the job only to scream ‘only joking ya silly sausage ye’.

He didn’t mastermind the second Rangers goal, but he was a worker bee for them, allowing Morelos, with his weird patch of hair (like he has smeared glue over a very specific part of the top of his head and then dunked it in a bowl of hair), to outmuscle him in the 6 year box. Oh Dedro, with these mishaps you are really spoiling us.

But Boyata doesn’t just allow us to grow as supporters, he also spreads the love to his colleagues: a moment of madness allowing Morelos through only for Big Ajer to slide in like an absolute hero and deflect the shot into Bain’s arms.

His day was complete when, under no pressure, and with us hoping to launch a lightening counter attack, he shanked the ball into the stand.

Dedryck Boyata: providing the lows so we can appreciate the highs. God bless you, big man
(I would go on to mention the tweedle dum to his tweedle dee, his partner in ‘CBs for the hard of thinking’, but I’m not going to waste my time typing about the liability Jozo is. Positivity reigns!)

Was hard to tell how the game started because of the mishap from nowhere. Celtic were looking quick-footed and willing to pass in tight places. Rogic looked up for it and his control and movement between the lines were the best they have been this season.

Rangers, of course, took back the control of the game midway through the half. They are an interesting team under Murty. They have almost become a throwback; a tribute act (cough) for the way football used to be played. They sit with two hard tackler midfielders and look to move the ball from back to front as quickly as possible, relying on their width for creativity. It’s a kind of punt and run football, aiming to either turn our defenders or gain yardage by winning throw ins or free kicks. It’s pretty archaic stuff and it will be interesting to see how it goes over against decent European teams. I suspect badly. But it’s effective against the rest of the SPFL. That probably says something.

The directness of Rangers insured that Ajer at right back had an uncomfortable first half. He was constantly having the ball played over his head and then expected to partake in a foot race. It was simple but effective, and again reiterated the need to examine the position over the summer.

From just after their 2nd goal until the sending off Celtic were in complete control and looked fairly comfortable. They were moving the ball well and their fluency was only being interrupted by some bizarre and fussy refereeing.

The sending off was spot on, but of course idiotic from Jozo. How surprising.

Cliché klaxon! It galvanised Celtic and you could clearly see their pre-match preparation for working with 10 men. It did good for Ntcham, who worked tirelessly to close down gaps in the midfield, and for Hendry, who looked at ease when he came on. Bain had barely anything to do, even with 10 men, but what he did he did well. He also seemed to make the supporters a lot more comfortable. And not just the Celtic fans: he made one Rangers fan so comfortable that he eased the grip on his missile and accidentally let it fly. What are they like!

Finally, Odsonne Edouard. It is often debated on the Huddleboard that Edouard is not worth the fee that PSG want, apparently around €8m. I would argue that the people against spending that kind of money on him have still got their head in the Martin O’Neill era where we spent less than that on Sutton and Hartson. It’s a big step to break our transfer record, but in today’s market Edouard is absolutely worth that money.

A word of caution though: his best games lately have come when we have been looking to counter – Zenit and today – and I sometimes get the feeling that he is best suited to a team that is not playing on the front foot most of the time. Either way, he has got all the tools to progress.

In conclusion, back in yer box, Rangers. And take that ‘tifo’ with you.


Graeme is a Celtic fan living in Bayern. He was the original bum on seat 1, row S, section 113 and stayed there for 11 seasons. He now contents himself with Celtic TV. He was one half of History Bhoys Abroad and has a background in journalism. Tom Rogic completes him. He can be found on twitter under @PodestrianG


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