RANGERS drew within two points of Celtic at the top of the Premiership with a game in hand, earning a deserved win at the home of their great rivals through goals from Ryan Kent and Nikola Katic.

Ryan Christie missed a first-half penalty for Celtic, while Odsonne Edouard’s fortuitous goal ultimately counted for nothing.

Here are five talking points as the race for the title heated up even further going into the winter break…


On paper, the quartet of James Forrest, Ryan Christie, Mikey Johnston and Odsonne Edouard look almost impossible to contain, but on the pitch, Rangers managed it through brilliant organisation and a relentless work ethic that stymied the threat of Celtic’s danger men.

Ryan Jack, Steven Davis and Glen Kamara ran themselves into the ground to block off the passing lanes into Celtic’s main attacking threats, and while they also toiled on the rare occasions they were able to get on the ball, their inefficacy was largely down to the way that Rangers pressed and harried them into ceding possession.

The Celtic full-backs were also constantly forced inside into traffic, and while Steven Gerrard took a fair bit of stick for getting his tactics wrong in the meeting between the sides at Ibrox, he must take a massive amount of credit for getting his game-plan spot on here.


That familiar sense of injustice that Rangers felt after losing the Betfred Cup final after dominating the match must have been bubbling up once more as they walked off the Celtic Park pitch level at the interval.

Again, they had been the better side, and while on this occasion they had managed to break through the great wall of Fraser Forster once, a controversial goal for Celtic had again denied them what they would have felt was their just desserts.

The feeling around Celtic Park was that the champions had gotten away with it once again in an opening 45 minutes where their passing was slack, their marking was poor, and they looked second-best to the visitors.

Neil Lennon would have been warning his players that they couldn’t afford to be so slack again after the interval, but they were, and this time they eventually paid the price.

Rangers fired a warning shot across the Celtic bows as Katic just failed to connect with Borna Barisic’s corner, allowing the home defence to bundle behind, but the same two players immediately combined to fire Rangers ahead once more with marker Kristoffer Ajer nowhere to be seen.


Alfredo Morelos isn’t often out of the spotlight’s glare, and the longer he goes without scoring against Celtic, the more the focus on him intensifies in this fixture. It seems as if his ongoing failure to find the net against Celtic is playing on his mind too, with the forward taking on shots from almost anywhere.

He had two long-range trundlers straight at Fraser Forster and one effort that he ballooned high and wide inside the opening half hour.

That’s not to say he played poorly, with his physical qualities and his ability to get his team up the pitch a major asset throughout the game. But his desperation to score often saw him ignore better-placed teammates to take on optimistic shots.

Even when he got into good positions his usual predatory instincts deserted him, putting a great ball from Kent over the top on the stretch at the start of the second half.

And then, when his moment came to seal the game late on as he ran in on goal, he took too long to shoot and then earned a second yellow for going down too easily under Ajer’s challenge. Never a dull moment.


It wasn’t only the brilliant penalty save that the Rangers keeper produced to deny Ryan Christie from the penalty spot, although that was clearly a huge moment in the game, but his presence behind the Rangers backline that played a major part in the visitors’ victory.

He was constantly barking at his centre-backs, making sure they stayed switched on to the danger posed by Edouard, which they did for the vast majority of the match.

When called upon to show his shot-stopping ability, which was all-too infrequently from Celtic’s point of view, he produced the goods too, with a full-length dive to deny a Boli Bolingoli drive particularly impressive.


Although much has been made about the reduction in allocation for away fans in the Old Firm fixture, and there is little doubt that it removes some of the colour and atmosphere from the occasion, both sides have now won at the home of their rivals this season.

And just as Celtic had done at Ibrox back in September, the Rangers players savoured the win and then some with their small band of delirious followers in the corner of the stadium.

It was their first win at Celtic Park in nine long years, and a thoroughly deserved one at that, so it was perhaps a shame from their point of view that more of their supporters weren’t here to witness it.