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Celtic stroll to win over Rangers to extend unbeaten run Featured

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Published in Football
Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:30

Scottish Premiership, Ibrox Stadium - Rangers 0 Celtic 2 (Rogic 50, Griffiths 65)

Celtic were comfortable winners of the first Old Firm derby of the season as goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths provided them with a 2-0 victory over Rangers.
Brendan Rodgers’ side, who came into the game on the back of a 45-game unbeaten run, dominated large spells of the first half but failed to find a break-through until after the restart.

In fact, Rangers should probably have had a penalty after only 12 minutes when Alfredo Morelos was clipped by Jozo Simunovic. However, the referee wasn’t interested and Celtic took the initiative in the second period when, after Rangers failed to clear from a corner, Rogic hammered in the opening goal.

The hosts responded well but Morelos spurned their best opportunity and minutes later goalkeeper Wesley Foderingham was picking the ball out of his net for the second time, Griffiths doubling the advantage after being played through by Patrick Roberts.

Substitute Moussa Dembele missed a chance to add a late third and Celtic had to settle with just the two-goal win.

The win moves Celtic five points clear of second-placed Aberdeen and eight points ahead of arch-rivals Rangers with only seven games of the Scottish Premiership played.

TALKING POINT

Celtic’s gulf in class shows once more: It is obvious Rangers do not possess the quality they used to in years gone by and this performance was a reminder to manager Pedro Caixinha of just how much ground his team have to make up to catch their enemy

MAN OF THE MATCH

Patrick Roberts (Celtic): The winger tormented marker Lee Hodson on the right channel throughout as he created numerous chances for his team mates, grabbing a well deserved assist when he played through Griffiths for Celtic’s second.

PLAYER RATINGS

Rangers: Foderingham 7, Tavernier 5, McCrorie 6, Cardoso 6, Hodson 5, Candeias 6, Dorrans 5, Jack 5, Pena 4, Windass 6, Morelos 6. Subs: Nemane N/A, Miller 5, Herrera 5.

Celtic: Gordon 7, Lustig 7, Simunovic 7, Boyata 6, Tierney 7, Brown 7, Armstrong 7, Roberts 8, Rogic 8, Sinclair 7, Griffiths 8. Subs: Dembele 6, McGregor 6, Forrest 6.

KEY MOMENTS

2’ - ROGIC GOES CLOSE! Not even a minute is on the clock and Celtic are almost on the scoresheet. Rodic surges forward and lashes a fierce shot which is destined for the top corner but Foderingham does brilliantly to get a fingertip to the effort and tip it over.

12’ - PENALTY SHOUT! Windass plays through Morelos whose trailing leg is clipped by Simunovic but the referee isn't interested in Rangers' appeal. It is a clumsy tackle and Celtic have got away with one.

33’ – GOOD SAVE TO DENY ROGERS! The Celtic winger skips by Hodson far too easily on the channel, he breaks into the penalty area and tries to squeeze the ball through the legs of Foderingham from a tight angle but the Rangers goalkeeper does well to make the block.

50’ – GOAL: CELTIC ARE AHEAD! Rangers can only partially clear from a Celtic corner. The loose ball falls kindly for Roberts who shoots from the edge of the penalty area. It's blocked, but Rangers still can't clear and Rogic makes them pay. He smashes his shot into the top corner!

54’ - GREAT SAVE FROM GORDON! Morelos should score from the subsequent corner. He has a wonderful opportunity to level the scores but heads it at Gordon who makes a great block from only a few yards out.

65’ – GOAL: CELTIC DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! The visitors double their advantage with a goal slightly against the run of play! Roberts surges forward, plays a lovely reverse pass into space for Griffiths who slides the ball into the bottom corner.

90’+2 – NEARLY A THIRD! Tierney's drills a low cross to the back post but the unmarked Dembele can't quite reach it to apply the finish.

KEY STAT

Celtic extend their unbeaten run to 46 league matches (W41 D5) and 57 games in domestic competition (W52 D5).

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  • Rodgers: Celtic played like under-12 side at times in defeat to PSG

    Boss Brendan Rodgers claimed his Celtic side played like under-12s at times in their 5-0 thumping by Paris St Germain at Parkhead.

    The world's most expensive frontline did the damage in the first half of their Champions League Group B opener as Brazilian star Neymar opened the scoring in the 19th minute, 18-year-old French sensation Kylian Mbappe added a second in the 34th minute before Edinson Cavani netted with a penalty before the break.

    The Scottish champions performed better after the break, but in the latter stages Parkhead defender Mikael Lustig put through his own goal before Cavani grabbed his second with a clever header to hand the home side their record home defeat in Europe.
    Rodgers said: "This is a level where you have to look after the ball and you have to make it work for you.

    " In the first half we didn't do that, we were playing like under-12s at times."
    "So like I say, it is confidence, belief. We are missing some decisive players as well who can help us at this level but it is always going to be very tough. That is the reality of it.

    " I don't want to be too harsh on the players. They (PSG) are the potential champions of this tournament and where we are at, with all due respect, and where those guys are at, it is not just one or two levels, it is three or four levels away beyond."
    "We always have to be competitive and we weren't for that first period but the second half was much better and the supporters acknowledged that."

    To add to their on-field woes, the Glasgow club may be in trouble again with UEFA after a fan came on to the pitch to aim a fresh-air kick at Mbappe before being escorted away by stewards, after Cavani had scored his penalty.

    Asked about the fan incident, Rodgers said: "The crowd reaction said it all. It is disappointing at any ground that a supporter gets on to the pitch.

    "I am sure the club will deal with that. It shouldn't be anything that we should see on a football field. The crowd in their reaction told you everything you need to know."
    PSG boss Unai Emery was pleased by his side's start to the competition.

    He said: "I am really happy with the victory.

    "The most difficult thing here is to cope with the rhythm they play at, the intensity and of course with the support they have behind them.

    "My team showed a lot of character and a very controlled approach to the game which I am very pleased at.

    "We are pleased that we were in control with the ball and without the ball. I would like to stress that it was a team effort. So it is a mixture of happiness and calmness.

    "We are really confident that we can continue on the journey we have set out on, it was good for confidence, it is a good step forward."

  • PSG’s devastating trident destroy Celtic

    Champions League Group B, Celtic Park - Celtic 0 PSG 5 (Neymar 19, Mbappe 34, Cavani 40(p), 85, Lustig 84 og)

    Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were all on target as Paris Saint Germain made an early statement of intent with a thumping 5-0 victory at Celtic in their Champions League Group B opener.

    The expensively assembled forward triumvirate, dubbed the 'MCN', have been brought together in a bid to finally realise the French side's dream of winning the competition for the first time, and they hit the ground running as the visitors proved far too strong for Brendan Rodgers' side from the very first whistle.

    First, Neymar took his tally to five in five Champions League outings versus the Hoops with a well-taken opener, before Mbappe added the second to silence what had been a vibrant Celtic Park.
    Cavani then converted a penalty to become PSG's all-time leading scorer in the competition before sealing the victory with a smart header following Mikael Lustig's own goal.

    The defeat was Celtic's heaviest on home turf in European competition and they will now need to pick themselves up quickly for their trip to Anderlecht on September 27. PSG host Bayern Munich in what promises to be a more severe test of their credentials.

    TALKING POINT

    New and improved PSG look the real deal. All eyes were on £336 million summer recruits Neymar and Mbappe, and they didn't disappoint. PSG looked dangerous every time they came forward and were far too good for a Celtic side who, on this evidence, already look set to battle Anderlecht for third spot. The French giants will face tougher tests in the months ahead, but their strike-force have already developed an understanding that has defenders quaking in their boots.
    It used to be all about Barcelona's 'MSN', and while PSG's front trio have some way to go in terms of matching their goal-getting exploits, the mere fact people are now talking about the 'MCN' suggests they have the potential to become the best forward line of 2017-18. That, as well as the smart recruitment of the likes of the experienced, Champions League winner Dani Alves, can only bode well for Paris' dream of finally going the distance in this competition.

    MAN OF THE MATCH

    Cavani (PSG). The big-money summer signings may have taken the early spotlight, but it was a familiar face who stood out over the 90 minutes. Cavani led the line superbly and scored a quite super diving header to put the icing on the cake after his first-half spot kick had seen him surpass Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the club's leading scorer in the Champions League.
    PLAYER RATINGS

    CELTIC: Gordon 7; Ralston 5, Lustig 5, Simunovic 5, Tierney 5; Brown 6, Ntcham 5; Armstrong 5, Roberts 5, Sinclair 5; Griffiths 5. Subs: Rogic 5, Edouard 5, Forrest 5.
    PSG: Areola 7; Alves 8, Marquinhos 7, Silva 7, Kurzawa 7; Motta 7, Verratti 8, Rabiot 8; Mbappe 8, Cavani 8, Neymar 8. Subs: Draxler 6, Lo Cleso n/a.

    KEY MOMENTS

    19' - GOAL! Celtic 0-1 PSG. Neymar silences Parkhead as he races onto Rabiot's pass and drives into the left of the area before coolly firing home.

    22' - CELTIC CHANCE. Griffiths steps up and curls a 35-yard free kick towards the top corner that Alphonse Areola is forced to tip over the bar. Almost an immediate response from the Hoops.

    34' - GOAL! Celtic 0-2 PSG. It's two and this time it's Mbappe. The French forward smashes it home after Cavani had missed Neymar's knockdown from Verratti's right-wing cross.

    40' - GOAL! Celtic 0-3 PSG. Cavani easily sends Gordon the wrong way from the penalty spot after Simunovic had pulled him back in the box. The MCN have all found the net in this first half.
    65' - CELTIC CHANCE. Sinclair attacks Alves on the left and then races beyond him to the byline. He takes a touch back inside but can't squeeze his shot beyond Areola at the near post.

    84' - GOAL! Celtic 0-4 PSG. Draxler dances beyond Sinclair on the right and fires in a low cross that Mikael Lustig inadvertently diverts into his own net.

    85' - GOAL! Celtic 0-5 PSG. It's five-star PSG! Cavani peels off his marker and diverts a sublime diving header into the far corner from a bewitching left-wing delivery.
    KEY STATS

    Mbappe is the first-ever player to score a Champions League goal as a teenager for two different clubs (Monaco & PSG).

    Mbappé equals the record for most CL goals scored as a teenager (7), which was exclusively held by Patrick Kluivert

    Cavani is now Paris Saint-Germain's leading goalscorer in Champions League history (22).

    Mbappé has scored in six of his last seven games in the Champions League.

    Celtic's 0-5 loss to Paris Saint-Germain is their heaviest home defeat ever in European competition.

  • Celtic FC vs Paris Saint-Germain predictions

    Celtic vs Paris Saint-Germain predictions for their Champions League match in Glasgow on Tuesday. The Scottish champions begin another very tough group-stage campaign. Read on for our free predictions and betting tips.
    Celtic vs Paris Saint-Germain betting tips

    Celtic have again been done no favours by the Champions League draw and look set to be on the back foot early in terms of qualification as they host Neymar and Co in their opening game.

    Time after time, the Scottish champions seem to find themselves in a group of death from which they find it impossible to escape.

    Last season, they were in with Barcelona and Manchester City. Previously it was Barcelona and AC Milan. Even on their latest group-stage appearance in the Europa League, the Hoops had to play Ajax and Fenerbahce and even finished behind surprise qualifiers Molde!

    But enough of the negativity. This is a new season and Celtic appear to have their best team for a long time, so why shouldn’t they be able to battle it out with Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Anderlecht for the two places in the knockout phase?


    Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani (Getty Images)
    They should not be discounted from getting into the mix, but neither can it be overlooked that two of the first four clubs in the overall Champions League betting are in this pool.

    And that means more fantastic European nights at Celtic Park featuring some of the world’s best players, the first squad to show up including the world’s two most expensive footballer purchases in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (at least when his £160million permanent move is completed next summer).

    Neymar will, of course, know what to expect from his visits here with Barcelona and, assuming he is available and does start, it is hard to imagine that he will not have a significant impact against a Celtic defence that conceded two or more goals in all three home matches of last season’s group stage.

    Although Brendan Rodgers’ side are arguably stronger now, they are not in the same class as PSG and that quality is expected to count in what should be a comfortable success for a serious challenger to Real Madrid’s crown.
    Celtic vs Paris Saint-Germain stats

    These clubs met previously in the 1995-96 European Cup Winners’ Cup when Paris Saint-Germain went through 4-0 on aggregate
    The French team won the first leg 1-0 at home and the second 3-0 in Glasgow
    Paris Saint-Germain are unbeaten in six matches against Scottish opponents in European competitions

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