Alfredo Morelos on ultimate wind-up as Shane Duffy has day to forget 3 days ago

Alfredo Morelos on ultimate wind-up as Shane Duffy has day to forget

CELTIC 0-2 RANGERS

Alfredo Morelos has had his fair share of run-ins with Celtic but he finished on the winning side today, and even lasted the full 90 minutes.

It was a day to forget for a strangely listless Celtic as they succumbed to a well-drilled and purposeful Rangers side.

Ahead of the first Old Firm clash of the 2020/21 season, former Celtic goalkeeper Packie Bonner said he was sorry that Ireland international Shane Duffy would not get to experience his derby debut against Rangers in front of a packed out stadium. At the end of 90 painful minutes for Celtic supporters, there were plenty of other reasons to sympathise for Duffy.

Rangers took only eight minutes to breach the Celtic defence, with a James Tavernier free-kick being headed home by Connor Goldson. The 27-year-old defender moved to Ibrox in 2018 after struggling to get past Duffy and Lewis Dunk in the Brighton XI.

For the goal, it was Goldson planting a seed of doubt in Duffy's mind as he stood in an offside position before the free was delivered into the box. Goldson did step back towards the edge of the box but would have been offside had Duffy held with the rest of the Celtic line.

Instead, the Derry native cut back and was caught unable to get a block as Goldson headed past Vasilis Barkas in the Celtic goal.

Duffy back-heeled the post of his own goal in frustration as the Rangers played reeled off in celebration.

The rest of the half saw Celtic - not helped by playing this Old Firm game without boisterous home support - try to get going. There were also no Celtic fans baying for yellow and red cards for Alfredo Morelos as he got stuck into both Duffy and Scott Brown.

Morelos, who came into the game with 44 yellow cards and seven red cards in his previous 144 appearances, somehow escaped even a caution after four fouls in the opening 45 minutes. He was fortunate, on 38 minutes, that this slap on Brown was not picked up by the officials.

Mohamed Elyounoussi squandered Celtic's best chance but Rangers deserved their lead as the half-time whistle went.

Neil Lennon opted to stick with his starting XI as the second half commenced but saw enough, after 54 minutes, when Goldson bagged his second of the game. The hosts were cut to ribbons down the right-hand side and although Duffy blocked Goldson's first effort, he was left on the deck as the Rangers defender slotted in the rebound.

Lennon made five changes in the final quarter but it did little to get the Hoops going. Their best chance of the second half arrived on 81 minutes when sub Leigh Griffiths rounded Allan McGregor but he could only square the ball back to the Rangers goalkeeper.

The last incident of note arrived on 84 minutes when Morelos dashed in with a late kick on Duffy. He responded with a shove on the Rangers striker and the referee booked both men.

Steven Gerrard had seen enough and Morelos was called ashore. It was another smart move from the former Liverpool captain on a day his side opened up a four point lead on their rivals.