A few notes on Celtic’s 2-0 victory at Ibrox.
1. A well deserved victory for Celtic, based on their second-half performance. They’ve been accused of failing when it really counts, but they produced today.
2. Strange performance from Rangers, particularly as they were the home side. They hardly tested Fraser Forster in the Celtic goal, though it could have been different had Izaguirre not cleared McCulloch’s early header off the line and onto the bar. Ultimately, individual errors cost Rangers the match.
3. The foundation for Celtic’s victory was the pairing of Majstorovic and Rogne in the middle of defence. Rightly criticised after previous performances, they hardly put a foot wrong at Ibrox.
4. Lovely ball from Joe Ledley for the opening goal. Baram Kayal also impressive again and looks good enough to be a regular starter, regardless of who has to be left out.
5. Hard to believe the performance from Samaras who was unlucky not to end up with a hat-trick. If only he could produce that level of performance on a regular basis. However, wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return to being mediocre next week, and may even still leave this month.
6. Steven Davis is Rangers’ driving force and is wasted out wide. He should have been in the middle from kick-off. Rangers also missed Steven Naismith – without him there was no link between midfield and Kenny Miller, who looked an isolated figure.
7. An uncharacteristic error from Allan McGregor led to the first goal. Absolutely no need to come rushing off his line.
8. The overrated Madjid Bougherra let Rangers down once again. Yet another clumsy tackle, this time to concede the penalty. Somehow linked with Barcelona but doesn’t have the composure to be a player at the very highest level and regularly commits himself to tackles when he shouldn’t.
9. Rangers need to move on – wins in their two games in hand returns them to the top. They need to overcome the psychological blow of the defeat and meet the challenges ahead. A busy SPL schedule combined with Europa League ties will test their squad to the limit.
10. While Celtic will understandably be on a high following the win, they need to strengthen during the transfer window. Another central defender is a must and despite Samaras’ performance, another striker should be brought in, particularly with Gary Hooper out injured.