Old Firm Analysis

2 Mar

1. A senior Police officer this week called for Old Firm games to be scrapped due to the trouble they cause.  Maybe he has a point after this battle – complete and utter madness.

2. Celtic deserved the win.  They created the few chances that came in the match and were never threatened at the back.

3. Rangers weren’t exposed nearly as often as they were in recent league defeat at Celtic Park, thanks to playing an extra man at the back.  However, this resulted in the Ibrox side being even less of an attacking threat.  It worked against Sporting Lisbon, but not tonight.

4. That extra man, Kyle Bartley, was one of Rangers’ better performers.  His pace helped nullify the threat of Georgios Samaras on more than one occasion, and he was a different player from the one who picked up an early yellow card in the last match between the two sides.

5. Steven Whittaker’s first booking was possibly soft but there was no doubt about his second.  Madjid Bougherra can have no complaints – yes he took the ball, but he took Kris Commons with it.  The challenge on Hooper for his first booking was pointless, and his conduct after the second yellow was pathetic.  Still one of the most overrated players to turn out for either half of the Old Firm in recent years.  Ironically, he was Rangers’ biggest attacking threat in second-half when he broke out of defence.

6. El Hadji Diouf – where to start.  He was left isolated so was unable to make an impression on the game.  Despite his talent, Rangers should never have went anywhere near this guy.  Yes, the Celtic players and management were trying to provoke him, but he must be used to it by now.  He only gets a hard time from the opposition because of his previous conduct, so he has nobody to blame but himself.  Did Rangers not think that he may draw a bit of attention if he came to the SPL?

7. The best player on the park was Beram Kayal.  He seems to thrive in these contests and is one of several Celtic players set to attract the interest of English and European clubs. 

8. Mark Wilson is showing the best form of his Celtic career and the recent goals are a well deserved bonus for the way he is playing.  A mention also for a sensational clearance from Sasa Papac for Wilson’s shot before the goal, even if it didn’t do him much good in the end.

9. Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist need to grow up and move on.  The current Celtic manager and the future Rangers boss squaring up like two dads at an under-14’s match is embarrassing.  Not much of an example, considering what goes on in Glasgow and the surrounding areas on Old Firm day.

10. After all that, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Inverness Caley knock Celtic out in the cup quarter-final.

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