Steven Gerrard’s Glasgow Rangers team have now given themselves a massively deserved psychological boost, going into this very welcome winter break for the squad.
The advantage of being equal on points at the top with Celtic after Saturday’s 1-0 win, and also keeping ahead of Aberdeen, who have become Rangers’ bogey team, is great for the players’ confidence.
The Gers had not beaten Celtic at the top level since March 2012 when Sone Aluko, Andy Little and Lee Wallace were the scorers, in a memorable Rangers 3-2 victory at Ibrox.
The latest 1-0 win against their bitter rivals will go some way to helping the fans and the Rangers board, to heal some of the deep wounds that erupted during the club’s long financial plight in the lower leagues.
And although the final score was only 1-0 it was a win worth more than the scoreline suggests. It could easily have been three or four, plus another clean sheet.
Rangers player ratings:
Who would have thought that Allan McGregor would have so little to do against Celtic. The clean sheet would have pleased him greatly. 7
James Tavernier didn’t get too far forward, but was up against Sinclair who scored a hat-trick against Aberdeen. Tav played well and nullified the winger’s game. 7.5
Connor Goldson was dominant in both penalty areas and kept things steady for Rangers. Celtic forwards Johnston and Edouard did nothing throughout. Outstanding performance. 9
Joe Worrall formed a resolute central defensive partnership with Goldson and achieved everything Gerrard wanted from him. Fine match. 8.5
Andy Halliday with a spirited sliding tackle on Olivier Ntcham set the tone for his day at left-back. With some excellent deliveries from set pieces, he won over the odd doubters in this superb performance. 8.5
Ryan Jack scored the all-important opening goal with a clever side-footed shot, which took a slight deflection. He nearly scored a second but his effort was saved by Craig Gordon. An ace shift and got forward a bit more than usual. 8.5
Ross McCrorie harried for every ball. He reads the game well and has superb positional sense. Passing is his only weakness. 8
Scott Arfield the Canadian international attacking midfield player is sorely missed when out injured. He did well on occasions and had a good strike cleared off the line. He found himself in several good positions but lacked a bit of luck with the finishes. 7.5
Daniel Candeias showed as much effort and movement as ever. Had a great chance early on, but failed to score from eight-yards. Replaced after another solid shift. 7.5
Alfredo Morelos always caused problems for the Hoops backline with his movement, strength and skill. He never gave Celtic’s defence any peace and showed the usual mixture of running, hold-up play and willingness to look for goal that makes him such a quality striker. 8.5
Ryan Kent with his brilliant mazy run past Mikael Lustig as he cut it back for Jack to score the opener. Was skillful and a threat every time he had the ball. He also worked like a trojan to win possession back and battled hard. Intelligent passing and tireless running in a man of the match display. 9.5