Twenty one years ago, Rangers turned up to Celtic Park in poor form, with their star goalie out injured, for a game that if they won, it would all but seal nine in a row. They did what they had to do, with the odds stacked against them, with most of the work being done by the hosts in that particular match, self imploding and choking yet again when it really mattered.
Yesterday was the closest you will get to a modern day remastering of that match, only with the teams reversed.
Celtic went into this game with questions hanging over them. How would they cope with Rangers pacy counter attacking qualities ? How could they handle ‘Lolador’(more on him later) and his bulldozer style of play ? Would their defence screw the nut like they had against Aberdeen at the end of February ?
Well, no, the defence yet again was a cause for concern but once again, it didn’t matter and seven in a row was confirmed when our latest on-loan striker hit the winner past Foderingham. The cry was not no surrender, but rather ‘sign him up’ and ‘break the bank!’. Aye, very good lads. Tone down the tribalism and see how the Edouard does from now until the end of the season with a proper run in the team first eh before the ‘Bring him home’ battlecries kick off in the summer.
The game itself was epic. A relentless tussle in which Celtic genuinely struggled to cope, until we went down to ten men, and suddenly the game swung in our favour, and my theory for this is because this was the moment Rangers were EXPECTED to go on and win the game, instead of just putting up a fight, and they bottled it.
Credit has to go to Brendan Rodgers however, for acting swiftly to counter Simunovic’s harsh red card , whereas Graham Murty showed that he’s not a manager, but rather just a limited coach, and this is why Celtic will always have their foot on Rangers throat in these games for the forseeable future.
The game could have panned out very differently had the embarrassingly out of his depth Alfredo Morelos put away two chances in the second half, at crucial points in the game, to either put the home side ahead or draw level.
I have said in the past that I felt Morelos would be a threat in this fixture, with his bull in a china shop gimmick being a particular worry, despite going to the same finishing school as Mickey Rourke.
Alas, it’s time to #admitit and hold my hands up that this Columbian is not even worth the HITMAN patter the tabloids lazily brandish him as, but rather, an idiot, whose miss yesterday was career defining to the point that this fat clown can surely never be on the pitch against us ever again. It is with a heavy heart I called it wrong with this individual, whose hairstyle pretty much sums up his overall play as a striker - erratic and embarrassing.
Contrast this guy with Moussa Dembele, who once more, rose to the big occasion with a fine finish and excellent assist for Edouard’s winner.
We said on Friday that Rangers would not handle the pressure and once again we called it, just like that Zenit away game....
Hopefully the manager plays a consistent team for the rest of the season, and sorts the defensive problems out ahead of the semi final, which I do believe will be a different game and more of a one off match in which Rangers could pose us more problems than yesterday.
Until then, enjoy the constant clips of the highlights on Youtube and a year from now we’re sure the typical Celtic accounts will remind us of this glorious day with the predictable ‘on this day’ before we wake up in the morning!