Rangers 1-0 Celtic: Steven Gerrard becomes first Gers boss to beat Brendan Rodgers in Old Firm derby

Rangers produced a dominant display in Saturday’s Old Firm derby to end 2018 level on points with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Brendan Rodgers had not lost in 12 matches against Rangers but saw that run come to an end at Ibrox at the hands of his former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, with Ryan Jack’s first half goal earning the hosts a deserved victory.

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Ryan Jack celebrates his winner for Rangers

Rangers were handed a boost ahead of kick-off as Scott Arfield, Connor Goldson and Kent were all passed fit to start.

Celtic, meanwhile, fielded teenager Mikey Johnston in attack, with top scorer Odsonne Edouard only deemed fit enough to be named the bench alongside Kieran Tierney.

After a cagey start, Rangers soon gained control and Daniel Candeias came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute when he connected sweetly with a Ryan Kent cross only to be denied by Craig Gordon.

The Scotland goalkeeper was called into action again soon after as he flung himself to his left to paw out Goldson’s close-range header, before Alfredo Morelos headed against the bar from the resulting corner in a frantic few moments for Gers.

The hosts’ pressure finally paid off in the 31st minute, with Ryan Kent the provider.

After a fine piece of play down the left, the Liverpool loanee turned inside and pulled back to Jack, whose effort took a deflection off Scott Brown and sailed past Gordon.

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Ryan Jack’s first half goal proved enough for Rangers

Rangers took that lead into the break, while Celtic were forced into an early change when Filip Benkovic went off injured, to be replaced by Kristoffer Ajer.

It could, and arguably should have been 2-0 just two minutes after the restart.

The influential Kent had pressurised the Celtic back four into a mistake and found himself through on goal only to be denied by Gordon, before Arfield saw a follow-up cleared off the line.

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Craig Gordon was kept busy throughout the Old Firm derby

Minutes later Jack was denied by another brilliant Gordon save as Rangers piled on the pressure.

Against the run of play, Calum McGregor thought he had Celtic level with just over 20 minutes to go, but was marginally offside before he slipped the ball under the advancing Allan McGregor.
Olivier Ntcham saw a fierce shot blocked from inside the area as Celtic attempted to up the pressure late on, but the hosts were able to wind the clock down in their opponents’ half in the dying minutes.
The final whistle eventually went as the Ibrox crowd celebrated jubilantly along with the Rangers players for their first Old Firm win since 2012.

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