Rangers made quick work of a feeble-looking Celtic side, it’s hard to talk about Man of the Match, but one player stood out from the rest…
If you pick up a paper in the morning and see the headline “local man seen standing on roof, cheering wildly, while wearing face mask and nothing else” – be aware that local man is actually me. What. A. Win. I’m not sure I can emphasis enough the euphoria I’m experiencing, nor should I need to, as I suspect every single Bear who reads this will be experiencing the very same.
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Rangers came out all guns blazing and Celtic crumbled under the weight of our lads’ collective hunger. There was absolutely no doubt about the result, it was three precious points well and truly earned. Of course, Lennon wouldn’t be Lennon if he didn’t have his excuses already lined up. Not a full strength squad, due to COVID-19, he said. My team sheet got leaked online the night before, he moaned.
All that’s just a loud of twaddle, let’s be honest here. Coronavirus sidelined a few of his first XI, it’s true, but it similarly handed him an undeserved League title last year and I didn’t hear any griping in that direction. His team lineup getting leaked online is hilarious but utterly pointless – because of the quarantine cases it ultimately picked itself anyway.
Excuses don’t do much considering the lack of fight from the Hoops. We talked before about being wary of the “underdog” Celtic – but they never showed anywhere near the hunger needed to get past the absolute wall of our back four.
Speaking of the Rangers defence, one in particular was absolutely shining today. Connor Goldson somehow managed to net both Gers goals while keeping Patryk Klimala in his pocket. It’s hard to single out anyone from the Light Blues for praise because this really was the biggest challenge yet, mentally as much as anything, and getting past it is just phenomenal.
Nonetheless this was a legitimate Man of the Match performance, indeed he got the award, from Goldson in just about every department. His two goals decided the game, but he made a total of 8 clearances, more than every other Rangers player put together, to ensure Celtic never had a chance to get back into it. When things came close, he was there to help snuff it out. Oh and his three shots attempted was as many as all three Hoops forwards managed all game, a statistic I’ll be be sure to repeat as often as possible in future articles.
This game was absolutely essential and, let’s be real here, a draw would have felt more like a loss to us.
Let’s be real here though, Glen Kamara and Scotty Arfield were incredible in the middle of the park again. Ryan Kent is still the best player in Scotland, though the media tried to argue that would somehow change after seeing him in an Old Firm context again. James Tavernier, Filip Helander, Borna Barisic, to a man we looked head and shoulders above them. Above Celtic! It’s hard to believe but here we are.
Yet praise has to go to Goldson, all the good play and smart decisions in the world mean nothing without finishing. This game was absolutely essential and, let’s be real here, a draw would have felt more like a loss to us. Well cometh the hour, cometh the (vice) captain – Connor stepped up to the mark and brought 3 precious points home to Ibrox.Now 4 clear at the top, breathing room no matter what happens in the Hoops game in hand. Steven Gerrard is right that the real test will be
in the long run, can we be consistent enough to perform to this level all season? Let’s hope so. For now though, the lads rose to the challenge and now I’m rising to my roof. What a win indeed!