Brendan Rodgers made the most of his post match walk around the Ibrox pitch yesterday afternoon while Mick Beale was first up the tunnel, avoiding the boos and jeers his players were receiving from theRangers supporters, some of who resorted to in-fighting amid ugly scenes at Ibrox.
Celtic won the Glasgow Derby 1-0 thanks to a brilliant volley from Kyogo, who just can’t stop scoring against theRangers.
VAR actually did it’s job to correctly rule out a goal for the latest Ibrox outfit who have already found their crayons set to write a furious letter to the Scottish FA asking why the rules of the game were enforced costing them a goal. The bloke from The Rangers Review has this as an exclusive on his site and also in The Herald, where he work overseeing The Rangers Review and Celtic Way websites – the one that asks Celtic supporters for money to subscribe.
Bobby Madden, of all people, had already explained why the goal was disallowed and there are examples in previous games involving theRangers where they gained and lost out to the same rule being enforced in the same way. Have a look at the examples below.
After his gallus stroll around the Ibrox pitch, Brendan Rodgers faced The Rangers Review/Celtic Way and the rest of the mainstream media in the press room inside Ibrox and they just couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. “It was a fantastic result for us. When you look at the squad we had here and half our team missing, we need the players to come here and play like men and they did that,” the Celtic manager said.
“In the first half, we were very good on the ball and got through the pitch very well, that is important when you come here you have to manage the football and take away the intensity from the crowd and we did that.
“We got into some good positions and maybe just lacked the cleanness and final pass that would have got us in a bit earlier. We got the goal we deserved in the first half and it’s a goal that I have said to the players about doing the dirty bit. We scored a similar goal against Ross County, even though it is a really technical group of players you have to be able to compete and win the ball.
“Matt O’Riley makes a great header and all of a sudden we are in on goal and it is a brilliant finishing against a very good keeper in Jack Butland. So I felt we deserved that.
“In the second half, you expect pressure at Ibrox, I have never been here and not had pressure in the game and it is about standing up to that. The players were absolutely magnificent and there were a few moments we could have killed the game off as had three breakaways that we should have finished.
“Jack Butland makes a great save from Liel Abada so it should have been more convincing for us. It was a brilliant win and exactly what the group needed,” Brendan Rodgers said after the 1-0 win over theRangers in a match where there were no Celtic supporters present.
The Celtic manager also talked about how this victory will help with the confidence within the squad.
“It is big for the new guys in particular,” he noted. “The likes of Callum, who I thought was brilliant today, he is used to it but for the new guys coming in, they understand the magnitude of the win and the rivalry and everything else and to come away to a big rival with no supporters, to get the win shows them that feeling what is about and we can take the good feeling into the next game but we need to keep pushing forward.”
Brendan Rodgers, like every other Celtic support, marvelled at the winner scored by Kyogo who just can’t stop scoring against theRangers this year. That’s goal number six. “He takes it really early at the edge of the box but that’s what he does. He went through in the first half and you expect him to score, another moment in the second half when he chopped inside and slipped. He is such a threat playing on the last line, he was very good,” the Celtic manager noted.
And Rodgers was just as pleased with his central defenders as he was with his centre-forward.The stand-in centre-back pairing Gustaf Lagerbielke and Liam Scales stood up magnificently to everything that was thrown at them and contributed to the clean sheet that earned Celtic the victory against a full strength theRangers side.
“Scalesy is a great guy, he knows what this fixture means and I thought he was outstanding,” Brendan Rodgers said. “Gus gets an early warning of what you can’t so, dwell on it, better to have that now. But he obviously gets nicked and he is still a very young player who will learn, this will be great for him. The two centre-halves in any team, they need to stand up and be strong and both of those guys did that.”
The wider implications of a win yesterday was not lost on the Celtic manager. A defeat for him would have seen his critics pile in and arguments started between one group of Celtic supporters who would want to back the manager regardless and another who probably never wanted him back in the first place of perhaps would have moved to that position on the back of a defeat to Mick Beale’s team.
Brendan Rodgers is spared that. Football is a results business and Mick Beale has spent 2023 losing all the meaningful matches as theRangers manager. Every single one including six against Celtic and of course the costly Champions League play-off against the same team that Giovanni van Bronckhorst conquered the previous summer.
Even the glory days of celebrating the Sky Sports’ hastily conceived SBR trophy (Summer Bragging Rights) have faded and the Ibrox Bears are no longer buying that from their spin-doctor of a manager. The pressure is well and truly on Beale and you would have to doubt that he’ll make it to the next meeting against Celtic Park on Saturday 30 December. He’s got a Europa League group stages campaign and a four point deficit on Celtic to worry about before then and plenty of Bears want him out now.
With holders Celtic’s shock exit at Kilmarnock, if he’s still around, Beale will really need to lift the League Cup on 17 December to get the monkeys off his back.
Rodgers knows that’s how it works in Glasgow. He is a course and distance winner and that’s why any Celtic supporters were happy enough to welcome him back after Ange Postecoglou left quicker than Rodgers did first time around.
“I understand I have been placed on death watch by the media,” Rodgers said yesterday afternoon, looking them all straight in the eye. Brendan is very big on eye contact. ”
But whatever the result today I’m an experienced manager now and I’m staying calm. That’s where you are powerless as a coach.
“For me I understand what we have, I understand what we are missing. So for me, until we get the level of player back that will make a difference in some of our games we have to keep working and developing and improving and I have absolutely no doubt that we will do that as the season grows.
“Listen, it’s three wins and a draw and some of the games have been good, but we are still piecing together a team which will look a lot more like it by the end of the season.” He could have added, when the trophy that matters is handed out but he’s already said that on the day he was re-appointed.
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