Red faced Rab gifts Gers
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rangers head the SPL after a 2-0 success on their travels to champions Celtic.Rangers head the SPL after a 2-0 success on their travels to champions Celtic courtesy of goals from Gregory Vignal and Nacho Novo.
Celtic goalkeeper Rab Douglas gifted Rangers their first but Novo finished matters in some style after dispatching a confident lob with ten minutes remaining.
The first period was much like two evenly matched boxers sparring but in truth no real punches were landed.
One man not adverse to a scrap is Craig Bellamy and on his belated debut, the fiery Welshman impressed with his movement if not his finishing.
Within five minutes and Bellamy had worked the left flank to expose space but after cutting inside, his effort was tepid and straight at Ronald Watererreus - who would later excel.
The tackles for the most part were of the variety reserved for Old Firm games and the football too was fast, frenetic but lacking any guile of note.
Bellamy's pace was causing those in blue some consternation and when John Hartson left Sortirious Kyrgrickos dumped on the turf and played a perfectedly waited pass, the on-loan hit man should have converted.
Clear on goal but on his weaker left foot, Bellamy attempted to steer the ball past Waterreus but the Dutchman was equal to it and scoresheet remained blank.
Waterreus, only playing because of injury to Stefan Klos, was then swift off his line to smother Hartson's close range effort after some weak defending from those infront of him.
The rest of the half remained a celebration of passion but the final pass eluded both sides and it was no surprise to see a stalemate at the interval.
Ten minutes after the restart and Rangers would conjure their first opportunity when after good approach play, Dado Prso cut inside his marker but slammed his strike into the throat of Douglas.
At the other end, Marvin Andrews denied Hartson with the bravest of headers in his own box and then the Celtic target man showed a deceptively neat touch to work an angle but again the finish was lacking and Waterreus parried.
With twenty minutes remaining, Vignal picked up possession and with the most lethargic of strikes somehow managed to put one blue hand on the SPL title.
Douglas will look back on the Frenchman's strike with considerable embarrassment, after allowing a shot from 20 yards to squirm through his hands and silence Celtic Park.
On 81 minutes and Rangers' delight was doubled when Novo raced beyond a static Celtic back-three to lob Douglas with considerable poise and aplomb.
Bobo Balde saw a late effort again saved by the agility of man-of-the-match Waterreus but it is Rangers who took the spoils and now look favourites to claim the title.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||4|
|0||Shots off Target||9|