Rangers 1-0 Celtic player ratings: Teams assessed after Steven Gerrard’s side go 19 points clear

Rangers made it three Old Firm wins in a row after a 1-0 victory over Celtic at Ibrox on Saturday, but which individual players impressed and who struggled? We make our assessments, after Allan McGregor’s outstanding saves and Callum McGregor’s own goal

Rangers' Connor Goldson tussles with Celtic's Odsonne Edouard
Image: Rangers' Connor Goldson tussles with Celtic's Odsonne Edouard

Rangers moved 19 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership after Callum McGregor’s own goal gave them a 1-0 win over Celtic. But how did each player perform? Read on for our player ratings...

Rangers

Allan McGregor - 9

Made a fine save to deny Odsonne Edouard inside three minutes and was alert to make an even better stop from the rebound, unaware of the offside flag. Brilliant finger-tip stop to touch Griffiths' shot onto the post in the first half.

James Tavernier - 6

A prolific source of goals until now, Tavernier endured one of his most ineffective afternoons of the season as he was unable to produce the same level of danger as Frimpong on the opposite flank. His corner found Aribo ahead of McGregor's own goal.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: Allan McGregor in action for Rangers during a Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium, on January 02, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Image: Allan McGregor produced two excellent saves in the first half

Connor Goldson - 7

Muscled Griffiths off the ball to ensure the Celtic striker was unable to make more of a half chance in the first half.

Leon Balogun - 6

Magnificent block on Edouard's second-half shot at 0-0 atoned for an earlier error to present a chance to Griffiths as he eased into the game.

Borna Barisic - 6

A good tussle with Frimpong. Superb technique with a free-kick that drifted agonisingly wide off Shane Duffy's deflection.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: Rangers players celebrate after Callum McGregor's own goal makes it 1-0 during a Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium, on January 02, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Image: Rangers players celebrate after Callum McGregor's own goal makes it 1-0

Steven Davis - 7

Cautioned for a tactical foul as he tried desperately to disrupt Celtic's rhythm. Found himself suffocated in the first half by Turnbull as Rangers were pinned back but became much more influential after half time.

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Joe Aribo - 6

Found Morelos with a fine cross for Rangers' only chance of the opening 45 minutes. This didn't feel like the midfielder's game but he never shirked responsibilities before he was withdrawn late on.

Glen Kamara - 6

Rose to the occasion but was part of a Rangers team that was over-run at times in midfield before the sending off changed all that.

Ryan Kent - 6

Became increasingly influential as Rangers improved in the second period, even before Bitton's departure.

Rangers' Kemar Roofe (left) tussles with Celtic's David Turnbull
Image: Rangers' Kemar Roofe (left) tussles with Celtic's David Turnbull

Alfredo Morelos - 5

Fortunate to escape an early caution after catching Soro with his studs. Scuffed his only first-half chance from Aribo's pick out before failing to escape Laxalt when released through on goal. Ultimately was responsible for the game turning in Rangers' favour with his run onto Tavernier's pass that drew the red card for Bitton. Petulantly booked for a scrap following a late challenge by Duffy on Kent.

Kemar Roofe - 5

Roofe came into the contest in form. Ever a willing runner but a peripheral figure here who was replaced at half-time by Ianis Hagi.

Subs

Ianis Hagi - 6 (On for Roofe, 45)

Showed early promise following his introduction with nice footwork to evade Soro before his shot veered a yard wide of the post.

Cedric Itten - 6 (On for Morelos, 77)

Rangers' most used substitute replaced Morelos for his own good in the closing 13 minutes.

Celtic's Diego Laxalt holds off Rangers' Alfredo Morelos
Image: Celtic's Diego Laxalt holds off Rangers' Alfredo Morelos

Bongani Zungu - n/a (On for Kent, 87)

Brandon Barker - n/a (On for Aribo, 90+2)

Celtic

Vasilis Barkas - 6

A virtual spectator during the opening period as Rangers failed to register a shot on target. Unconvincing flap at Barisic's cross 10 minutes into the restart but claimed well moments later from Tavernier's set piece.

Nir Bitton - 4

Bitton is not a centre-half who was asked to play at centre-half. The decision ultimately cost Celtic on the day and might cost Lennon the title. Dismissed for professional foul on Morelos as he rugby-tackled the Rangers striker on 62 minutes to turn the game in the hosts' favour.

Jeremie Frimpong - 7

A constant outlet down the right for Celtic with his pace and power. Typified Celtic's energy and was a lively presence throughout the visitors' dominant first period.

Kristoffer Ajer - 7

Celebrated as though he had scored when making a last-ditch challenge to deny Morelos early in the second half.

Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer is left dejected during a Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium, on January 02, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Image: Kristoffer Ajer is left dejected during the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic

Diego Laxalt - 8

Superb recovery run and challenge to deny one of Rangers' few first-half openings. Was much more productive than his opposite number Barisic before Bitton's dismissal as Rangers then turned the screw.

Ismaila Soro - 6

Selected over the more experienced Scott Brown, Soro was on the receiving end of a nasty Morelos challenge inside five minutes that went unpunished while he was later booked for a needless foul on Barisic. Tidy enough in possession.

David Turnbull - 7

Combined well throughout with his team-mates, most notably Frimpong on the right-hand side.

Ryan Christie - 7

Lovely vision and composure to bring in Griffiths for the stand-out moment of the opening 45 minutes as McGregor saved onto the post. Wasteful with an effort on the stroke of half-time after Edouard's running off the ball had created the space.

Callum McGregor - 7

At the heart of Celtic's offensive display from the very first attack in setting up Edouard's opening shot. Booked as the game began to escape Celtic in the final 20 minutes.

Referee Bobby Madden sends off Bitton as the pendulum swung Rangers' way
Image: Referee Bobby Madden sends off Bitton as the pendulum swung Rangers' way

Leigh Griffiths - 7

A nuisance alongside Edouard as he buzzed between the lines and was desperately unfortunate not to break the deadlock with his curling effort saved onto the woodwork.

Odsonne Edouard - 7

Held the ball up well for his side with deft touches. Was starved off the ball following the game's major turning point.

Subs

Shane Duffy - 4 (on for Griffiths, 65)

Fine deflection on Barisic's free-kick but was horribly late with a challenge on Kent which could have resulted in a red card. But once again showed poor composure to present a good chance to Kent in the closing stages. It has been a transfer that has not worked for either party.

Celtic's Shane Duffy (left) and Callum McGregor at full time
Image: Celtic's Shane Duffy (left) and Callum McGregor at full time

Mohamed Elyounoussi - 6 (on for Turnbull, 65)

Lively cameo off the bench as his rising shot just failed to trouble McGregor.

Scott Brown - 5 (on for Soro, 72)

Typically aggressive and eager to cajole his team back into life following Bitton's dismissal.

Tom Rogic - n/a (On for McGregor, 84)

Hatem Abd Elhamed - 5 (On for Christie, 72)

Was unable to impact proceedings.

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