Rangers 2-3 Celtic: Odsonne Edouard clinches thrilling Old Firm derby for 10-man Hoops
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 12/03/18 7:01am
Ten-man Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership after coming from behind twice to beat rivals Rangers 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at Ibrox.
Rangers took an early lead through Josh Windass (3), but Celtic responded quickly through Tom Rogic's brilliant strike (11).
The hosts restored their advantage when Daniel Candeias met Declan John's cross (26), but they were pegged back on the stoke of half-time when Moussa Dembele hooked in from Scott Brown's long ball (45).
Celtic were reduced to 10 men when Jozo Simunovic was shown a straight red card for an apparent elbow on Alfredo Morelos (57), but substitute Odsonne Edouard curled home a brilliant winner (69) as Brendan Rodgers' side moved nine points clear at the summit.
Rangers: Foderingham (6), Tavernier (7), Bates (6), Alves (6), John (7), Docherty (6), Goss (6), Candeias (7), Windass (6), Murphy (6), Morelos (6).
Subs: Cardoso (6), Cummings (6)
Celtic: Bain (6), Ajer (6), Simunovic (5), Boyata (6), Tierney (7), Ntcham (7), Brown (8), Forrest (6), Rogic (6), McGregor (6), Dembele (7)
Subs: Hendry (6), Armstrong (6), Edouard (7)
Man of the match: Scott Brown
The Hoops' victory made it the first time they have won four successive league games at the home of their fiercest rivals, but this latest triumph was far from a formality, with Alfredo Morelos missing a glaring chance for Rangers with two minutes remaining.
Graeme Murty's Rangers side made the perfect start when Dedryck Boyata failed to deal with James Tavernier's hopeful pass forward and Windass kept his composure to fire into the top corner beyond Scott Bain on his Celtic debut.
Celtic made the ideal response just eight minutes later as Rogic ran forward unopposed before bending a delicate shot beyond Wes Foderingham from 20 yards out, with Gers defender David Bates suffering an injury in the build-up to the goal.
Rangers made two changes with Declan John and Jamie Murphy returning to the side. Jason Cummings and Andy Halliday dropped out. Celtic made three changes as Scott Bain made his debut in goal, replacing the injured Dorus de Vries. Dedryck Boyata and Callum McGregor also came in as Scott Sinclair and Marvin Compper made way.
Bates was forced off, but Rangers continued to have joy down the left through John, and the Welshman crossed for Candeias to rifle the home side back in front after good work from Morelos to outmuscle Boyata at the near post.
Rangers had won all five of their previous games in which the Portuguese winger had scored, but Celtic showed resilience to haul themselves level before the break as Dembele shrugged off substitute Fabio Cardoso to lift the ball over the advancing Foderingham.
Murty must have felt his side would regain control after Simunovic's dismissal handed them a numerical advantage 12 minutes into the second half, the Bosnian leading with his arm in a challenge on Morelos right in front of the assistant referee.
But Rangers failed to make the extra man count as Rodgers responded by introducing Edouard, and the French striker only needed three minutes to make an impact, cutting inside John to find the top corner with an unerring right-foot strike.
There was still time plenty of time left for Rangers to claw their way back into the game and they wasted a glorious late chance to snatch a point after Bain had palmed Windass' shot, but Morelos somehow struck the post from point-blank range and Bain gathered the ball on the line.
Graeme Murty: "We've let the opportunity to win go away by not doing the basics correctly. There was some schoolboy defending - the margins in these games are fine.
"It's the hardest one [defeat] so far, you're excited and have a real good opportunity and we've squandered it
"We were too slow after the red card, it's a big opportunity that we've failed to grasp. We can't let one bad result derail what we've done well."
Brendan Rodgers: "It was an immense performance considering we went behind so early in the game. You can see the intensity inside the stadium today, it was an incredible match to be involved in, but I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory.
"We made some mistakes in the first half but played the better football. We had to cope with Rangers playing direct. But we were the better side and scored some wonderful goals."
Man of the match - Scott Brown
Another fine performance from Brown in keeping Celtic's shape and discipline when they were reduced to 10 men following Simunovic's red card.
Brown had already set up Dembele with a fine ball by then to haul his side level on the stroke of half-time and he alongside the impressive Olivier Ntcham continued to make vital interceptions to take the sting out of the Rangers' late onslaught.
Celtic visit Motherwell, live on Sky Sports Football, on Sunday while Rangers host Kilmarnock on Saturday.