MOUSSA DEMBELE and Scott Sinclair scored the goals as Celtic came from behind to win 2-1 in an enthralling, entertaining Hogmanay encounter at Ibrox to move NINETEEN points clear of Rangers.
The Englishman netted the winner in the 70th minute after Dembele – with his fifth derby goal of the season – cancelled out Kenny Miller’s early opener for the home outfit.
It was Sinclair, with a Man of the Match performance, who settled it as the five-in-a-row champions made it 15 straight Premiership wins to ensure the visiting fans start 2017 on a high.
Brendan Rodgers is now the first Celtic boss to win his first three Old Firm fixtures and his side are just two short of the Jock Stein’s post-war record of 26 games unbeaten from the start of a season.
But it was Rangers who started well and Jason Holt had a shot from the edge of the box well saved by Craig Gordon.
Mark Warburton’s team’s pressure paid off when they grabbed the lead in the 13th minute as veteran Miller grabbed the opener.
The 37-year-old striker capitalised on slack play from Erik Sviatchenko who gifted possession to Miller. He in turn fed Josh Windass who set up James Tavernier and his low cross was turned in by the Gers skipper from practically under the crossbar.
Joe Garner was stretchered off after picking up an injury in the build-up to the goal with Martyn Waghorn coming on in his place.
The Hoops struggled to get to grips with the game, but they did manage to get back into it and levelled just after the half-hour.
Sinclair hit the post before the ball was cleared and he took the resulting corner which fell to the unmarked Dembele and the striker lashed a brilliant shot high into the roof of the net.
The champions looked the more likely to score a second and Wes Foderingham made a great save from James Forrest early in the second-half before Dembele smacked the crossbar after a superb left-wing cross from Callum McGregor.
Rangers came under increasing pressure, Gordon was still forced into a point-blank save from a Danny Wilson header before the visitors did grab the lead.
Patrick Roberts, a substitute from Forrest, was barely on when he did well down the right with his pass finding Stuart Armstrong and he crossed for Sinclair to steer home.
Rangers could still have earned a point when McKay raced away on the counter attack before feeding Miller, but the striker’s shot came back off the upright.
Celtic, in the end, when off to warm applause from their fans after their third successive victory the Ibrox side.
They played nine games in December – and won eight and drew one. That is title-winning stuff!