RANGERS boss Steven Gerrard praised his team after they went into cruise control in their 2-0 victory over Celtic at Parkhead this afternoon.

Connor Goldson was the unlikely goal hero with a strike in each half to give the Ibrox outfit a win that stretches their lead at the top of the Premiership to four points.

While Gerrard enjoyed the deserved plaudits, his opposite number Neil Lennon rued lapses in his defence to allow the visiting centre-half two crucial goals that could prove to be so important at the end of the season in which the Hoops are bidding for a historic tenth successive title.

The Govan gaffer, speaking to Sky Sports news, said: “We’ve put in a really controlled, professional performance today. I don’t think we were at our fluent best, but we came here and controlled the game with and without the ball, I don’t think Allan McGregor’s really been tested.

“We’re really pleased with what the players have given and the performance they’ve put in, and we were certainly worthy winners.

“They threw everything at us, they brought Griffiths on, they brought Ajeti and Turnbull on, players worth a lot of money, but that’s where I’m most pleased with us for controlling everything Celtic threw at us.”

A disappointed Lennon added: “We’ve given away two poor goals from our point of view, one from a set-play and the second from a second-phase set-play. We missed a great chance to equalise. Goals change games, the psychology of the games, but we didn’t have enough today.

“We didn’t have enough sort of sharpness, the boys coming off the bench didn’t have the impact we were hoping for, we have to take this result and performance and look at it and start to build for better.

“We’ve got Ajeti not fully fit, Griffiths not fully fit, Edouard out, three main strikers out missing today to start with. But I felt we created a few chances first-half to score, Rangers defended their box pretty well and I think that was the difference in terms of the psychology of the game.

“We were pretty decimated coming into the game, but we felt we had a strong enough team and it looked that way at half-time. The second goal is poor from our point of view and you’re chasing the game after that.”

Rangers opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Goldson was allowed time and space smack in front of goal to glance in a right-wing free-kick from James Tavernier with goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas looking dreadfully slow in reacting to the danger.

A few minutes later, though. Mohamed Elyounoussi should have equalised, but waywardly lofted the ball over the bar with just the stranded Allan McGregor to beat.

Goldson, who had only scored six Premiership goals in over two seasons, added a second nine minutes into the second-half after he followed up a rebound to poke the ball home from close range with the hesitant Barkas again transfixed.

It’s certainly game on in the race for this season’s championship.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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