The Champions Rangers closed out within two games of an unbeaten Scottish Premier League season with a 4-1 win over 10-man Celtic in an exciting Old Firm derby at Ibrox.
Not since 1898-99 has Gers gone a full top flight season without defeat – then winning all 18 matches – but Celtic, even ‘invincible’ in 2016-17, could not stop their latest bid.
Kemar Roofe struck a 30 meter free kick home 26 minutes into the match. 1 – 0 for the home team. Callum McGregor struck a 30 meter free kick home 26 minutes into the match.
Although Celtic reacted quickly with Odsonne Edouard’s header nearby, Alfredo Morelos blasted Rangers back into the lead and Roofe and substitute Jermain Defoe added their advantage.
A sublime Allan McGregor stop from Mohamed Elyounoussi, who netted in the sides’ previous meeting, set off a hectic game-turning stretch after a quiet start.
Callum McGregor had been booked just before this Elyounoussi effort and so foolishly fooled into Glen Kamara, even though referee Nick Walsh allowed the game to continue and Roofe redirected Ryan Kent’s foul shot before another yellow card was shown.
However, Allan McGregor was soon in action again to touch Jonjoe Kenny’s cross away, and Kristoffer Ajer was highest up from the ensuing corner to nod over goal for Edouard to beat Steven Davis on the line.
But the Rangers came back, and Scott Bain saved from both Roofe and Joe Aribo still could not deny Morelos, who in March broke his Old Firm duck and tricked Scott Brown into shooting into the roof of the net.
David Turnbull mistakenly headed early in the second half, but Roofe made no mistake from Borna Barisics’ measured center to put the result in doubt.
With the scoreboard showing that 92 minutes had been played, Roofe nearly put themselves up another goal after Defoe came through on the left. Fortunately for the home crowd, the keeper made the save.
What does it mean? Boasting rights belong to Gers
Although Gerrard’s men are slipping up in the final weeks of the season, they will end the campaign without losing to Celtic in the league for the first time since 1999-2000.
Celtic, who also lost to Rangers in the Scottish Cup, had four flawless Old Firm seasons in the intervening period (2001-02, 2003-04, 2016-17, 2017-18).
Morelos makes Old Firm his own
When Morelos maintained the Rangers’ unbeaten record with the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park earlier this year, he netted his first Premier League goal at Old Firm in 14 games. Now he has his second.
There was an early effort Sunday from a James Tavernier cross that was so poor that it wasn’t even registered as a shot, but Morelos made the most of his next opportunity.
The striker – who has been sent off twice in the league in this match – has too often come second best against Brown, but nutmeg the midfielder before finishing.
More Gers misery for McGregor
An awkward Callum McGregor own goal – the first of his Premier League career – gave Rangers victory in January, and his latest clumsy contribution was similarly expensive.
The midfield challenge on Kamara was rash enough without taking into account his yellow for a foul by Kent two minutes earlier and got his second career red card in the competition.
The Rangers must negotiate matches with Livingston on May 12 and Aberdeen to end the season unbeaten. Celtic play next against St Johnstone the same night as the champion’s trip to Tony Macaroni Arena.