Rangers 1-0 Celtic: 'Familiar Old Firm outcome as predictions falter'

Filip Helander, second from left, scored another Old Firm goal for Rangers in order to decide the derby
Nine pins were used to describe the best-laid predictions. The expected exuberance of Celtic’s attack and the predicted vulnerability of Rangers’ defence turned the tables.

We were wrong to believe that Ibrox would be able to do the things we expected.

Kyogo Furuhashi was Celtic's evil imp, with goals coming out his ears. He was supposed to rip Leon Balogun (Rangers right-back), to shreds. Balogun was amazing.

Ryan Kent, Rangers' dangerman, was supposed to torture Anthony Ralston. It didn't happen. Ralston was once more excellent.

Smart money predicted that Celtic's relentless attackers would score at least once. They were unable to draw a blank. The conventional wisdom was that at least one of Kent or Alfredo Morelos, or Kemar Roofe, would profit from the nervous heart of the visiting defense. They also came up short.

Although not many things turned out the way people expected, the decisive moment was familiar, and a flashback for Celtic supporters.

Rangers scored four goals last season when they got on the end of deliveries to the box. These included a Connor Goldson header off a James Tavernier free kick, a Callum McGregor goal off a corner, a Morelos goal from another corner, and a Roofe goal with a cross.

Despite all the changes at Celtic this summer, the winner was a throwback back to last season's dog days when a ball in their airspace caused them immense grief.

This is also the second loss in four league games. Boom or bust, two 6-0 wins and two 1-0 defeats. They have scored 12 goals in 11 games across all competitions.

Rangers: 'Nothing resolved, but great day'

Ironically, Filip Helander's radar was not working before Borna Barisic made that turn for Filip Helander. He placed crosses too low, too high, and wildly into the stands. Then he slapped a free kick tamely against a wall.

But it only takes a moment. One piece of accuracy, one piece of hesitancy, one piece of barrelling belligerence from a defender-cum-attacker who wanted nothing more in those seconds than to get his head on a ball and put it in the net.

Celtic's kindness made Ange Postecoglou's life easier. It was just another reminder of how far Ange Postecoglou believes he has come in rebuilding this team.

Rangers were able to win this game despite not knowing the outcome until much later in the season.

Covid denied them Steven Gerrard, their manager; Tavernier, their captain; and their top goalkeepers, Allan McGregor, and Jon McLaughlin. They still managed to win what was a great derby.

They did it in the face of doubt. They did it against a backdrop of doubt.

Although Rangers have been having some wobbles lately, this was a return back to the good stuff. This was a win, clean sheet, and a rise up the table. They have won six of their seven derbies and drawn one. They've scored 13 goals while conceding only three.

Gerrard was open about his belief that his team has been struggling this season. This was the victory Gerrard had been waiting for, even though he was absent.

"Celtic left Kyogo's peripheral roles in regret"

When Kyogo Furuhashi was promoted to a central position, he made a significant impact.

It was all toe-toe. Although there weren't many chances, there was plenty of intrigue.

The Celtic manager grew his reputation as a man who loves to attack his opponent's jugular before he has a chance to strike at their solar plexus. He went with Odsonne Edouard, Kyogo and Liel Abbada.

Postecoglou admitted that Kyogo's move to the left was wrong, but it was a mistake. Although he's been a great player in the middle, he started out wide to make room for Edouard. He started to cause trouble as soon as he was placed through the middle with only 20 minutes left.

Robby McCrorie, Robby's third choice, denied Kyogo once and twice more. Kyogo shot late in the game when he should not have. Ryan Christie was screaming for the ball in the evening. The Japanese shot again shortly after.

Celtic can take comfort in knowing that there wasn't much to the game that they missed, and that they still had opportunities.

Edouard only had one chance and he missed it. A veritable sitter too. They would have been able to move ahead. It could have made a difference in the day. It could have caused Ibrox to fire its entire team, making the atmosphere more stressful and angry.

Coulda, woulda. Edouard let them go. Postecoglou will think about a few things. Postecoglou will want to resolve the Edouard issue once and for all. Celtic have been living with the rumors of the Frenchman leaving. Window after window of rumours about the Frenchman's suitors. He is still there in Glasgow.

He is a Celtic player and he seems like the light of other day, a man who must leave to get his life back on track.

This speculation must stop for both the individual and the collective Celtic. Spend as much money as you can for Georgios Giakoumakis and continue your life with Kyogo & Edouard's heir-apparent. He was the scorer of 26 goals in 31 matches for VVV Venlo, finishing 17th out of 18 in Eredivisie.

Up until Tuesday's transfer deadline, there will be plenty of activity at Celtic. Postecoglou doesn't like to sit down and rue this loss, but he will learn from it.

We need another experienced central defender, another wide player, and another striker. He will he try Kyogo again on the flank? He would be a great addition to the opposing team in Scotland.

Gerrard will be delighted that their spell in isolation saw them reach the group stages the Europa League, before returning from Armenia for a 2000-mile trip to beat Celtic. Gary McAllister was the steadyest.

It was a terrible week on the pitch.