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Odsonne Edouard sets Celtic on the path to Old Firm derby win

The Frenchman has now scored five in seven derby matches.

Odsonne Edouard scored Celtic’s opener in the Old Firm derby (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Odsonne Edouard scored Celtic’s opener in the Old Firm derby (Andrew Milligan/PA)

By Gavin McCafferty, PA

Odsonne Edouard continued his impressive goalscoring record against Rangers as Celtic won 2-0 in the Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

The Frenchman capitalised on a loose pass to net his fifth goal in seven derbies in the 32nd minute following a tight opening to the game.

Rangers defender Connor Goldson gave the ball straight to Celtic winger Mikey Johnston, who slipped the 21-year-old through to slot home.

Substitute Jonny Hayes rounded off the victory in stoppage time after netting at the second attempt on the counter-attack.

The hosts started without any natural width or top goalscorer Alfredo Morelos and they took almost an hour to manage a shot on target.

Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard made some positive changes but Celtic stood firm despite losing centre-back Nir Bitton to injury.

Rangers suffered further insult in the final seconds as substitute Jordan Jones was sent off for a foul on Moritz Bauer.

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Odsonne Edouard celebrates scoring Celtic’s first goal (Jeff Holmes/PA)

All four fixtures had been won by the home team last season after the visiting ticket allocations had been slashed to less than a thousand.

And Celtic’s victory saw them extend their 100 per cent record in the Ladbrokes Premiership to four wins.

Jermain Defoe was given the nod up front for Rangers as Morelos made way after scoring the goal that took his team into the Europa League group stages.

Gerrard went for a narrow midfield featuring Steven Davis, Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo, who struggled on his first outing against Celtic.

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon prowled the touchline at Ibrox (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer failed to shake off a groin strain but right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed was back in the team despite suffering from a hairline fracture in the side of his body.

Rangers fans unveiled a huge banner before kick-off depicting a blue-clad figure carrying a Union flag and blood-soaked sword above a grounded green-and-white hooped figure.

The accompanying slogan read ‘when the whistle sounds the charge begins’, but it was an edgy opening after Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie shot over from long range inside 90 seconds.

Elhamed made a goal-saving challenge on Defoe after his own header put his team in trouble and Nikola Katic headed over after the resulting corner but there was little goalmouth action in the first half-hour.

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Edouard takes a free-kick (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Edouard hit a free-kick wide before finishing calmly moments later.

Rangers brought on wide player Sheyi Ojo for Kamara at half-time and the substitute got his team’s first shot on target after a good ball forward from Davis with Fraser Forster spilling for a corner.

The home fans lauded the introduction of Morelos for Defoe on the hour mark and it took him about 20 seconds to get his first shot away after skipping past Bitton, although it sailed well wide.

Bitton had otherwise strolled through the game but he pulled up injured after racing towards the corner flag to stop the ball going out for a Rangers goal kick.

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Steven Gerrard threw on Jordan Jones but the substitute would be sent off (Ian Rutherford/PA)

On-loan Stoke right-back Bauer came on for his debut with Elhamed shifting inside.

Play soon opened up for Aribo 20 yards out but he hit a tame effort straight at Forster before Gerrard made his last throw of the dice by bringing on Jones.

Olivier Ntcham had come on for James Forrest to add some calmness to the Celtic midfield and they created the better chance in the final 20 minutes.

Allan McGregor made saves from Christopher Jullien, Elhamed and Ntcham while the closest Rangers came to an equaliser was when James Tavernier volleyed over from 20 yards.

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Jonny Hayes wrapped up the derby win late on (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Ntcham was involved as Celtic broke through an exposed Rangers defence with Hayes eventually netting.

Rangers fans reacted angrily to the celebrations of unused substitute Leigh Griffiths, some racing towards the away dugout and banging on the perspex.

Jones also lost his temper with a foul on Moritz in the last action of the game.

PA

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