Australia’s Ange Postecoglou has tasted defeat in his first Old Firm derby after Rangers ran out 1-0 winners over Celtic in their Scottish Premiership soccer clash at Ibrox on Sunday night.
Champions Rangers overcame a tough week in which they were hit by COVID-19 cases, with manager Steven Gerrard among those isolating, to clinch victory with Filip Helander’s brilliant header in the 66th minute.
Former Socceroos boss Postecoglou had rejuvenated Celtic since taking over this season but the Hoops still fell short against their city rivals who have now won six and drawn one of their past seven meetings.
It was only the second loss of the season for Celtic, which stayed sixth on the Scottish Premiership table with six points.
Rangers are in third spot with nine points.
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Celtic missed a golden chance in the 25th minute when Odsonne Edouard – hunting his eighth league goal against Rangers – sprayed a close-range sitter wide of a gaping goal.
After Ryan Kent hit the upright in Rangers’ best first half chance, the hosts dominated after the break.
Swedish defender Helander then sent a packed home crowd into raptures when he met Borna Barisic’s corner to steer it past former England goalkeeper Joe Hart, who got a touch but could not keep the ball out.
Helander almost went from hero to villain straight from the restart when his error gave Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi a chance to level.
But on his league debut for Rangers, stand-in goalkeeper Robby McCrorie made a fantastic save to spare his teammate’s blushes.
Japanese forward Furukashi was denied again when McCrorie produced a superb reflex save in the 85th minute.
It capped a tough week for Rangers who had been dealing with COVID-19 dramas since their successful Europa League playoff tie against Alashkert on Thursday.
Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, James Tavernier, Scott Wright, Calvin Bassey and Kent were all sidelined before the latter returned for the Old Firm derby.
The match was played with no away supporters at Ibrox due to COVID-19 restrictions.