Ange Postecoglou's side registered a decisive victory against cross-town rivals Rangers FC last night.
The 3-0 win by Celtic FC saw Ange Postecoglou's men not only win their first Old Firm derby in over two years, but also surpass Rangers FC and claim the top place on the Scottish Premiership ladder.
Old Firm Derby
- Celtic FC took on Rangers FC on Wednesday evening in this year's second Old Firm Derby.
- It was the first time in over two years that Celtic were able to register a victory against their biggest rivals.
- This win has propelled the Bhoys to the top of the Scottish Premiership.
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787 days. That is how long Hoops fans had to wait for Glasgow to be Green again. The win against Rangers was not only a possible title changing one, but also the first Old Firm win for newly appointed head coach Ange Postecoglou, in charge since the beginning of 2021-22.
The Australian coach had a packed Celtic Park cheering for his team on Wednesday night. The home fans did not have to wait long for their side to take the lead. In the fifth minute of play one of Postecoglou's January transfer arrivals, Reo Hatate, opened the scoring account to make it 1-0 for the home side.
The Japanese maestro then doubled Celtic's lead in the 42 minute. A nice bit of team Angeball passing, which started with the centre-backs, ended with an unmarked Hatate receiving the ball at the top of the box and shooting it in.
Rangers' woes at the hand of Reo only got worse in the second half, this time providing an assist. Smartly receiving a throw in, his pass found forward Liel Abada who slotted it past Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
McGregor does deserve a mention for his performance. Had it not been for a number of saves by the keeper, Rangers could have left Celtic Park with a scoreline much worse than the 3-0 trashing.
A genuine Ange-ball masterclass delivers Celtic to the top of the Scottish Premiership 🔝— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) February 2, 2022
Two goals and an assist from new recruit Reo Hatate. A first Old Firm win for Celtic in over two years.
Top of the league the Ange Postecoglou way.#OptusSport pic.twitter.com/4UKNewoZpw
After the match, Postecoglou spoke of the importance of the game to Celtic TV:
"Super proud of the players. Everyone know it was a big game with massive consequences to it. We knew what it meant to our supporters.
“I thought our first half of football was outstanding. Really quality play, great goals. Second half we had to defend a bit more but again we’ve shown we can do that.”
The Celtic boss was cautious though when asked about now being atop the Scottish Premiership:
"Our end goal is not to be in top spot it's to play football a certain way and to win things and we haven't done that.
"I know what the players are like, they will do their recovery and then come back in on Friday and demand more of me and of anyone to get better.
"We want to improve and we will have to, to be the football team we want to be. We are still missing some key players.
"Being in top spot is a sign of our progression, absolutely, because we lost three of the first five or six so we know how the Scottish Premiership works.
"We had to be almost perfect to get to where we are now.
"We have been under pressure for a long time but it's testament to the players' character and the spirit they've got that they haven't let that affect them.
"They haven't looked at the table and the points and they won't now."
For now Celtic FC have fifty-seven points, one point more than the defeated Rangers. Both clubs next play this weekend for Matchday 25. Celtic will be away at Motherwell while Rangers will take on Hearts.
The Scottish Premiership is broadcast on BeIN Sports in Australia.