Celtic beat Rangers: Pundits' views on Old Firm match

Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair
Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair scored Celtic's goals at Ibrox

Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 at Ibrox to go 19 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair netting after Kenny Miller had given the hosts the lead.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound, former Rangers defender Craig Paterson and ex-Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner gave their verdicts on Celtic's New Year's Eve win.

Turning point

Craig Paterson: "All the [Celtic] players who were anonymous for 30 minutes [and] could not get their teeth into the game because of Rangers' dominance. All of a sudden, they turned on the gas.

"You saw [Stuart] Armstrong on the ball, Dembele was flying, Sinclair was flying, [Patrick] Roberts came off the bench to give them even more impact and they created so many chances second half.

Pat Bonner: "Terrific response from [Celtic]. It took a goal to settle them down. That first half-hour, Rangers dominated most of the game and they made their chances, they got their goal.

"It was a different Celtic in the second half. They came out, they almost upped the tempo right from the kick-off. I can't remember an Old Firm game with so many chances for both teams - quite incredible, going from end to end."

Star performers

Bonner: "Barrie McKay was different class for Rangers, he was the main guy.

Brendan Rodgers and Barrie McKay
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers greeted Rangers winger McKay at full-time

Paterson: "Barrie McKay, first time he got the ball [he drove] at the Celtic defenders, put them on the back foot and that set the trend - Rangers lifted all over the park.

"They were winning balls, they were winning 50-50s, they were getting the better of their opposite numbers. Celtic have that quality and eventually, once they ground their way into the game, Rangers were fighting a rearguard action for the second half."

Bonner: "It was interesting in the second half, [Rangers right-back] James Tavernier went out of it and [Celtic left-back Emilio] Izaguirre started to dominate, while in the first half, Tavernier was the dominant figure down that side.

"The longer the game went on and the more control Celtic got, then [Tavernier] became anonymous. Then it was all down that side that Celtic created.

James Tavernier and Moussa Dembele
Tavernier's influence faded while Dembele's grew as the match wore on

"Sinclair, every time he got the ball looked as if he was going to create something. [Stuart] Armstrong was different class in that second half. Scott Sinclair was terrific. Moussa Dembele was terrific. He was solid, strong, clever [and] good in his movement once Celtic had the ball."

Points for Celtic, plaudits for Rangers

Bonner: "[Celtic] deserved their win in the second half, but I give credit to Rangers because we did expect them to come out and go at Celtic a bit - we didn't expect them to play as well.

"They'll take heart from the day. They kept fighting right until the end, which you have to do. They did that, but they were outplayed for a long period in that second half. It was a great game and it takes two teams to create a game."

Scott Sinclair scores
Sinclair scored the winner with 20 minutes remaining

Paterson: "I was so impressed with the way Rangers started the game. You have to say, the second period of the first half and the entire second, some of the play from Celtic in the final third, different class.

"Rangers, to dominate the way they did for 30 minutes, will give the manager a bit of cheer. The problem is, they just gave away the [first Celtic] goal far too cheaply. That gave Celtic the lift. You then saw Celtic at their best."

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