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Rangers 0-2 Celtic: Two Caixinha summer signings are passengers

By James Black

Rangers and Celtic met in the first Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox this afternoon as the Hoops extended their gap over their bitter rivals to eight points at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-0 win.

Second-half goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths condemned Pedro Caixinha to his third Old Firm defeat in three attempts.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have now gone 57 games without defeat in domestic competition.

Celtic controlled the frentic early stages as they looked to get off the mark quickly and managed to win two corners in the first few minutes.

Brendan Rodgers’ side kept their hosts pinned back for long spells but Rangers’ defence coped fairly well with any danger.

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Referee Craig Thomson had a big call to make after 13 minutes when Celtic’s Jozo Simunovic brought down Alfredo Morelos in the box but the whistler saw nothing in it and waved play on.

The Gers grew into the game as the first-half progressed and more than matched their bitter rivals as they tried to record their first Old Firm win since April 2015.

19-year-old defender Ross McCrorie looked solid on his full debut, dealing with Leigh Griffiths well and restricting the Scotland hitman’s chances at goal in the first 45.

Five minutes into the second-half Tom Rogic fired Celtic in front after latching on to a loose ball in the Rangers penalty area and lashing the ball high beyond Foderingham.

Rangers immediately threw everything at getting back into the game and Craig Gordon pulled off a fantastic reaction save from Alfredo Morelos’ point-blank header.

Celtic grabbed a second on 65 minutes when Leigh Griffiths broke through Rangers’ defence and blasted a low shot in at Foderingham’s near post.

The hosts continued to push forward looking for a way back into the game but Celtic comfortably managed to see the game out – spurning a few chances to extend their lead – and take the three points.

Rangers could not get a foothold in the match and in-form striker and midfielder Carlos Pena, both signed in the summer for relatively big money, were virtual passengers.

In other Rangers news, West Brom winger and Celtic supporter James McClean has launched a huge dig at the Gers ahead of Saturday’s Old Firm clash.

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