Rangers 2—0 Celtic.
I was confident about this one. Couldn’t see Celtic getting beaten. I’m daft that way. Our first trophy-less season since 2009-10. All the bad habits we picked up this season are back again. Stephen Welsh after his new contract mistimed his first two challenges. He wiped out Ryan Kent after he turned away from Brown in midfield and drove at the defence. Diego Laxalt was too easily beaten by Joe Aribo and his cross scuffed off Ayer and Steve Davis, who never scorers goals, never gets forward, scored with an overhead kick to put Rangers one up after 19 minutes. Celtic responded with sustained pressure. Edouard had a shot saved a minute later, perhaps he should have scored (how often do we say that?) Christie had a shot saved. Forest wasn’t fit enough for the bench. Christie wasn’t good enough for the team. McGregor made a run and was unlucky with his shot. Then from a corner on 23 minutes Welsh ghosted in, a tug from Helmand, but from three yards out the ball hit his heel and he should have scored. Should have—could have—epitomised much of Celtic’s season. Ayer missed the rebound. Patterson on the right was perhaps the most attacking player on the pitch in the first half. He created the second goal, jinking to the bye line and cutting the ball back. Jo-Jo Kenny puts it into his own net. Game over. Kenny is never Celtic class. His loan deal isn’t as big a disaster as Shane Duffy’s because he’s not on massive wages and we didn’t incur a loan fee (at least, I hope not), but the only pass Kenny makes is backwards. Poor. Poor. Poor. Soft centred Celtic concede at every turn of Ryan Kent’s hips.
Rangers had a few chances in the second half. Kent turned away from Brown and got a shot away. The rebound fell to Morelos who shot straight at Bain. Morelos should have picked up his usual booking for pushing Elyounoussi, just before the Rangers centre-forward was taken off by Gerard.
Celtic should have scored three goals, or more. Patterson gave away the ball to Edouard who jinked inside the box. He laid it off to Elyounoussi, whose first touch was poor and fired the ball off McGregor from eight yards. The rebound fell to Edouard who missed it.
With ten minutes to go, Edouard took a poor free kick, which hit the wall. Griffiths got in front of the defender and was pushed. Penalty and a dog’s chance for Celtic. Griffiths wants to hit it, but Edouard is having none of it. The French man misses. A poor return from him this season. The quicker he goes the better.
Christie who was invisible in this match, was subbed for Griffiths, who had a half-chance in the 92nd minute for a consolation goal. But there’s no consolation here.
Celtic’s season is finished. John Kennedy’s period as interim manager should be coming to an end. All the deadwood and loan players should be sent back—with a no-thankyou note. Everything that could go right has gone right for Rangers this season. And Celtic have done nothing right. No defence for their defence. Missed chances galore. Reserve team players should play the remaining matches, starting against Aberdeen on Wednesday. We need to start preparing for the Champions League qualifiers. Next season begins now.
Edouard should go too. The Frenchman has unfortunately depreciated in value. He missed at least two chances against Rangers at Parkhead. A hat-trick of chances today (including a penalty miss). The list goes on and on of who should go. It’s more difficult to pick who should stay. Build the team around Turnball, that’s obvious.
Ayer embarrassed us the way he went down injured today. Big girl’s blouse springs to mind. That’s an old-fashioned term. But he’s a new-fangled defender at six-foot-five that can’t head a ball and can’t defend. Take the money for him and run.
A poor Rangers team have the bragging rights. Favourites to win the Scottish cup. But Hibs can beat them. Funny that. Me backing the Edinburgh team.