Celtic toppled Rangers 1-0 in the first Old Firm derby of the season on Sunday at the Ibrox Stadium, Neil Lennon out-foxing Steven Gerrard via Odsonne Eduoard.
In a match with as many fouls as shot attempts, the man Celtic supporters call “French Eddy” make the difference with a goal and a stoppage time assist of Jonny Hayes.
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Rangers’ Jordan Jones was sent off for a reckless sliding foul in the sixth minute of stoppage.
It was Rangers’ first loss of the season, leaving Gerrard’s men three points back of perfect Celtic after four match days.
And for Celtic boss Lennon, it was somehow… vindication? The dominant side of Scottish football clearly had a thorn stuck in its foot despite its consistent run of titles, probably due to a shortened Champions League campaign and the perceived uninspiring hire of Lennon to replace Brendan Rodgers:
“Myself, the board, the players have all been written off so early. But we don’t believe the noise. We don’t believe the hype. We’ve come here and performed an outstanding masterclass of how to play in a derby at Ibrox.”
The 21-year-old Eduoard scored his fifth goal in seven Old Firm Derbies to go with two assists. All of those matches were wins for the Bhoys. It’s safe to say he’s taken the mantle of rival star from Moussa Dembele, now of Lyon.
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was very good in the second half, giving his men a chance after the hosts’ early second half surge relented and saw Celtic on the front foot.
Gerrard lost a derby at the Ibrox for the first time, entering the day 2-2 with wins at home and losses at Celtic Park.
Steven Gerrard‘s first taste of the Old Firm Derby is quite sour.
Rangers were well-drilled in its visit to Celtic Park on Sunday, but Olivier Ntcham‘s 62nd minute goal extended Celtic’s unbeaten derby run into an eighth season.
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The match was full of fouls, hard tackles, and struck cross bars, as both teams threatened the goal but Celtic controlled play.
The win moves Celtic to 3-1 on the season, three points back of leaders Hearts. Rangers are now seven points back of first.
Ntcham is a former Man City player, and capped off a tremendous counter attack to put Celtic in front. Tom Rogic started the play on the edge of the Celtic area, and both Odsonne Edouard and James Forrest played parts in setting up Ntcham.
Ryan Christie dove to win a free kick from Connor Goldson on the edge of the 18, but Allan McGregor made an outstanding save to deny Chris Griffith’s solid effort.
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Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson scored early and late as Bournemouth welcomed Cardiff City to the Premier League with a 2-0 win at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
Wilson also had an assist and missed a penalty as the Cherries survived a second half battle from Cardiff City under boss Neil Warnock.
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Cardiff gave a proper welcome to fans experiencing Neil Warnock football for the first time, with a few tough tackles and a professional foul/yellow card for Lee Peltier.
The new boys were behind when Callum Wilson’s cross was knocked into the goal by Fraser.
It was so close to being 2-0 when Wilson was taken down in the box by Manga, but Cardiff backstop Neil Etheridge saved Wilson’s spot kick.
Bournemouth held the match in its hands for most of the second half, but Cardiff won a corner when Nathan Ake blocked a promising Bluebirds chance.
And Cardiff threatened for plenty of the second half, only to see the game put to bed by Wilson, who atoned for his PK miss with a stoppage time insurance goal that rolled just inside the far post.
That gave Eddie Howe‘s men the firmest of grips on all three points.
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