At some point, Rangers supporters will be forgiven for thinking Celtic doesn’t have all the luck in Scotland.
The Bhoys, second best for most of the day, scored a 60th minute goal and then overcame a red card three minutes later to claim their 10th successive piece of Scottish silverware with a 1-0 win the Scottish League Cup.
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Celtic’s Chris Jullien prodded home a free kick before 18-year-old Jeremie Frimpong was sent off, and Rangers had already controlled the proceedings before seeing a 16-5 edge in shot attempts at the final whistle.
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster, the former Saints and Newcastle man, was outstanding in the win, even stopping an Alfredo Morelos penalty as the Rangers star failed to deliver.
From the BBC:
“It was just one of them days, it went my way today. I’m buzzing. There’s been days when it’s not gone my way, today it has. I can’t say how much it means to me. I didn’t really think about the penalty to be honest. I picked the way it went. I’ll take it.
“That’s why I came back; to play in games like this, to win silverware, to play European football.”
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.
USMNT midfielder Maurice Edu formally announced his retirement on Monday with a clever animated video paying homage to his family and career.
The video uses Kanye West’s “All the Lights” before ending with a clever nod to Notorious B.I.G. and an inspirational message.
Edu last played in 2017, appearing in three matches for the Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel.
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The 46-times capped Edu turns 33 next month and played with Toronto FC before moving overseas to Rangers in Scotland, where he scored a famous stoppage time goal in the Old Firm.
And infamously, Edu had a goal controversially ruled offside at the 2010 World Cup.
Injuries followed him the rest of his career, as Edu had trouble staying on the field in stints with Stoke City, Bursaspor, and Philadelphia. He won three league titles and three cups while in Glasgow.
Edu is now a broadcaster on UEFA Champions League coverage in the United States.
As the Old Firm rages this morning, Rangers and Celtic are in the news with some very American subjects.
Celtic’s links with Paris Saint-Germain and USMNT youngster Timothy Weah are quite real.
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Weah opted to stay at PSG for the first half of the season under new manager Thomas Tuchel, but has not been in the squad since scoring two goals in three appearances to open the season.
Such is the problem for forwards at the Parc des Princes.
Brendan Rodgers gave a lowdown on the 18-year-old’s recent visit to Scotland ahead of a possible loan for the rest of the season. From Sky Sports:
“He had a great day here. We have good relations with PSG, so he came over. He sent me a lovely message afterwards, thanking everyone and saying he enjoyed it, so we will see.
“PSG clearly want him to go on loan to get experience. He is a good kid, a great boy and a great profile in terms of his game.”
Weah would have a chance to toughen up in the contact-heavy Scottish Premiership, and could just find himself staring across the Old Firm Derby field at a couple of fellow Americans in Andrew Gutman and Matt Polster.
The Scottish Daily Record reported Saturday that Rangers have offered deals to the Chicago Fire products after a trial in Glasgow. The report says Gutman will accept if given a work permit, while Polster is trying to decide whether to make the jump overseas.
Celtic made it 10-straight Old Firm Derbies unbeaten with a 2-0 win over Rangers on Saturday at the Ibrox Stadium.
Tom Rogic scored after halftime and Leigh Griffiths added an insurance marker in the 65th minute as traveling Celtic moved five points clear of second-place Aberdeen and eight ahead of the fourth-place ‘Gers.
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The two sides will meet three more times, with only two scheduled so far: Dec. 30 at Celtic Park and March 10 back at the Ibrox.
The Bhoys are unbeaten in 46 league matches and handed Rangers twin 5-1 losses last season amongst a 3W-1D mark in the derby, en route to a Scottish Premiership season without a loss for Brendan Rodgers‘ men.