Brendan Rodgers celebrated his Celtic side’s 2-1 win over Philippe Clement’s Rangers and then laid out his record of success against the Ibrox side.
Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi scored to seal three points for the home side, despite James TRavernier scoring a late free-kick for ten-man Rangers.
The victory checked the progress of Rangers under new boss Clement, who had guided them through 16 games unbeaten before they were beaten by the Premiership champions.
Asked if the win had helped Celtic “reassert authority” after a month of mixed results while the Ibrox side had been on a winning streak, Rodgers played down any idea he felt concerned about Celtic’s rivals. The Northern Irishman, who has won 12 and drawn one of his 15 Old Firm matches, said he had been repeatedly told about a Rangers resurgence.
“Over my two spells here I’ve worked against five Rangers managers and every time Rangers were coming,” Rodgers said. “Every time at some point. So for me, it’s it’s normal.
“If I listened to media and press then we would be in constant crisis mode and constant fear of Rangers.
“But it’s the fifth manager now.
“So for me, my focus is only on Celtic and concentrated very much on here and a lot of the stuff that maybe does go around, thankfully I ignore it.
“But I think we showed today that with a team that still missing key players and players that would make the difference for us then that we’re competitive and we can play football and we can compete and that’s what we’ll continually do.”
Rodgers did acknowledge the turnaround in form since Rangers replaced Michael Beale with Clement in October.
“There’s no doubt, Phillip has improved Rangers,” the Celtic boss said. “There’s no mistake about that.
“He’s come in, he’s used his experience, his common sense has set the team up well. They’re competitive and they play as a team.
“So we knew it was going to be a challenge for us. But like I’ve said before, we had to be super brave.
“We have to take on the challenge and that’s what I’ve always done when I’ve been here.”
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