Philippe Clement: Rangers were 'moral winners' after Old Firm fightback

The Rangers boss was proud of his players' character as they earned a 3-3 draw against Celtic.

Rangers manager Philippe Clement felt his side could claim to be “moral winners” after fighting back to draw 3-3 with Celtic at Ibrox.

The home side were stunned by a Daizen Maeda goal in the first minute, and were 2-0 down by half-time after Matt O’Riley scored a penalty.

A James Tavernier spot-kick in the 55th minute narrowed the deficit and Abdallah Sima levelled for Rangers in the 86th minute before Adam Idah looked to have won it for Celtic a minute later.

Rabbi Matondo curled in a dramatic late equaliser to earn his side a point and ensure that they can go top of the table if they defeat Dundee on Wednesday.

Clement lamented his side’s start to the game but took great pride in how they had bounced back and shown “their real face”.

“It is the worst start you can have in an Old Firm game, to go behind after one minute,” the Rangers boss said.

“Also in the way we went behind. That is a big blow in that moment for the team, for the fans.

“Afterwards, we didn’t go down but we were not good enough on the ball.

“Then second half we showed our real face. We showed the real things that I want to see, this never-stopping team that has a lot of resilience, a lot of hunger, desire, to change the result.

“To do the right thing, to create chances not give away chances. Then became, for you guys, a crazy scenario, for the scenario that I wanted.

“Not with the 2-2 and then the 3-2 of course, but we clearly deserved at least a point today with what we have shown.”

Rangers have been transformed since Clement arrived as successor to Michael Beale and the Belgian felt that the improvement in attitude, desire and application was a victory in itself.

“I think at the end we are moral winners of this afternoon because a few months ago, for sure, this team could not have reacted after 2-0 in an Old Firm,” he said.

“I don’t know if many teams in the past could have done it. It is a hard thing in a very important game to go 2-0 behind to also feel the disappointment of your fans when you go into the dressing room to turn that around. Because of that I am really proud of my boys.

“For me, it is important, we showed what we are about in the second half, so that’s why we are the moral winners in that way, to come back after 0-2, I don’t think it happened too much in Old Firm games.

“Now it is putting focus on Dundee, a big game, and all the focus is on that and not on the ranking or the points, so you will not catch me saying or thinking these things in the next couple of weeks, that is something for maybe the last two or the last game, that depends how many points other teams take.

“This will give a lot of confidence, belief, but it is also important to stay humble and be ready for the Dundee game and do that from the first second of the game and not give belief to the opponents, like we did today.”

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