Rangers have defeated Celtic in a dominant derby win at Ibrox to salvage some pride from a disappointing season.
Goals from Todd Cantwell, John Souttar and Fashion Sakala secured a 3-0 win in the southside of Glasgow on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Robby McCrorie got his fourth clean sheet in as many starts in an enjoyable derby day for the blue side of the city.
It is the home side’s first victory over the newly crowned champions this season after suffering four defeats to their rivals across all three domestic competitions.
It was the sixth Old Firm of the season but both managers named unfamiliar starting line-ups with Ange Postecoglou giving Hyeongyu Oh, Alex Bernabei and Yuki Kobayashi their first starts in the derby with top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi among the subs.
Michael Beale started with McCrorie in goals and Rabbi Matondo in a three man frontline beside Fashion Sakala and Cantwell.
Alfredo Morelos was named on the bench for his last Glasgow derby before he departs in the summer.
Rangers started the strongest and they took the lead after four minutes when Cantwell thrashed a close range shot through the legs of Joe Hart.
The score was nearly level a few minutes later when Celtic had their first attack, but Hyeongyu Oh’s effort hit the post after an inch perfect through from Liel Abada.
Abada, who has three Old Firm goals to his name, should have equalised soon after but he failed to connect properly to a whipped Anthony Ralston cross.
Just when the game was starting to settle down after a frantic opening 30 minutes John Souttar doubled the lead with a bullet header from a James Tavernier corner to make it 2-0.
Matt O’Riley came close to bringing one back at the start of the second but McCrorie produced a great save turn it wide for a corner.
Hart was called into action for his first save of the second half soon after when he turned a Cantwell behind with his finger tips.
Postecoglou called for the cavalry on the hour mark and introduced Kyogo and Daizen Maeda to the action in the hope of getting back into the game.
But Rangers increased their lead soon after when Fashion Sakala rounded Hart and rolled it into the net to make it 3-0 and secure all three points for the home side.
The result is Celtic’s second of the season in Scotland and means their hopes of setting a new points record are dashed.
It was Rangers’ first Old Firm victory in the league since August last year, but it felt every bit as sweet for the 50,000 fans inside Ibrox as they celebrated the long awaited victory.
And they were well worth the win, which was also Postecoglou’s heaviest domestic defeat since taking over at Celtic.
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