Rabbi Matondo: 'The manager said he didn't recognise the team'

The Welsh winger scored an injury-time leveller in the Old Firm thriller on Sunday.

Rabbi Matondo said Rangers manager Philippe Clement told them he “didn’t recognise the team” before he came off the bench to score a stunning late equaliser in a frantic Premiership derby at Ibrox.

Daizen Maeda gave Celtic an early lead and Matt O’Riley made it 2-0 from the penalty spot before James Tavernier pulled a goal back for Rangers after a controversial spot-kick decision.

Cyriel Dessers had a goal ruled out before Sima scored what looked to be a late leveller.

However, Adam Idah looked to have won it for Celtic a minute later – before Welsh winger Matondo made himself Ibrox’s hero as he curled in a stunning late equaliser to earn his side a point.

Matondo, who was sent on as a sub late in the second half, said manager Clement told the side he didn’t “recognise them” – which the Rangers players took to heart.

“It was just positive because the way the game started, you could all see like it wasn’t how we thought it would start or how we intended for it to start, it wasn’t ideal at all”, he said.

“And obviously the first half was kind of sticky.

“But you come in at halftime, the gaffer give us his message and he even said like he didn’t, you know, recognise the team he’s been working with for the last five months and obviously the boys took that to heart and that showed.”

The winger also praised his captain, James Tavernier, for showing “courage” to slam in a spot kick and get his side back in the match.

He added: “Tav steps up to take a penalty like that is unbelievable, because he’s obviously missed his last two or whatever it is.

“And to step up in a game like that, the way the game started and for him to hit in a top corner like that, it takes some courage. So, yeah, fair play to him.

“And obviously, you know, the boys obviously kicked on from then and, you know, they proved in the second half we got something from it.”

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