March 11, 2018 / 3:27 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Ten-man Celtic beat Rangers in thrilling Old Firm derby

LONDON (Reuters) - Celtic twice came from behind and played the last half-hour with 10 men to beat Rangers 3-2 in a pulsating Glasgow derby at Ibrox and increase their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Rangers vs Celtic - Ibrox, Glasgow, Britain - March 11, 2018 Rangers’ Bruno Alves in action with Celtic’s Moussa Dembele REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Brendan Rodgers’ side moved nine points clear with a game in hand. Their fierce rivals are in second place. Rangers have now failed to beat Celtic in nine meetings.

They appeared well on their way to ending that run after taking a third-minute lead through Josh Windass, and then retaking it through Daniel Candeias after Tom Rogic equalised.

They were then left facing 10 men when Jozo Simunovic was sent off for a stray elbow on 57 minutes after Moussa Dembele had levelled just before halftime.

But Celtic made light of his dismissal and grabbed a winner through a 69th-minute piece of individual excellence from Frenchman Odsonne Edouard two minutes after coming on as substitute.

Even then there was more drama, with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos somehow missing from two yards out on 88 minutes.

Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Rangers vs Celtic - Ibrox, Glasgow, Britain - March 11, 2018 Celtic’s Scott Brown celebrates after the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“It was a brilliant, brilliant win,” said Rodgers, who is now unbeaten in nine Old Firm derbies since arriving in 2016.

“It was an immense performance considering we went behind early. It was an incredible football match to be involved in. We were the better footballing side.”

The game had been billed as an opportunity for Rangers, buoyed by a fine run of victories, to prove they were capable of preventing Celtic securing their seventh successive title.

But they failed to match the visitors’ composure, with Rangers manager Graeme Murty admitting his side came up short.

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“We were punished for not doing the basics very well,” he said. “We did not show enough quality or composure or tempo with the ball. At the top level there are fine margins. You have to be clinical. They managed it, we didn’t.”

Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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