Celtic edge past 10-man Rangers despite nervy Old Firm finale

Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 at Celtic Park in a fiercely fought Old Firm derby in Glasgow on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to eight points.

Excellent goals from Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi either side of half-time helped Brendan Rodgers' side to a comfortable lead, and Rangers' task became taller when Leon Balogun was shown a red card in the 71st minute.

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James Tavernier gave Rangers hope in the 88th minute with a powerful freekick from the left-hand side of the box, but it proved too little too late.

Celtic applied good pressure early in the game and that paid off in the 25th minute, when Luis Palma's corner was dealt with poorly at the front post before Bernardo lashed home a left-footed strike.

Kyogo has scored five goals in his last four league starts against Rangers.
Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Rangers had a huge claim for a penalty turned down just before half-time as the ball bounced off Canadian defender Alistair Johnston's arm before going out of play with Abdallah Sima waiting behind him. Replays showed that Sima had in fact been offside in the build-up to the incident.

Philippe Clement's team's misery was compounded immediately after the break when Kyogo gathered the ball on the edge of the box and scored with a superb effort to the top-right corner of Jack Butland's goal.

Balogun's red card was self-inflicted, with the 35-year-old giving away the ball with a loose touch before hauling down Daizen Maeda as he was through on goal, leaving the referee with little choice but to send him off.

Celtic looked to be cruising to a comfortable win before Tavernier's effort which beat Joe Hart at his near post.

A nervy ending ensued, with Rangers launching balls into the Celtic area repeatedly in over eight minutes of stoppage time -- but Celtic's defence held firm to secure the three points and take a firm grasp on the title race after losing two of their last three prior to Saturday's game.

"You're never gonna have it all your own way," Celtic's Callum McGregor told Sky Sports after the game.

"It's a big game and it's a big win of course it is, everyone will feel good about it, but like you say we're only halfway through, there'll be many more twists and turns between now and the end of the season so we've just got to get back on the horse again," he added.

Rodgers said after the game: "I thought it was deserved, we scored two outstanding goals and had other opportunities and maybe didn't pick the right pass.

"The only downside for me was when they went down to 10 men. We didn't control the game enough and we invited pressure."

"It was a game that could have been a draw. It was a game that we could have won," Clement said.

"We had more shots than Celtic in an away game and without any support. My team showed braveness on the ball and created chances.

"Celtic was more clinical in this and the second goal is world class."