Celtic go six points clear with win over 10-man Rangers

football11 May 2024 13:51| © Reuters
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Matt O'Riley © Gallo Images

Celtic moved close to a third straight Scottish Premiership title with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Rangers in an eventful Old Firm derby on Saturday to establish a six-point lead at the top of the table.

The hosts, on 87 points, need one more point to lift the trophy with two games left.

"Take nothing for granted, keep our composure. We have a lot of work to do in the week," manager Brendan Rodgers said. "Get our plan ready and then next Saturday we can have a bit of fun."

Matt O'Riley put the hosts ahead in the 35th minute with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area from Callum McGregor's cross. Rangers defender John Lundstram diverted a Daizen Maeda cross into his own net three minute later to double Celtic's lead.

Rangers reduced Celtic's advantage two minutes later when Cyriel Dessers headed in from close range, but things got worse for them before the break with Lundstram sent off for a studs-up challenge on Alistair Johnston.

Mohamed Diomande brought down O'Riley in the box early in the second half but keeper Jack Butland saved the spot-kick to deny O'Riley a second goal and keep Rangers in the game.

"I practised penalties yesterday and I was probably in two minds about it," O'Riley said.

Chances kept coming Celtic's way, with Maeda finding the net twice but was found offside on both occasions as the hosts held on to their slender lead to seal the win.

While Celtic have one hand on the Premiership trophy, Rangers have another chance to get even with their arch-rivals when they meet in the Scottish Cup final on May 25.

Celtic visit Kilmarnock on Wednesday and a draw would secure the title.