Celtic 0-2 Rangers: Weak champions beaten by rivals who have grown up
While Celtic were all too weak, Rangers are showing signs under Steven Gerrard they have grown up as a team, writes Tom English.
When Celtic's team was leaked online on Friday evening, it didn't augur well for their capacity to keep things tight against Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Having given away secrets, they then gave away goals. "Somebody inside the club has done us in," said Neil Lennon. "It's disgusting."
The manager was talking about sensitive information making its way into the public domain ahead of time, but he might as well have been referencing the insipid performance his players delivered, along with a managerial slackness in trying to change it midstream.
For the champions, depleted in numbers and shorn of inspiration, this was a dismal loss.Rangers make statement with Old Firm winGerrard urges Rangers to build on winCeltic 'can't live off past' - Lennon
Even allowing for the absence of so many go-to men, the failure to have a single shot on target at home in the big derby was an illustration of their passiveness. Rangers won at their ease with two goals from a centre-half, both of them from point-blank range in the heart of a confused Celtic defence.
For the second game in a row in the east end of Glasgow, Rangers won. There was silence at Celtic Park, but there'll have been thunder where their fans reside.
Not since Walter Smith was in his pomp in 1994 had they achieved back-to-back away wins in the derby. And it was easy - painfully easy from a Celtic perspective and gloriously easy when viewed from the blue side of the city.Irrelevant or shifting of the sands?
The champions will have to try to rationalise it and there are obvious way of doing so.
Odsonne Edouard, a totem of this fixture, was missing. Ryan Christie, their most creative midfielder, was also ruled out. James Forrest, another who might have made a difference, was not there through injury. Hatem Elhamed, Christopher Jullien and Nir Bitton were also not around. Half a team gone.
Some Celtic fans will factor that heavy casualty list into the equation before reacting. Others might be more minded to conclude that even when making allowances it was still a worrying effort that raises questions about their ability to go all the way to the fabled 10-in-a-row.
It's crazily early to be drawing conclusions, of course. We've been here before, after all. We've seen Rangers ransack Celtic Park in the very recent past only to fall over their own feet when the pressure hit.'Somebody within the club is doing us in' - Lennon disgusted by Celtic starting XI leak