Ange Postecolgou’s Celtic thrash Rangers ahead of Real Madrid test
Ange Postecolgou has enjoyed the perfect preparation ahead of a Champions League visit from Real Madrid, with his Celtic side thrashing cross-town rivals Rangers 4-0 in the first Old Firm derby of the season.
- Celtic are five points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership
- Ange Postecolgou said his team were getting “better and better every week”
- Celtic host Real Madrid in Glasgow on Wednesday in the Champions League
The Spanish giants head to Celtic Park on Wednesday morning (AEDT) as this year’s European Champions League gets underway.
The 14-times European champions will likely face an extraordinary atmosphere at Celtic Park, which will be buoyed after witnessing a comprehensive victory over their most bitter rivals.
Former Scotland striker James McFadden said on the UK’s Sky Sports that “Celtic are just incredible to watch” and Postecoglou’s side certainly entertained as they shrugged aside their biggest domestic rivals and only genuine challengers to the title they won so convincingly last year.
“It was a big game, we knew that,” the former Socceroo coach told the BBC post-match.
“We know what this game means to our supporters.
“We’ve given them another memorable day and the players deserve all the credit for that.”
Postecolgou said the result was nice, but how the team was performing was far more pleasing.
“What’s more important to me is how we’re playing, that’s a better indicator,” he said.
“You can win games in many ways, but our form has been outstanding and we’ve been getting better every week.
“If we keep going like that, we’re going to be hard to stop.”
Things didn’t start well for Celtic though, who lost Kyogo Furuhashi to a shoulder injury inside the opening five minutes.
However, Liel Abada sent the capacity crowd wild with the first of a pair of first-half goals just three minutes later.
The 20-year-old Israeli pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area from a quick throw that caught the Rangers defence napping.
Jota scored Celtic’s second when played in behind by Matt O’Riley, dinking a sweet finish into the net.
Abada’s second, a neat finish from another O’Riley pass, gave Celtic a 3-0 half-time lead.
Celtic were scything Rangers apart with crisp passing and electrifying movement as a festival atmosphere took over among the 60,000-plus fans inside Celtic Park.
David Turnbull added a fourth to further improve the mood when Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin committed a shocking brain-fade by passing the ball straight to the Celtic substitute on the edge of the penalty area.
Socceroos international Aaron Mooy came on for his first Old Firm appearance in the second half.
The win was Celtic’s sixth in a row to start the Scottish Premiership season, ending Rangers own unbeaten start, to leave Celtic five points clear at the top of the table.
Rangers are also in Champions League action in midweek when they take on Ajax in Amsterdam.