Rangers won a second straight Old Firm derby and moved four points ahead of Celtic in the Scottish Premiership as an unlikely double from Connor Goldson secured a 2-0 victory.

Defender Goldson struck in the ninth minute and added another after the break on Saturday as Steven Gerrard’s men made it two straight away league wins over Celtic for the first time in 23 years.

Celtic were without key players like striker Odsonne Edouard but few would have expected Neil Lennon’s team not to register a shot on target or have a second-half attempt of any nature until the 85th minute in a miserable outing.

Rangers now hold a decent lead over their fierce rivals at the summit and, while Celtic still have a game in hand, Garrard can reflect on a positive first quarter of the 2020-21 season.

It was a dream start for Rangers when James Tavernier curled in a free-kick from the right and Goldson glanced a header into the far corner from six yards, with goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas unable to keep it out.

Celtic struggled to create many chances of note in the first half but they should have been level soon after the Rangers opener.

Mohamed Elyounoussi capitalised on mistake by Goldson under a long ball, only to send his attempt over the bar from a great opening as he attempted to lob Allan McGregor.

Having made a superb start to the first half, Rangers also struck nine minutes into the second.

Scott Arfield’s deflected cross found its way to Goldson, and while the centre-back’s initial effort was blocked by Shane Duffy, he composed himself to stab in a shot at the second attempt.

Celtic threw on Albian Ajeti, Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic from the bench but barely troubled a Rangers backline that has only conceded three goals in 11 games.

What does it mean? Sorry Celtic miss big names

Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed were all out due to positive coronavirus tests on international duty, while Ryan Christie is in quarantine.

Celtic clearly missed those regulars but their supporters would have been fuming at the lack of an attacking response after falling behind early on, the team too often passing it around with a lack of urgency, creating little despite having 56.5 per cent of the ball.

Having also won at Celtic Park in December – their first Old Firm win since 2010 – Gerrard now has two straight derby successes and the title race looks destined to go the distance as Rangers bid to prevent 10 in a row.

Goldson golden for Rangers

Few would have tipped Goldson to be the match-winner, but he produced a memorable performance, scoring twice from three attempts, creating a chance as well as registering seven clearances and two blocks – both tied for game highs.

He is a crucial part of a Rangers defence that is performing superbly at home and in Europe.

Celtic offer no threat

Patryk Klimala failed to produce a shot or create a chance in 67 minutes on the pitch and Elyounoussi squandered their only big chance of the game, while not registering a key pass.

But the blame also has to go to the Celtic midfield, with Callum McGregor the only starter to create an opportunity – and even he only managed one.

What’s next?

Celtic must respond when they host Milan in a huge Europa League group-stage game on Thursday, while Rangers are away to Standard Liege.

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