8 of the best Celtic vs Rangers pictures as Reo Hatate optical illusion comes amid fire and noise

It was billed as a defining moment in the race for the Premiership title and Celtic supporters will be feeling confident the morning after the night before.

A dazzling brace from Reo Hatate was followed by a strike from Liel Abada to fire Celtic into a 3-0 lead at the break.

Gio van Bronckhorst stated his side improved after the interval, however, the game was gone for a team who had been unseated atop the Premiership.

What comes next remains to be seen but both teams know they are now in a 14-game fight to the finish line.

Celtic took advantage of no away fans as their support roared them from first minute to last as they landed their first telling blow on their biggest rivals since 2019.

Hatate’s second goal, the pick of the night, was captured from behind and the whip he managed to get on his strike to move it around Connor Goldson is illustrated as he left Rangers keeper Allan McGregor reeling.

That classic picture wasn’t the only gem on a night of high drama as flares and smoke bombs filled the night sky and the much maligned ‘disco lights’ continue to enjoy a renaissance.

And referee Bobby Madden had a moment where he had to lay down the law, as he told Gio van Bronckhorst to quiet amid complaints the ball boys were at the wind-up.

But it was Celtic who Hooped it up at the final whistle as Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’ blared out over the PA, a favorite during the 1997/98 season when Wim Jansen stopped the 10.

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Hatate curls home the second

That throwback was lapped up by the home fans who sense their team are capable of taking advantage on their brilliant run of form after taking charge at the top of the table.

Skipper Callum McGregor knows it was a vital win but he isn’t getting ahead of himself.

Spekaing to Sky Sports, he said: “The crowd were unbelievable, they gave us a real boost of energy for the game.

“The players then responded to that and the football we played in the first half was first class.

“Probably the one thing that’s been labeled at us recently is about taking our chances. I thought we were ruthless in the game.

“Two quick goals, that finishes the game off before half time, so credit to the lads as well.

“That’s the way the manager demands we play fast and attacking football. He’s been on us to take our chances and we knew it was the kind of game where if we got our chances we had to be ruthless and put them away.

“That’s exactly what we did so it was brilliant from the boys.

“I think, for us, we just stay calm. We’ve done a lot of hard work since the start of the season.

Celtic Park ahead of kick-off

“A lot of new players and guys are experiencing this for the first time. It’s brilliant for them to experience a home win here and see what the atmosphere is like.

“But we know there’s a long way to go and a lot of football to be played.

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“One thing’s for sure, we won’t get carried away. We’ll come back in tomorrow, get recovered, then go again for the weekend.

“I just tried to take it day by day, see how I felt.

“We got the results from the scan and it wasn’t great, but I feel well and that’s testament to the guys in there as well, and my family making sure I’m resting up when I can.

“When this game comes along, you do absolutely everything you can to be on the pitch for the supporters and the club.

“It (the mask) wasn’t too bad. A wee bit of vision, but I was desperate to get on the pitch and if I had to wear the mask that’s what I had to do.

“I’m just thankful we got three points and managed to help the team

“He (Hatate) has been first class, a similar impact to Kyogo. He’s looked technically very, very good and within the system gaffer plays he really flourishes.

“It’s up to us to keep him going, keep him working and get him fitter than what he is. But it’s a great return for him tonight in his first Old Firm game.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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