Rangers news: Steven Gerrard told to do two things to beat Celtic to league title | Football | Sport
The Light Blues lost 2-0 in their first derby of the season at Ibrox last weekend, with Odsonne Edouard and Jonny Hayes doing the damage for Celtic as the hosts ended with 10 men.
Rangers had won both of their previous two home games against their bitter rivals in Gerrard’s first season without even conceding a goal, by contrast.
They came into their latest encounter with the Bhoys as favourites to come out on top and defeat was a body blow to their confidence as they look to end eight-in-a-row champions Celtic’s dominance of the Scottish top flight.
The two sides meet again at Parkhead – where Rangers are winless since 2010, a run spanning nine league matches – on December 29 and then again at Ibrox on March 14.
And they are also likely to go head-to-head after the Premiership splits into two halves after 33 matches, provided both teams finish in the top six, as they should comfortably.
Celtic and Liverpool legend Dalglish thinks the pressure is on Gerrard’s Rangers to win not one but two of those three matches, which will require them not just to get back to winning ways at home to their foes but also to end their miserable nine-year winless run at Parkhead.
“The 2-0 result shows why Celtic are the champions, and that’s why I think they will go on to do nine-in-a-row,” Dalglish wrote for the Sunday Post.
“However, it would be foolish to totally write off Rangers as there are 34 games to go.
“It is now paramount for them to win at least two of the remaining Old Firm games. But that is a huge ask.”
Both sides were highly active in the transfer market over the summer with Rangers making a £7million splash to sign Ryan Kent from Liverpool two days after defeat to Celtic.
That represented their most expensive outlay since the club-record £12m addition of Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea in 2000.
But Dalglish was impressed by the off-field business of both of the Glasgow giants, with Celtic having had to respond to the loss of key man Kieran Tierney to Arsenal for £25m, the highest fee they have ever recouped for a player.
“They will be delighted to have got Ryan Kent on board,” he continued.
“He has cost them a hefty transfer fee from Liverpool, but he is a fine talent and can give the team something special. He is a match-winner.
“Likewise, Celtic spent plenty in the transfer window, and they have assembled a really good squad, with an exciting mix of experience and potential.
“Neil [Lennon] will be thrilled with getting Fraser Forster in, and Christopher Jullien looks like a solid and reliable central defender. He was outstanding last Sunday.
“Also the addition of Greg Taylor from Kilmarnock was one he wanted to get over the line.
“It could have been doom and gloom with the loss of Kieran Tierney, but it has all worked out very well.
“They are now out in front and will expect to stay there. It’s very much in their hands.”