Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice to seal a 3-2 win that puts Celtic twelve points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership title race.

If Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi wasn’t cemented in the club’s history as a legend before Saturday’s Old Firm derby, the Japanese international is now. 

The title isn’t officially Celtics, but unofficially the Hoops will claim a 53 Scottish Premiership title in a few short weeks.  

Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Celtic Park was the fifth meeting in all competitions between the Old Firm rivals this season.

Celtic went into the game unbeaten against Rangers, with three wins and one draw. What fans witnessed was more of the same, as Ange Postecoglou’s team was simply unbeatable.  

The match was typical of all Old Firm derbies, as it started frantically with a full house urging on both teams. 

Both sides have goals ruled out

Celtic’s Furuhashi looked to have put the league leaders in front just moments after kick-off, but he was ruled offside after getting away from Rangers’ defense and slotting the ball into the back of the net. 

Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos also had a goal ruled out in the 20th minute for a foul. 

Furuhashi’s disappointment soon turned to joy. 

In the 26th minute, Furuhashi slotted home past a diving Allan McGregor from 12 yards out, with the Rangers defense at sixes and sevens.

Rangers’ poor defending, misguided clearances, and bad passing were hallmarks of their defeat at Celtic Park.  

Celtic dominated large stretches of matches, keeping 54.6% possession. 

The Blues had chances, but for the most part, were on the defensive. 

McGregor rebounded from conceding an early goal to keep Celtic from doubling their lead. His efforts proved vital just before halftime.  

Rangers captain James Tavernier stepped up to take a free-kick from 25 yards out. The right-back coolly lifted the ball over Celtic’s wall before it crashed against the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net. 

Although Rangers were outplayed in the first half, they went into the break level at one goal apiece.  

Celtic get rewarded in second half

Rangers started the second half just as they had finished the first period. Morelos called Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart into action in the 50th minute, with Hoops scrambling to clear their lines. 

Celtic settled in and took the lead once more just 13 minutes later. Rangers center-back John Souttar attempted to clear the ball with his head, only to misjudge the header, allowing Celtic’s Jota to nod it down to Furuhashi’s feet.

 The Japanese international made no mistake, hitting it with his right foot past McGregor.  

Jota, who had been fantastic running up and down the right wing, earned the rewards for his non-stop engine.

A poor pass by Rangers defender Ben Davies was intercepted by Jota, who rounded McGregor and scored from an acute angle. It was a goal Jota had no right to score. Yet, the Celtic winger’s industrious play was the catalyst for a fine goal.  

Rangers didn’t go away despite trailing 3-1. However, with Ryan Kent, Malik Tillman, and Morelos providing very little in attack, it was up to Tavernier to produce a spark. 

The right-back scored a second goal, this time getting his head to a Borna Barisic cross in the 89th minute. 

Five minutes of stoppage time couldn’t produce an equalizer for Rangers, as Celtic took the spoils for a fifth Old Firm derby this season.  

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images