Sport Soccer

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Caixinha's frustrations boil over on difficult derby day for Rangers

Rangers Josh Windass collides with manager Pedro Caixinha at Ibrox. Photo credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.
Rangers Josh Windass collides with manager Pedro Caixinha at Ibrox. Photo credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

Roddy Forsyth

Pedro Caixinha's confrontation with Scott Brown at half-time in Saturday's Old Firm derby at Ibrox was evidence of Rangers' frustration, according to Tom Rogic, who set Celtic on the way to a 2-0 victory when he scored the opening goal four minutes after the break.

Caixinha berated Brown for having allegedly elbowed Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos in the face.

The Ibrox manager was duly ignored by the Celtic captain and Caixinha looked in danger of bursting a blood vessel, although he regained command of his demeanour sufficiently to enjoy an evidently jolly chat with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell in the tunnel after the match.

Caixinha is less likely to be amused by Rogic's assessment of his behaviour, especially given the Celtic midfielder's comparison with his own manager's conduct.

"You certainly wouldn't see our manager getting involved in anything like that," the Australian said.

"I think that maybe says a little bit about their situation and where they are."

Brendan Rodgers celebrated 500 days in charge at Paradise by supervising his sixth win in seven Old Firm matches, while Caixinha has now lost three since he succeeded Mark Warburton in March.

Caixinha's decision to field Carlos Pena, who clearly lacked the sharpness necessary to cope with the demands of this fixture, effectively put Rangers a man down throughout a first half in which they survived several alarms.

The Mexican should have run his course by the interval but, for no obvious reason, was kept on the field for a further four minutes, which was all that Celtic required to take the lead from a corner kick.

Rangers cleared the ball only as Patrick Roberts, who prodded the it back into the melee, where Rogic applied the vital touch.

"There was a bit of good fortune involved," admitted the Celtic striker.

"The ball just fell to me and I had to be alive to it. I tried to get a good-quality strike on target and thankfully it went in."

hapless Kenny Miller, who replaced the hapless Pena, almost contrived an opening with a header back across the Celtic goalmouth for Morelos to glance on for what looked a certain score until Craig Gordon intervened.

Caixinha suggested afterwards that the course of the contest might have changed had Morelos's effort found the net, but Rangers were always second-best and by full-time the tally of efforts on target favoured champions Celtic by seven to one.

Leigh Griffiths' predatory strike for the Bhoys' second goal settled the issue.

Celtic now turn their thoughts to Wednesday's Champions League clash with Anderlecht in Brussels. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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