Celtic, Rangers recover from slow starts for comfortable wins
Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic maintained their 100 percent start to the Scottish Premiership season after conceding early on to beat Kilmarnock 3-1 at Celtic Park.
Rangers also started slowly away at St. Johnstone, but blew away the hosts after the break to win 4-0 in Perth and remain just three points behind their arch rivals after six games.
Both of the Glasgow giants had been in Europa League action on Thursday and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard bemoaned the scheduling of an early Sunday start for both sides.
Fatigued by their efforts in Europe, both Celtic and Rangers started slowly with Kilmarnock taking the lead in Glasgow through Eamonn Brophy.
However, Neil Lennon’s men settled any nerves just before the break when Odsonne Edouard powered home James Forrest’s cross.
Edouard struck again early in the second-half to put the Scottish champions in front and Ryan Christie made the points safe from close range just before the hour mark.
Rangers posed little threat in the first 45 minutes at McDiarmid Park, but never looked in trouble once Alfredo Morelos fired high into the net just two minutes into the second period.
Connor Goldson’s header then doubled the visitors’ advantage before Gerrard introduced Jermain Defoe for Morelos 11 minutes from time.
That was still enough time for the 36-year-old to score twice as Defoe finished off a counter-attack from a St.Johnstone corner to make it 3-0 before an emphatic finish in the final minute rounded off the scoring.