Barry Ferguson explains why Rangers' game plan against Celtic was 'spot on'

Rangers Captain Barry Ferguson (C) celebrates at the final whistle against Celtic during the Scottish Premier League football match at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow March 29, 2008. Ferguson was...

Mikael Lustig was arguably at fault for James Tavernier's goal as Rangers beat Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox.

Mikael Lustig of Celtic picks up an injury during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Barry Ferguson has hailed Rangers’ ‘spot on’ gameplan in their 2-0 Old Firm derby win against Celtic on Sunday, pointing out to the Daily Record that Mikael Lustig was at fault for the opening goal at Ibrox.

There was little to play for on paper with Celtic sealing an eighth successive Scottish Premiership title just last week but Rangers hardly looked like a team short on motivation, producing arguably their finest performance of the Steven Gerrard era.

 

James Tavernier and Scott Arfield were on target as The Gers outplayed and outfought their Glasgow rivals at Ibrox, beating Celtic for the second time in a row in front of their own supporters.

Subscribe

The game could have gone differently, however, if Lustig had not given away a needless free-kick just two minutes in which captain Tavernier whipped into the far corner for the opening goal.

James Tavernier of Rangers celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game with his team mates during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium...

At least that is the view of Ferguson, the former Rangers skipper who feels Gerrard got his blueprint absolutely on the money.

“Rangers were up for it and their game plan was spot on. They strangled the life out of Celtic with their high press and that’s where the opening goal started from,” Ferguson said.

“Pressing down Mikael Lustig in possession, under pressure he’s ended up conceding the free-kick that James Tavernier put away.

“When you show the energy levels to press high up the pitch you get your rewards, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Veteran Lustig is facing an uncertain future at Celtic with his contract expiring in the summer. And another error-strewn performance from the 32-year-old will only enhance the feeling that his time at Parkhead has come to an end.

Mikael Lustig of Celtic celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Aberdeen,...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch