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Celtic fight back to beat Rangers 2-1 in Old Firm derby
December 31, 2016 / 2:56 PM / a year ago

Celtic fight back to beat Rangers 2-1 in Old Firm derby

(Reuters) - Scottish champions Celtic stayed firmly on course to clinch a sixth successive league title and 48th overall after coming from behind to beat arch-rivals Rangers 2-1 in an entertaining Old Firm derby on Saturday.

Rangers v Celtic - Scottish Premiership - Ibrox Stadium - 31/12/16 Celtic's Stuart Armstrong shoots at goal Reuters / Russell Cheyne Livepic

Moussa Dembele cancelled out Kenny Miller’s opener with his 19th goal of the season in all competitions before strike partner Scott Sinclair pounced in the second half to give Celtic victory on their first visit to Ibrox since March, 2012.

Celtic stayed top with 58 points from 20 games, 19 ahead of second-placed Rangers who have played a game more. It was Celtic’s 15th league win in a row and ended Rangers’ 15-game unbeaten home run.

The home section of a festive New Year’s Eve crowd erupted after the 37-year old Miller fired Rangers ahead in the 12th minute, turning in a sharp low cross by James Tavernier after the right back’s lovely one-two with Josh Windass.

Rangers v Celtic - Scottish Premiership - Ibrox Stadium - 31/12/16 Celtic's Moussa Dembele in action with Rangers' Clint Hill Reuters / Russell Cheyne Livepic

Sinclair hit the post for Celtic moments before the prolific Dembele netted a 34th-minute equaliser, having been given time and space to chest down a corner and blast a left-footed volley into the roof of the net from 15 metres.

It was the 20-year old Frenchman’s fifth goal in Celtic’s third game against Rangers this season, following a hat-trick in September’s 5-1 league drubbing and a late winner in October’s 1-0 League Cup victory.

The visitors dominated after drawing level and only a string of superb saves by Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham either side of Sinclair’s winner denied Celtic a bigger triumph.

Livewire Dembele also hit the crossbar as Celtic kept Foderingham frantically busy but the keeper could do nothing about Sinclair’s tap-in from two metres in the 70th minute after Stuart Armstrong’s pass across the face of goal.

Miller missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise when he hit the woodwork from close range after a delightful Rangers break in the 84th minutes before the visitors held out comfortably in the closing stages.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond

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