Last season, a couple of the Old Firm derbies were a bit uneventful and much more about physical play and conservative defending than any kind of skill or attacking play. The first match of this season between Celtic and Rangers has been anything but that so far, as Celtic leads 2-1 at halftime at Ibrox Stadium.
Rangers got off to a fantastic start with a goal by Steven Naismith in the 23rd minute, and at that point, it was no more than Rangers' play deserved. Naismith has been on an absolute tear to start the year, scoring four goals prior to that opener.
Things went downhill for Rangers from there, though. Gary Hooper equalized with a great finish to the far post in the 34th minute, assisted by the supposedly injured but now fit Scott Brown. United States captain and new Rangers signing Carlos Bocanegra was at fault as a lack of chemistry between Bocanegra and his new teammates became apparent. He failed to step up with the rest of his back line, keeping Hooper onside for the goal.
Badr El Kaddouri scored Celtic's second in the 41st minute, though he can hardly take credit. His shot was average, but Allan McGregor completely failed to deal with it and let an easy shot go by him, letting Celtic take the lead on an absolute howler.