It was master versus apprentice as former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers came up against his old Anfield skipper Steven Gerrard for the first time since the latter took over at Rangers.
Celtic manager Rodgers came out on top as the Hoops claimed a 1-0 win at Parkhead and here, Press Association Sport’s Andy Newport takes a look at how the two bosses fared in the first Old Firm meeting of the new season.
Skipper James Tavernier was the only man in blue still present in the Rangers ranks from that nightmare defeat as Gerrard handed Old Firm debuts to six players. But even that influx of fresh talent could not change the outcome as Celtic claimed a one-sided victory.
Gerrard had road-tested a 3-5-2 formation against Motherwell last week but was dissuaded from trying it out this time after his team’s ropey defensive display at Fir Park. Instead he looked to get an edge on the champions by putting frontman Kyle Lafferty up against the perceived weak link in the home defence, Mikael Lustig. But it failed to pay off as the Swede snuffed out the ineffectual former Hearts hitman.
Having played with just nine men for the final half-hour of Thursday night’s Europa League clash in Ufa, Gers looked in desperate need of fresh legs the longer the game went. Gerrard, though, waited until the 81st minute to introduce youngster Glenn Middleton. Daniel Candeias was thrown on with three minutes left but the pair were unable to inspire a fightback.
Rodgers had the luxury of replacing £9million man Odsonne Eduoard with another proven goalscorer in Leigh Griffiths and it almost paid off as the Scotland hitman came close on a couple of occasions.