CRESTFALLEN Callum McGregor admitted Celtic were “miles off” their usual standard as they slumped 3-0 at Ibrox.
It was the champions’ fifth league defeat in Ange Postecoglou’s two years in charge and was their heaviest.
They lost three in his debut campaign – all by the odd goal at Tynecastle, Ibrox and Livingston – and their only dip this time around came in the inexplicable 2-0 flop against St Mirren in Paisley in September.
But they collapsed against Michael Beale’s team after going five unbeaten in the previous derby encounters in this campaign, winning four and drawing the other.
GOVAN AND HELL…Reo Hatate, Callum McGregor and Yuki Kobayashi look more than just a little concerned as Celtic topple at Ibrox.
However, they just did not pose a consistent threat to Robby McCrorie on this occasion with just ONE shot on target – a chipped effort from Matt O’Riley that was palmed over the bar by the rookie keeper.
The visitors conceded in the fifth minute when Todd Cantwell swooped on a rebound as opponents were slow to react and the defending was lamentable to allow John Souttar to score with a header from a right-wing corner-kick in the 34th minute.
McGregor and Carl Starfelt then made a mess of a situation when no danger should have threatened and Fashion Sakala capitalised to run clear and roll the third beyond the helpless Joe Hart.
The downcast Hoops skipper said: “We were miles off our usual level and that’s what happens – you’ll lose this kind of game if you are not at the races.
“We gave ourselves a lot to do, they scored at important times of the game and that took the game away from us.
“But we have to take our medicine and admit we were poor, we didn’t deserve anything from the game and we have to accept that.
YELLOW FEVER…Callum McGregor is booked by referee Steven McLean.
“We just didn’t perform, we weren’t at the level that we normally are and if you turn up and perform like that then you don’t deserve anything out the game.”
McGregor, speaking to STV, added: “I think home advantage in this fixture always plays a part, especially when they score early, it gives them a lift, it gives the crowd a lift and we made it difficult for ourselves.
“At times, we have been able to come back from that.
“I don’t think there is much else to say other than we had a bad day, we didn’t perform to our usual level and the defeat is a result of that.”