BRENDAN RODGERS got the Glasgow derby-winning show on the road again when he masterminded the 1-0 triumph at Ibrox on September 3 last year.

Following ten victories, two draws and a solitary loss in his first stint, the Irishman marked his return to the fixture for the first time following an absence of over four and a half years with his success in Govan when Kyogo Furuhashi proved to be the matchwinner.

All eyes were on Rodgers and his players when the second match loomed into view just before the turn of the year.

PARADISE…Brendan Rodgers applauds the Celtic fans after another derby triumph.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE series, we have been charting Rodgers’ confrontations against Celtic’s city rivals since he kicked off with a convincing 5-1 thumping over Mark Warburton’s shell-shocked side in the east end of Glasgow in September 2016.

Today, we catch up with the team chief in his second all-Glasgow confrontation since his return in June.

December 30 2023: Premiership:

CELTIC 2 (Bernardo, Kyogo) Rangers 1 (Tavernier)

A SPECTACLAR double strike from Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi fired Celtic to a crucial triumph on the Saturday afternoon of December 30 2023 at Parkhead.

It was a happy second homecoming for Brendan Rodgers who had last been in the home dug-out back on September 2 2018 when Olivier Ntcham rifled in the only goal of the encounter.

The latest victory eased the champions eight points ahead at the Premiership pinnacle in their quest for their twelfth title in 13 years. The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 71st minute after Leon Balogun had floored Daizen Maeda and referee Nick Walsh had no option but to banish the defender.
The hosts were two goals ahead at the time and were in total control, but, inexplicably, allowed the visitors back into the contest when James Tavernier sent a 20-yard free-kick high past Joe Hart in the 88th minute.

DERBY DAZE…Paulo Bernardo salutes the Celtic support after his whizzbang opening goal.

Ten minutes of stoppage time made it a nervy conclusion for Rodgers’ side who had taken the lead in the 25th minute following a wonder strike from Bernardo in the 25th minute that almost ripped the net from the stanchion behind Jack Butland.

Luis Palma whipped in a right-wing corner-kick to the near post where Abdallah Sima rose to head away. However, his clearance fell only as far as the lurking on-loan Benfica midfielder.

Bernardo hit the ball first-time with ferocious timing from the edge of the box and his effort simply bulleted past the Ibrox keeper at his left to thump against the net.

Parkhead rocked to its foundations as 60,000 joyous fans rose in unison to greet the brilliant effort.

Maik Nawrocki, who had last figured in the League Cup exit against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the third game of the season, came on for the injured Stephen Welsh in the 35th minute.


MOMENTS FROM GLORY…Kyogo Furuhashi’s shot is on its way with Connor Goldson too late to block the effort and keeper Jack Butland about to be left helpless.

The second-half had an explosive start when Kyogo claimed a breathtaking goal for Scotland’s title kings as he notched his seventh strike this year against the Govan club.

Maeda and Nawrocki were involved in the build-up on the right with the defender picking out Matt O’Riley with an astute forward pass.

The stylish Danish international playmaker moved the ball onto the Japanese hitman lurking 25 yards outside the box.

The danger signals immediately flared as Kyogo jinked inside and then dragged the ball to his left before sending a truly stupendous 47th-minute strike high past Butland into his top left-hand corner.

Rodgers made a second change in in the 71st minute when he replaced Bernardo with David Turnbull and only moments later Balogun saw red when he hauled down Maeda.

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his winning goal with Celtic team-mates Paulo Bernardo and Luis Palma.

In the 83rd minute, the Hoops gaffer made three changes as he took off marksman Kyogo, Maeda and Palma and sent on Oh Hyeon-gyu, Liel Abada and Mikey Johnston.

Some slack play allowed the 10-man opposition back into the match and Tavernier had the nerve ends jangling with a free-kick that swirled high past Hart.

The final whistle was greeted with almighty cheers amid huge relief as Rodgers smiled at a job well done.

Plus it was the Irishman’s twelfth victory in 15 games over the Ibrox outfit.

TEAM: Hart; A Johnston, Welsh (sub: Nawrocki 35), Scales, Taylor; Bernardo (sub: Turnbull 71), McGregor, O’Riley; Maeda (sub: Abada 83), Kyogo (sub: Oh 83), Palma (sub: M Johnston 83).

* DON’T miss Rodgers v Rangers: Part Eight – only in your champion CQN.

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