RODGERS v RANGERS (Part Seven): MIGHTY MOUSSA TOP OF THE HIT PARADE

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MIGHTY Moussa Dembele has been the punisher-in-chief as Brendan Rodgers has watched Celtic cram 32 goals into the Ibrox net in his 14 derby duels to date.

The French powerhouse made his intentions abundantly clear when he thumped in the perfect hat-trick – one with the head, one with the right foot and one with the left – on an unforgettable debut in September 2016.

Rodgers was also taking his bow in the fixture as the hosts raced to a rollicking 5-1 triumph with Scott Sinclair and Stuart Armstrong also on the scoresheet.

THE EYES HAVE IT…Moussa Dembele rolls the ball beyond helpless keeper Wes Foderingham for the second of his glorious hat-trick in the 5-1 triumph at Parkhead on September 10 2016.

Dembele fired in seven goals in total against the Govan club, including a League Cup semi-final winner at Hampden only a month after his tremendous trio at a rocking Celtic Park.

The frontman, bought for only £500,000 from Fulham in a cut-price cross-border transfer just after Rodgers arrived in May 2016, continued to put Rangers to the sword when he scored in his third successive outing against them when the Hoops won 2-1 at Ibrox on Hogmanay.

He was on target again in March 2018 in a 3-2 win and he slotted away a penalty-kick the following month in a one-sided Scottish Cup semi-final with Rodgers’ side routing their opponents 4-0 at the national stadium on their way to a 2-0 success over Motherwell in the silverware showpiece a month later.

Kyogo Furuhashi is fast catching Dembele with six strikes this year, with his first goal against them coming in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox on January 2. His other five counters have come during Ange Postecoglou’s reign.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates Celtic’s winner at an Ibrox stadium struck dumb on September 3 as Brendan Rodgers enjoys a return to the fixture. Liam Scales looks on.

The Japanese ace got the team off to a flyer this season with a pulverising volley in the 1-0 triumph in Govan in September.

Kyogo may have been slow to start after his £4.6million arrival from J-League outfit Visel Kobe, but he is certainly making up for lost time.

Next, on four goals, are skipper Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair.

Odsonne Edouard claimed three with Leigh Griffiths, Stuart Armstrong and Olivier Ntcham on two apiece.

Joining Kyogo on one in Rodgers’ 14 games in charge are James Forrest, Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig.

The scene is set for another Celtic hero this afternoon.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Rangers this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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