Samaras the difference on day of remembrance

Rangers 0 Celtic 2

On a day that began with a perfectly-observed silence, it was the Celtic supporters making all the noise after an Old Firm game that sent them four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League. Georgios Samaras struck twice for the visitors at Ibrox to leave Rangers needing to make good use of their two games in hand.

Former captains John Greig and Billy McNeill led out the teams as both sets of fans perfectly observed a minute's silence ahead of kick-off to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Ibrox Disaster, when 66 Rangers fans lost their lives. Rangers were also showing their respects to former player Avi Cohen, who died recently.

After the game the Rangers manager, Walter Smith, lamented his side's defending. "We've got to be disappointed with the way we conceded the goals, they were poor goals from our own point of view," he said. "We have got nobody to blame but ourselves in that respect. I am disappointed that we lost in the manner we did. If Celtic had scored a couple of good ones, it might have been easier for us to take."

His Celtic counterpart, Neil Lennon, revealed that a conversation with Gordon Strachan led to Samaras playing on his own up front. "I am very proud of the players and performance," he said. "I didn't think there was one failure there today.

"We were very resilient, we dominated and I thought Samaras was unplayable. I spoke to Gordon about that lone-striker's role. Samaras can do that and it was something we have been working on. His movement and composure for the first goal was great and although he got a lot of confidence from the way he started the game, he got a huge lift from the goal."

Youngster Jamie Ness was handed a memorable first start for Rangers after Steven Naismith failed to recover from a hamstring injury in time. Celtic's new signing Freddie Ljungberg failed to even make the squad after picking up a virus, while captain Scott Brown was suspended.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between in a scrappy opening spell, but Celtic threatened when Paddy McCourt slipped a lovely pass to James Forrest in front of goal only for Lee McCulloch to make a timely intervention before he could unleash a shot.

Rangers' Steven Whittaker had the chance to snatch the opener at the end of a disappointing half when he collected a flighted cross from Vladimir Weiss, but he miskicked under pressure from Mark Wilson.

The match eventually sparked into life after 62 minutes when Samaras opened the scoring for Celtic. Richard Foster lost possession to Joe Ledley, who punted the ball forward for Samaras to race past Allan McGregor, who had charged yards outside his box, before coolly slotting home.

Celtic doubled their lead seven minutes later when the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Madjid Bougherra clipped Samaras in the box. The Greece international dusted himself down before sending a firm, low shot past McGregor.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices