Callum McGregor shuts down Aaron Ramsey as Celtic secure big title advantage

By David Walton

April 3, 2022

Celtic have done it.

An absolutely incredible afternoon at Ibrox is over, and Ange Postecoglou and his Hoops stars are able to celebrate a famous 2-1 victory.

The result does so much for our title push. Celtic are now 6 points clear of Rangers with only 6 league matches remaining. A massively superior goal difference, meanwhile, effectively bulks that up to 7 points. In order for Celtic to lose the league from here, an outrageous catastrophe would need to be on the cards.

Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

In order to achieve such a superb lead, Celtic had to deal with an incredibly hostile Ibrox atmosphere that at times went way over the top. But amid the chaos and the frantic nature of the 90 minutes, one Celtic player stood out more than anyone else – the exceptionally talented Hoops captain Callum McGregor.

Directly up against Aaron Ramsey, McGregor was immediately up against it. Rangers scoring after 2 minutes had the atmosphere absolutely rocking. We weren’t supposed to get anything from this one from that point onward. Yet step up captain Callum as he darted past several Rangers players to play a key role in Tom Rogic’s 6th-minute equaliser.

He then proved a key figure as he effectively man-marked Aaron Ramsey out of the game. The much-hyped Welsh international was being bigged up to be the difference-maker. However, McGregor was instantly shutting everything down and playing a key role as he intercepted so many of Rangers’ attacking moves.

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Callum McGregor – the standout player at Ibrox

McGregor knew after Celtic turned the game around that it wasn’t his role to be driving forward. Instead, he continued to play an influential part in frustrating Rangers in our own defensive third.

He was consistently looking to help out Anthony Ralston after the introduction of Fashion Sakala in particular. He helped to stifle the initial threat that the Rangers man looked set to pose.

When he did make his bursts forward, Callum always kept it sensible. He knew how important he was to our defensive play this afternoon and that showed in his usage of the ball in the final third.

Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

His domination of the midfield this afternoon led to Rangers having to hook Ramsey close to the hour mark. Giovanni van Bronckhorst desperately tried to put Scott Arfield into the engine room and use his fresh legs to seize the initiative. Again, however, he couldn’t get the better of McGregor.

How often did Rangers’ crosses into the penalty box end up being cleared away by the Celtic captain? And not in a kick and rush manner either. Instead, McGregor was always looking for a pass to a teammate and this led to added frustration for Rangers.

He’s the primary reason they couldn’t get anything going this afternoon. The primary reason we look ahead to the final 6 games with a 6-point advantage. A huge performance from a huge figure at this football club.

In other news, On the brink of title, Ange call spot on; 3 things we learned as Celtic show up rivals