Celtic boss Neil Lennon's fine record against Rangers' Steven Gerrard

By David Walton

December 29, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s record vs Steven Gerrard hasn’t been talked about enough heading into today’s derby.

Rangers come to Parkhead for the third meeting between the two clubs this season. Celtic have come out on top in both matches, but as Hoops fans, it feels as though we’ve had the Betfred Cup rammed down our throats. Celtic were poor on the day yet still won the cup, but we’ve constantly been reminded of how poor we were (Scottish Sun).

One of the things that seems to have been overlooked, however, is the fact that Lenny has had Gerrard in his back pocket ever since the Liverpool great moved to Scotland.

Neil Lennon hasn’t been given the praise his Betfred Cup triumph deserved (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

They’ve now met six times overall. Lenny was the boss at Hibs for two of them. And in all of those contests, Gerrard’s Rangers have only won once. Lennon, meanwhile, has overcome the Ibrox boss three times and secured two draws.

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At Hibs, Rangers were by far the favourites to win both meetings. However, Lenny managed to secure 0-0 and 1-1 draws at Easter Road and Ibrox respectively. He put a severe dent in Rangers’ title aspirations last season, taking seven points off of them alone when you consider his first derby back at Celtic too.

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Indeed, if Lennon beats Gerrard today, he’ll be 4-1 up on his main rival. That would be quite the one-sided stat between the two.

Lennon seems to have Gerrard’s number (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It’s also worth noting that the game Gerrard’s side did win – a 2-0 derby win back in May – was effectively meaningless after Celtic had already secured the title.

Lennon has beaten Gerrard at all three of Scottish football’s top venues too. His first was a 2-1 success at Celtic Park, before turning the Ibrox team over 2-0 in Govan back in September. The latest, of course, was the Hampden Betfred Cup final win at the start of the month.

Not many seem to want to talk about it. After all, it doesn’t suit the narrative that Rangers have just been unlucky against us in the past. It’s easier to follow that train of thought than to just accept we have their number.

Lenny’s Celtic still have a point to prove to their rivals today (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

We go into today’s game at Parkhead knowing that we have a manager who knows how to win in this fixture. He understands everything that comes with it, and is schooled on how to make the most of it.

Gerrard has also only beaten Celtic on two out of seven occasions since his arrival in Scotland. Hardly ground-breaking stuff. The stats, the momentum, and the quality is with us today. Hopefully, we can put on a show that leaves the Rangers-minded contingent without an excuse to fall back on.