Old Firm win showed Dembele will be missed, but not for long

By David Walton

September 3, 2018

After a successful outing against Rangers, the Old Firm did show that Moussa Dembele will be missed, but only temporarily.

Olivier Ntcham notched the only goal of the game as Celtic overcame Rangers 1-0 at Celtic Park on Sunday. It was a performance worthy of champions, and Brendan Rodgers’ side fully delivered.

Celtic absolutely battered Rangers but just didn’t have the goals to show for it. Controlling the game with ease, Celtic were barely troubled as Rangers sat off them and allowed them to play.

But question marks could be asked about whether Celtic would’ve won this more handsomely with Dembele available.

The Dembele affect

Moussa Dembele scored seven goals against Rangers (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The Frenchman signed for Lyon for nearly £20million on deadline-day. How Celtic could’ve used his hold-up ability against Rangers on Sunday.

Whilst Odsonne Edouard put in a decent shift and did well for the goal, he wasn’t at his best. Just returning from injury, the former PSG kid failed to make the ball stick, and was guilty of a bad miss in the first half.

His second-half substitute, Leigh Griffiths, wasn’t much better. Scotland’s number one striker consistently pours his heart into performances for Celtic. But yesterday, he struggled to hold the ball up and trouble Rangers in any way.

There was no denying that Dembele was missed. His prowess and sheer presence could’ve been enough to pour on real misery for Rangers. Instead, the Hoops had to settle for a solitary Ntcham goal.

Dembele just had the x-factor in these games that Celtic could rely on. Despite Edouard having three goals in two Old Firm games, he’s still to develop that.

Odsonne Edouard missed a glorious chance against Rangers (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yet Edouard and Griffiths are both capable strikers at this level. It won’t be long before they’re both back in-form and winning the hearts of supporters once more.

Both of their individual displays yesterday weren’t at hard-hitting as Dembele’s previous displays were.

But it was enough to put a roadblock in the Steven Gerrard regime’s path – that alone counts for something