Celtic star Moi Elyounoussi made a promise back in December 2019.
He vowed that the next time he met Rangers, he and his Celtic team-mates would “destroy” them [Daily Record]. It was a statement of intent after securing the Betfred Cup albeit with a poor performance against Steven Gerrard’s side.
However, it wasn’t words that would be backed up. Forget the fact we lost the game 2-1 at Parkhead only weeks later. Elyounoussi himself couldn’t even play in the game due to a foot injury.
Indeed, Moi incredibly spent the next two months out of action. He never did get the chance to lay a glove on Rangers for the rest of that season after the league was halted.
This year, he’s played three times against Gerrard’s side and has gradually started to impress in the fixture.
Back in October, Moi suffered more than most with some of our big-game players out of the first Glasgow Derby of the season due to Covid-enforced absences. Celtic weren’t fluent and their game suffered due to the number of changes made. Moi would prove to be anonymous outside of a big miss in the first half.
In the January clash at Ibrox, he was thrown on for the final 25 minutes with Celtic down to 10 men. He had a glorious chance to equalise, but again he was handicapped due to complications that weren’t his fault.
Indeed, the 1-1 draw last month was his first genuine opportunity to land a blow on Rangers. And my goodness, he destroyed the Ibrox backline.
Celtic hero Moi Elyounoussi still needs to produce THAT performance vs Rangers
Not only did Elyounoussi get on the scoresheet, but his combination play with Odsonne Edouard also created several big first-half openings. The Rangers backline couldn’t cope with his movement, and it’s no surprise that everything positive went through him.
Of course, all of this came with the Norwegian playing in a position he isn’t even comfortable in – centre-forward.
Whilst he showed plenty of class in that position last month, he’s likely going to start on the left flank this Sunday. That’s where he played against Livingston on Saturday when he bagged a brace and was generally a class above anything else on the pitch.
But this Sunday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Ibrox will provide Moi with his best chance to “destroy” Rangers yet. Not only does he go into this one in fine form, he’s up against rookie competition in Nathan Patterson.
The Ibrox right-back has yet to face a player of Moi’s undoubted quality. Should he team up with Diego Laxalt, he’ll strongly fancy causing our rivals all kinds of bother. Even more so than he managed in that impressive individual display last month.
Whilst he was in good form last month and bagged a fine goal, Moi has never lived up to that promise to “destroy” our rivals. We should be expecting more from him in this fixture in truth. Now he has the chance to finally back his 2019 words up.
Let’s see if he can.