Rangers v Celtic live

LIVE: Rangers v Celtic – follow the Old Firm action from Ibrox as it happens

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 25 March 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox as Neil Lennon's side bid to win the Scottish Premier League title. The Gers have fallen well behind in the race for the championship this term due to falling into administration, but will be determined to at least delay the Bhoys' celebrations. Email me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Rangers 1-0 Celtic (1pm)

Rangers: McGregor, Goian, Bocanegra,
Papac, Whittaker, McCabe, Davis, Edu, Wallace, Aluko, McCulloch.
Subs:
Alexander, Lafferty, Bedoya, Kerkar, Perry, Little, Mitchell.

Goals: Aluko 11.

Celtic: Forster, Cha, Rogne, Mulgrew,
Matthews, Brown, Wanyama, Ki, Ledley, Stokes (Izaguirre 32), Samaras.
Subs: Zaluska, Kelvin Wilson, Commons, Brozek, McGeough, Hooper.

Referee: Calum Murray (Scotland)

Click here for the live SPL table

13.57: An Old Firm derby that ticks all the right boxes so far. The Gers deservedly lead but providing 10-man Celtic can sort themselves out in the final third, this match is far from over.

Half-time: Rangers 1-0 Celtic

45+2min: Izaguirre robs Rangers of possession on the byline but his attempted cut-back is intercepted before the hosts scramble clear.

44min: That sums up the visitors in at attacking sense. After a decent passing spell, Izaguirre delivers a cross that McGregor easily claims.

41min: Some possession for Celtic, who have done well to maintain a lot of the ball in this game, but their final product has left much to be desired.

Most of that is due to some strong Rangers defending though.

38min: Celtic have resorted to pumping a few long balls into the Rangers box but McGregor looks to be in top form today. The keeper has been quick off his line to claim everything so far.

35min: The game has gone a bit scrappy since. If anything Celtic are coping better with 10 men than they did with 11 though.

32min: Here it is. Stokes is replaced by Emilio Izaguirre. Samaras will now spearhead Celtic's attack.

29min: The eventual free-kick is blocked but Celtic may need a reshuffle at the back here.

28min: RED CARD (Cha Du-ri, Celtic)

Red card too harsh Either way by the laws of the game I think Cha has to go here. Wallace was through on goal until Cha's attempt to pull him to the ground sees the midfielder need no second invitation to go down.

It's just on the edge of the box but it is a goal scoring opportunity.

27min: Scott Brown delivers a fantastic byline cross but Stokes header at the back post fails to find Samaras inside the box as Rangers clear.

26min: Celtic are starting to defend with a bit more organisation at the back now but still lack the threat going forward.

23min: Should really be 2-0 – or at least another shot on target. Aluko spots Lee Wallace running unmarked into the box but despite playing a perfect low pass into his path, the midfielder side-foots over the bar. He should really be hitting that with his laces.

21min: Apart from that three/four minute spell after the goal, Celtic have really struggled to get into this game.

Rangers on the other hand are finding great success in playing a direct ball to McCulloch. The Gers on top again.

18min: But Rangers threaten again, with Aluko dragging a shot across goal. It's not just him Celtic are struggling to deal with, but Lee McCulloch too who is winning nearly every 50/50 he competes in.

15min: Top stop again from McGregor who is at full stretch to tip wide Stokes' volley across goal – great response from Celtic.

14min: So nearly an equaliser. Georgios Samaras's burst of pace enables him to lead a counter, but after reaching the penalty box his shot is saved by Allan McGregor.

Anthony Stokes is available for the follow up but his volley into the ground is tipped over by the keeper.

First blood: Sone Aluko opened the scoring for Rangers with a superb solo effort

First blood: Sone Aluko opened the scoring for Rangers with a superb solo effort

11min: GOAL! RANGERS 1-0 Celtic

This reminds me a lot like Ricky Villa's goal for Tottenham in the 1981 English FA Cup final.

Sone Aluko nutmegs a defender 30 yards out before charging in the box, beating two players as he cuts inside, before sliding the ball past an onrushing Fraser Forster. A deserved lead for the hosts and what a goal too.

9min: Rangers on top so far. Rhys McCabe cuts out a clearance 25 yards from goal but his low drive shorty after is comfortably wide.

6min: From OptaJoe:

1 – Despite being seven in the last five cup games, there has only been one red card in the last six league Old Firm derbies. Calm.

4min: Half-chance for Rangers. Sone Aluko picks up the ball inside the box but his snap shot is blocked by Thomas Rogne for a corner which the visitors clear.

3min: Not too much action to get us going but the atmosphere is buzzing inside the ground – it feels like a cup final.

Chased down: Rangers' Steven Davis, left, vies for the ball with Celtic's Ki Sung Yueng

Chased down: Rangers' Steven Davis, left, vies for the ball with Celtic's Ki Sung Yueng

Kick-off: Away we go then.

12.57: Out come the players to Tina Turner's 'Simply The Best' – I imagine both sets of fans are singing this.

12.52: Good to see Brian Laudrup in attendance for today's game. I can't help but feel Rangers could do with someone like him in their team these days…or just bring the great Dane back. The 43-year-old was different class in the late 1990s.

12.49: The away end at Ibrox looks fantastic by the way with Celtic fans waving green and white flags – they are partying already.

12.46: Celtic have won the league before at Ibrox but that was back in 1967 when they drew 2-2.

No carnage that day, in fact the match ended with players sportingly shaking hands.

Star of the show: Rangers' Neil McCann celebrates his second goal in the 1999 victory at Parkhead

Star of the show: Rangers' Neil McCann celebrates his second goal in the 1999 victory at Parkhead

12.41: You don't have to go too far back for the last time the title was decided at a rival's ground in an Old Firm Derby.

Just 1999 in fact when Rangers won 3-0 at Parkhead.

That day there were three red cards, two pitch invasions and referee Hugh Dallas was struck with a coin.

Hopefully we will only be talking about the football at full time.

12.36: Full line-ups from Ibrox:

Rangers v Celtic
Rangers: McGregor, Goian, Bocanegra, Papac, Whittaker, McCabe, Davis, Edu, Wallace, Aluko, McCulloch. Subs: Alexander, Lafferty, Bedoya, Kerkar, Perry, Little, Mitchell.

Celtic: Forster, Cha, Rogne, Mulgrew, Matthews, Brown, Wanyama, Ki, Ledley, Stokes, Samaras. Subs: Zaluska, Izaguirre, Kelvin Wilson, Commons, Brozek, McGeough, Hooper.

Referee: Calum Murray (Scotland)

Ready for battle: A Rangers fans makes his way towards Ibrox before the game with Celtic

Ready for battle: A Rangers fans makes his way towards Ibrox before the game with Celtic

12.31: Rangers make five changes from last week's defeat to Dundee United as they aim to prevent Celtic from claiming the victory that would allow them to clinch the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title at Ibrox.

Steven Whittaker makes his first appearance since December 24 after recovering from a groin problem, while Sasa Papac shrugs off a knock to start the Old Firm clash.

Defensive duo Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian are back from suspension and Sone Aluko is also drafted back into the starting line-up.

Celtic are without James Forrest, who misses out with an ankle injury, while Gary Hooper starts on the bench after being rated doubtful with a dead leg.

12.26: It's a lovely sunny day in Glasgow with fans already filling up the ground.

For the home fans it's been a miserable end to the season after such a promising start – the club haven't won at Ibrox since the end of January.

Of course, off-pitch financial issues have not helped.

12.23: Only a win will give the title to Celtic today, a draw would leave Rangers 21 points behind with 21 to play for.

As good as lost either way, but it does prevent Celtic being crowned Scotland's top dogs at Ibrox.

12.17: Rangers starting XI:

McGregor, Goian, Bocanegra, Papac, Whittaker, McCabe, Davis, Edu, Wallace, Aluko, McCulloch.

12.10: Celtic starting XI:

Forster, Cha, Rogne, Mulgrew, Matthews, Brown, Wanyama, Ki, Ledley, Samaras, Stokes.

12.00: Barring the comeback to end all comebacks, Celtic will win the Scottish Premier League title – the only question is when

As fate has it, it could be today and on the ground of their bitter rivals Rangers. How does the fixture list throw up these sorts of games and permutations Team news on the way.

Starting on the bench: A dead leg means Gary Hooper starts on the bench for Celtic

Starting on the bench: A dead leg means Gary Hooper starts on the bench for Celtic