Old Firm derby player ratings for ex-Premier League players: Barton, Toure and more
Robbie Purves | September 10, 2016
The biggest game in Scottish football returned and what a game it was. Celtic and Rangers matched up in the top-flight for the first time in five seasons and had all the classic features of the ferocious fixture.
A 5-1 demolition win now hands Brendan Rodgers’ Bhoys a huge amount of momentum and sees them remain firm favourites for the Scottish Premiership.
There were plenty of familiar faces from the English top-flight on show as the Hoops collected three points, here are our Old Firm derby player ratings for ex-Premier League players…
Kolo Toure (8/10)
Rodgers stressed the need for cool heads before the game and the message clearly got through to Toure.
Former Ivory Coast international and member of Arsenal’s Invincibles squad Toure has played in the Manchester, Merseyside, and north London derbies and showed every ounce of experience against Rangers.
He wasn’t the busiest of players during the Gers demolition, but everything he did was with conviction and confidence, putting in a near perfect performance – only troubled a couple of times with Rangers’ pace.
Scott Sinclair (8/10)
Fellow summer signing Sinclair has now scored in each of his four league appearances for the Celtic Park club and was exceptional.
Sinclair continuously troubled Gers right back James Tavernier and sucked Philippe Senderos out of position with clever, penetrating runs and link up play.
The former Manchester City man intertwined with hat-trick hero Moussa Dembele superbly, in what has the looks of a partnership that will cause most Scottish sides headaches.
With this in mind, the Bhoys are favourites to lift the Scottish FA Cup this term, at 13/8 with Coral.
Niko Kranjcar (4/10)
Since the second Willie Collum blew the first whistle, Kranjcar looked a man destined to be sent off.
He was certainly up for the physical challenge as he steamed round the pitch looking for trouble, but was taken off at half-time after picking up a booking in the 28th minute.
Neither Kranjcar nor his midfield partner had enough of the ball to do real damage, but sprayed some nice passes to the wings on occasion.
Gers are now 4/1 to forget about their Old Firm defeat, and go on to win the Scottish FA Cup this season.
Joey Barton (5/10)
Mark Warburton played down the pantomime villain image Barton has, and he was certainly the cooler of the midfield partnership, as Kranjcar fouled his way around the field.
Barton was everywhere, produced some lovely touches throughout the derby and looked to turn defence into attack with quick incisive passes.
However, he tended to give the ball away with ambitious passes, leading to a high turnover is possession. Barton failed to make a real imprint on the game as Gers’ became overrun in midfield.
Towards the end of the game Barton was forced into the centre of a three-man defence after Senderos’ second yellow.
The closest Barton and Scott Brown came to a confrontation was a contested drop-ball.
Philippe Senderos (2/10)
This was the former Arsenal defender Senderos’ debut and what a baptism of fire it was. Now a veteran, the Swiss centre back was run ragged by Celtic’s frontline and showed remarkable immobility.
Hoops attacker Sinclair was continuously sucked in by his weaving runs and was turned inside out regularly by Demebele.
Senderos looks devoid of experience when he was sent sliding by a cracking piece of Demebele skill for Celtic’s second goal, and looked lost on the biggest of stages.
The Swiss looked totally lost for Sinclair’s goal and his day went from awful to horrendous with a stupid deliberate handball, leaving his side with no recognised centre backs on the field.
Senderos was also let down by his centre back partner Rob Kiernan with sloppy passing.
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