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Celtic: Carter-Vickers was Postecoglou’s saviour vs Rangers

Celtic ensured they would remain nine points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table by securing a 2-2 draw in Monday’s Old Firm meeting, with Kyogo Furuhashi’s 88th-minute strike somewhat sparing the Bhoys’ blushes.

Indeed, despite dominating the opening stages of the fixture, with Daizen Maeda putting Ange Postecoglou’s side 1-0 up in the fifth minute, the hosts clawed their way back into the game after the break, with Ryan Kent curling beyond Joe Hart to level the scores, before James Tavernier fired the Light Blues ahead from the penalty spot on the 53-minute mark.

However, despite failing to hit the target in the second half before the 88th minute, Kyogo made no mistake when the ball broke his way in the closing stages, with the Japan international’s strike ultimately being enough to seal a point for the Hoops.

Having said this, while it will undoubtedly be the centre-forward who steals tomorrow morning’s headlines, it was arguably the performance of the “immense” – in the words of Hoops legend Chris Sutton – Cameron Carter-Vickers that truly ensured Celtic continued their unbeaten streak on Monday.

Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £8.4m-rated centre-back was imperious in the heart of Postecoglou’s defence, making five clearances, one interception and blocking two shots – one of which was a ‘goal-saving‘ intervention to deny Malik Tillman a would-be winner in the dying minutes –  as well as winning six of his ten duels – a success rate of 60%.

The £24k-per-week talent also impressed in possession of the ball, enjoying 94 touches – the second-most of any player to feature in the match – completing 71 of his 80 attempted passes – at a success rate of 89% – finding his man with five of his seven attempted long balls and making one key pass.

These returns saw the USA international earn an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 7.1 – ranking him as Celtic’s second-best performer on the day – while the Daily Record journalist Michael Gannon also awarded the centre-back a seven in his own player ratings, as well as stating of the 25-year-old’s display:

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“Comfortably dealt with a lot of the balls coming forward into the feet of Rangers’ frontmen. Got a little more ragged after the interval but wasn’t helped by his partner alongside having an off-day but a brilliant stop to block Malik Tillman’s effort late on before Hoops leveller.”

As such, while it is true that Kyogo’s dramatic equaliser ultimately secured a point for Celtic at Ibrox, were it not for Carter-Vickers being an “absolute beast” – in the words of journalist Mike Sheridan – at the back on Monday, the Bhoys would have undoubtedly been heading back to Parkhead empty handed this afternoon.