Steven Gerrard challenged his Rangers players to follow up their success against Celtic with a meaningful title challenge after winning a second straight Old Firm derby.

Rangers triumphed 2-0 on Saturday thanks to an unlikely double from centre-back Connor Goldson, who scored in each half as a depleted Celtic failed to register a single shot on target.

Having also won the last meeting in December, Gerrard has become the first Rangers manager to win back-to-back away league games over Celtic since March 1997.

As his team bid to prevent their rivals from winning a 10th straight Scottish Premiership, he urged his players to build on their victory.

Asked if the 23-year first proves the gap has closed between the two teams, Gerrard told Sky Sports: "The players are showing more maturity, with time and games we are getting more experienced together.

"It was a really mature performance, but we need more of that from now until the end of the season. We have still got an awful lot of hard work to do and we have respect for the team we are chasing.

"That is going to be our challenge now: can we go the distance?

"It is a big win, of course it is. Always a tough game, big challenge when you come here with a lot of pressure, a lot of anxiety.

"We did not have to play at our maximum and I don't think we were at our fluent best, but we've come here and controlled the game with and without the ball.

"Allan McGregor has not really been tested, so we are really pleased with the performance the players have given.

"We were certainly worthy winners – Celtic threw everything at us. They have started with and brought on really good players that are worth a lot of money but we managed the game.

"We will enjoy the win but there will be no getting carried away. We need to remain humble and on we go."

Last year's win had been Rangers' first over Celtic in the league since 2010 and, after his two goals sealed a second straight triumph, match-winner Goldson also earned the praise of Gerrard.

"I'm shocked but he's certainly capable," Gerrard said of Goldson, who added to his double with seven clearances and two blocks, both tied for game highs.

"His all-round performance was outstanding; he deserves the headlines he is going to get. He led us from the back."

Celtic are now four points behind Rangers but do have a game in hand.

Manager Neil Lennon acknowledged they had struggled without star striker Odsonne Edouard, one of four players missing due to coronavirus-related issues from the international break.

"We have given away two poor goals from our point of view and missed a great chance to equalise [through Mohamed Elyounoussi]," said Lennon, who is also contending with several injuries.

"[Albian] Ajeti and [Leigh] Griffiths are not fully fit, Edouard is out – so three main strikers missing to start with.

"We created good chances in the first half to score but I have to say Rangers defended their box pretty well and that was the difference. We will look at the performance and build for better."

Rangers won a second straight Old Firm derby and moved four points ahead of Celtic in the Scottish Premiership as an unlikely double from Connor Goldson secured a 2-0 victory.

Defender Goldson struck in the ninth minute and added another after the break on Saturday as Steven Gerrard's men made it two straight away league wins over Celtic for the first time in 23 years.

Celtic were without key players like striker Odsonne Edouard but few would have expected Neil Lennon's team not to register a shot on target or have a second-half attempt of any nature until the 85th minute in a miserable outing.

Rangers now hold a decent lead over their fierce rivals at the summit and, while Celtic still have a game in hand, Garrard can reflect on a positive first quarter of the 2020-21 season.

It was a dream start for Rangers when James Tavernier curled in a free-kick from the right and Goldson glanced a header into the far corner from six yards, with goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas unable to keep it out.

Celtic struggled to create many chances of note in the first half but they should have been level soon after the Rangers opener.

Mohamed Elyounoussi capitalised on mistake by Goldson under a long ball, only to send his attempt over the bar from a great opening as he attempted to lob Allan McGregor.

Having made a superb start to the first half, Rangers also struck nine minutes into the second.

Scott Arfield's deflected cross found its way to Goldson, and while the centre-back's initial effort was blocked by Shane Duffy, he composed himself to stab in a shot at the second attempt.

Celtic threw on Albian Ajeti, Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic from the bench but barely troubled a Rangers backline that has only conceded three goals in 11 games.

Arsenal are seeking clarification after Kieran Tierney was told to self-isolate due to Scotland team-mate Stuart Armstrong's positive coronavirus test.

Southampton midfielder Armstrong tested positive while on international duty and will be quarantining for 10 days.

Tierney and Ryan Christie were identified as close contacts, along with two members of Scotland's support staff, and all must now self-isolate for two weeks.

The trio will miss the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final with Israel and the Nations League matches with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

A 14-day quarantine would also see defender Tierney sit out Arsenal's Premier League clash with Manchester City on October 17.

However, the 23-year-old insists he was socially distant from Armstrong at all times and has tested negative for COVID-19.

"I'm so disappointed and frustrated to be in this situation," he said in a statement released by the Gunners.

"I have adhered to all regulations and made sure I was socially distancing from my team-mates in the hotel. I've also tested negative. I know Arsenal and the SFA [Scottish Football Association] are now in discussions with the Scottish authorities to gain a further understanding."

Arsenal said: "Our medical team have confirmed that Kieran was socially distant at all times from the player who tested positive and has broken no rules regarding COVID-19 protocols. We are currently seeking further advice and clarification of the details."

Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney is set to miss the Premier League clash with Manchester City after being told he must self-isolate due to a coronavirus case in the Scotland squad. 

Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong returned a positive result for a test conducted on Tuesday, the Scottish Football Association confirmed in a statement. 

Armstrong must quarantine for 10 days, meaning he will miss Scotland's Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel and the Nations League matches with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. 

Tierney, Ryan Christie and two of Scotland's support staff have been identified as close contacts of Armstrong, meaning they must now self-isolate for 14 days. 

They will also sit out the coming international matches, while Tierney will miss the meeting between Arsenal and City on October 17. 

Celtic midfielder Christie will be forced to sit out the Old Firm clash with Rangers on the same day. 

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke said: "While this is obviously disappointing news the most important thing is the health and safety of the individuals involved and the wider group.  

"As soon as we were informed of the positive test, the Chief Medical Consultant immediately contacted the Scottish Government's clinical adviser, who in turn alerted the local Health Protection Team. 

"We have informed the respective clubs from whom we have borrowed the players and backroom staff and we now have to prepare for a huge match ahead tomorrow."

Lyon defender Leo Dubois has tested positive and will miss France's games against Ukraine, Portugal and Croatia, the French Football Federation has announced.

Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy has been called up to fill in for Dubois by national coach Didier Deschamps and will join the squad after Wednesday evening's friendly against Ukraine at the Stade de France.

The French federation (FFF) said on its website that Dubois was tested by UEFA on Tuesday morning and received his result at the end of evening training at the France team's Clairefontaine headquarters.

The outcome meant he was placed in solitary confinement ahead of being sent back to Lyon.

France play Portugal on Sunday in Paris before travelling to play Croatia in Zagreb on the following Wednesday, with both games part of their Nations League campaign.

The FFF also said Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard had tested positive for COVID-19 and was separated from his team-mates after training with the France Under-21 squad before being put into isolation.

It means Edouard will miss the France Under-21 team's Euro 2021 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Slovakia.

AC Milan must navigate a tricky route through the Europa League group stage after surviving a dramatic play-off.

Stefano Pioli's team will face Celtic, a team they have frequently battled with in the Champions League, along with Sparta Prague and French club Lille in Group H.

Milan looked like being eliminated on Thursday until a last-ditch spot-kick in extra-time against Portuguese side Rio Ave gave them a 2-2 draw, and the Rossoneri went on to win 9-8 on penalties after a lengthy shoot-out.

They have been regular foes of Celtic in the Champions League, with the teams drawn to face each other in four seasons from 2004-05 to 2013-14, and Milan also lost to Lille in that competition during the 2006-07 group stage.

A 2-0 setback against the Ligue 1 side did not prevent Milan going on to become European champions in that campaign, but they are fallen giants in Italy who are slowly getting back into shape under Pioli.

Jose Mourinho's Tottenham will tackle Ludogorets, LASK and Royal Antwerp in Group J, with the Portuguese manager looking for a repeat of the Europa League triumph he achieved with Manchester United in the 2016-17 season.

Friday's draw also saw Roma handed tests against Young Boys, CFR Cluj and CSKA Sofia in Group A, while Group F will see Serie A and LaLiga collide, with Napoli and Real Sociedad drawn alongside Dutch outfit AZ and Rijeka of Croatia.

Arsenal, led by Mikel Arteta, will face Austrian side Rapid Vienna, Norwegian outfit Molde and Irish club Dundalk.

Europa League group stage draw:

Group A: Roma, Young Boys, CFR Cluj, CSKA Sofia
Group B: Arsenal, Rapid Vienna, Molde, Dundalk
Group C: Bayer Leverkusen, Slavia Prague, Hapoel Beer Sheva, Nice
Group D: Benfica, Standard Liege, Rangers, Lech Poznan
Group E: PSV, PAOK, Granada, Omonoia
Group F: Napoli, Real Sociedad, AZ, Rijeka
Group G: Braga, Leicester City, AEK, Zorya Luhansk
Group H: Celtic, Sparta Prague, AC Milan, Lille
Group I: Villarreal, Qarabag, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Sivasspor
Group J: Tottenham, Ludogorets, LASK, Royal Antwerp
Group K: CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Zagreb, Feyenoord, Wolfsberg
Group L: Gent, Red Star Belgrade, Hoffenheim, Slovan Liberec

Odsonne Edouard fired Celtic through to the Europa League group stage as Neil Lennon's Scottish champions earned a 1-0 win at Sarajevo.

The visitors took charge of a tense play-off match in the second half, and Edouard, their former Paris Saint-Germain academy striker, was the man who made the difference.

He scored in the 70th minute after Ryan Christie saw a shot repelled.

It meant that Lennon, whose team's Champions League qualifying hopes were ended by a home defeat to Ferencvaros, avoided the ignominy of Celtic being knocked out of the Europa League, too, before the competition begins in earnest.

Celtic had few sights of goal in the first half, but Ryan Christie sent a 25-yard strike a couple of feet over the bar in the 63rd minute as the Hoops stepped it up.

They went close again five minutes later when a corner from the left reached Hatem Abd Elhamed just beyond the penalty spot, and his volley flew just wide of the right post.

The breakthrough came soon afterwards, Edouard firing into the Sarajevo net after Christie was denied by home goalkeeper Vladan Kovacevic.

Christie drew another save from Kovacevic with a stinging 20-yard shot as Celtic sought a second goal to strengthen their position.

Edouard played in Christie for a further opportunity after a surging run, but the winger could not test Kovacevic, and Jeremie Frimpong sent a shot just wide.

One goal was enough, however, to put Celtic into Friday's draw.

Manchester United's problems in the transfer window have reportedly continued as they target Federico Chiesa and Alex Telles.

The Premier League giants have had a tough window so far, with only Donny van de Beek arriving from Ajax.

That is their only inclusion despite links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Telles, and their progress is still seemingly slow ahead of the window closing on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD'S CHIESA BID REJECTED, SNUBBED OVER TELLES

Manchester United had a loan enquiry for Fiorentina attacker Chiesa turned down, according to The Telegraph.

As they struggle to land a deal for Sancho, United have been linked with Chiesa and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele.

Chiesa, a 22-year-old Italy international, has made a fine start to this season, scoring once and providing an assist in two Serie A games.

United seemed closer to bringing in Telles, but O Jogo reports Porto did not even respond to their first bid for the left-back – believed to be around £11.8million (€13m) – as the Portuguese giants see it as unrealistic.

 

ROUND-UP

- After Luis Suarez's arrival at Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa is linked with a move away. AS reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for the forward, and it adds Atletico could look to replace him with free agent Edinson Cavani.

- Manchester City's transfer business in this window could be done. The Sun reports any plans for the Premier League side to bring in a left-back – either Bayern Munich's David Alaba or Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico – are reliant on a late bid being received for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

- Are Bayern Munich looking for a back-up for star Robert Lewandowski? Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sign Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric. The Croatia international scored twice against Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday and is up to seven goals in three games in 2020-21.

- Tottenham are reportedly looking at Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius. Football.London says Spurs are hoping to loan the striker with an option to buy for £36.3m (€40m). Carlos Vinicius scored 24 goals in 47 games in all competitions last season.

- Staying at Spurs and Sky Sports reports Celtic have made an approach for Tottenham left-back Ryan Sessegnon. However, it says finances are problematic, while multiple Premier League clubs are also keeping an eye on Sessegnon.

- Andreas Pereira is set to leave Manchester United. Fabrizio Romano reports a deal between United and Lazio has been signed for a loan with option to buy for €27m (£24.5m).

Mohamed Elyounoussi scored a 90th-minute winner to dig Celtic out of a hole and clinch an underwhelming 1-0 Europa League qualifying victory at Riga, securing a spot in the play-off round.

Neil Lennon's men were poor for long periods of the match, struggling to make the most of their superiority and undoubtedly greater quality, but substitute Elyounoussi finally found the breakthrough right at the end.

A collection of Riga fans in open-top buses behind one of the goals will not have been enough to intimidate Celtic, but the Scottish champions were significantly lacking invention for much of the game, managing only two shots on target in the first period.

Jeremie Frimpong, brought on for the injured James Forrest in the opening 45 minutes, showed some initiative and was unsurprisingly the one to craft Elyounoussi's goal, which secured a clash with either Sarajevo or Buducnost in the final qualifying round.

It took Celtic – who were eliminated from Champions League qualification by Ferencvaros – 36 minutes to begin offering any kind of attacking threat on top of their control of the ball, with Olivier Ntcham's 30-yard piledriver forcing Roberts Ozols to tip over.

The goalkeeper had a slightly easier save to make soon after, pouncing on Nir Bitton's disappointingly tame effort from the centre of the box.

Celtic endured a slow start to the second period as well but went close with an hour played, Frimpong finding Ryan Christie in the area for a shot at Ozols after skipping past a challenge.

Frimpong was again the chief threat to Riga's defence with a little over 15 minutes to go, but Albian Ajeti – introduced a few moments earlier – met his cross and somehow appeared to block his own shot from point-blank range.

Celtic eventually found the winner late on, Elyounoussi meeting Frimpong's low delivery and guiding it into the bottom-left corner.

Mohamed Elyounoussi scored a 90th-minute winner to dig Celtic out of a hole and clinch an underwhelming 1-0 Europa League qualifying victory at Riga, securing a spot in the play-off round.

Neil Lennon's men were poor for long periods of the match, struggling to make the most of their superiority and undoubtedly greater quality, but substitute Elyounoussi finally found the breakthrough right at the end.

A collection of Riga fans in open-top buses behind one of the goals will not have been enough to intimidate Celtic, but the Scottish champions were significantly lacking invention for much of the game, managing only two shots on target in the first period.

Jeremie Frimpong, brought on for the injured James Forrest in the opening 45 minutes, showed some initiative and was unsurprisingly the one to craft Elyounoussi's goal, which secured a clash with either Sarajevo or Buducnost in the final qualifying round.

First Juventus, now Atletico Madrid.

For so long, Luis Suarez appeared set to leave Spain for Italy.

But a proposed move to Juve did not materialise as the Barcelona forward stands on the cusp of uniting with Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ TO JOIN ATLETICO

Luis Suarez will swap Barcelona for LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Suarez had been tipped to join Serie A champions Juventus after being told he could leave Camp Nou.

But the 33-year-old Uruguay international forward will now sign a two-year deal with Atletico as he dominates the front pages of Wednesday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have progressed talks with Barca regarding forward Ousmane Dembele, Record Sport reports. Having so far failed to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, United are eyeing an initial loan move for Dembele.

- Esport3 claims Barca are set to sign Ajax right-back Sergino Dest, who was also wanted by Bayern Munich.

Milan have offered €20million for Nikola Milenkovic but Fiorentina have said no, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer and Schalke centre-back Matija Nastasic are also options for the Rossoneri.

- Tuttosport claims Wolves are circling Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who has also been linked to United.

Fulham and Newcastle United have entered the race to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Tottenham have also been linked to the Poland international, while Roma are believed to be in talks as Milik enters the final year of his Napoli contract.

- Sky Sport Italia says Tottenham have opened talks for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, while Benfica's Ruben Dias is another option for Spurs.

- Torino are battling Atletico for Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira, according to Sportitalia. The former Sampdoria star has also been linked to Milan.

- Telefoot says Paris Saint-Germain are in talks with Chelsea over the possible signing of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Discussions with Milan over a return have become complicated and PSG are now eyeing an initial loan deal for the former Monaco star.

Will Manchester City finally land Kalidou Koulibaly?

Pep Guardiola's City want defensive reinforcements and Napoli centre-back Koulibaly is reportedly at the top of the list.

If they are unsuccessful, Sevilla's Jules Kounde is next on the list.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP KOULIBALY

Manchester City are still in talks with Napoli to sign star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, who has also been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

However, City are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli and Sevilla's Jules Kounde is the "backup option" but a bid has already been turned down.

 

ROUND-UP

- Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are eyeing Real Madrid full-back Marcelo. The Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion in Turin.

- The Telegraph says PSG are interested in Tottenham's Dele Alli. Out of favour under Jose Mourinho, Spurs are reportedly targeting Manchester United's Jesse Lingard as a replacement.

Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli has joined Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir just weeks after he faced stiff criticism for breaching coronavirus quarantine rules.

Left-back Bolingoli has left the Scottish champions on loan initially, but the Super Lig switch could lead to a permanent deal.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed this week that the club had imposed the maximum fine allowed on Bolingoli after he left the Hoops embarrassed in early August.

The 25-year-old Belgian travelled to Spain without Celtic's knowledge and did not follow coronavirus quarantine rules when returning to Scotland, going on to play in an August 9 match against Kilmarnock.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed dismay over the episode, and Celtic at the time said: "It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation."

Two Celtic matches had to be postponed because of Bolingoli's actions, and immediately his future at Parkhead looked bleak, despite him issuing an apology.

Confirmation of his departure on Sunday came as no surprise.

Istanbul Basaksehir announced on their website: "Our club has loaned Belgian football player Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo for a year with the option to buy."

Shane Duffy said he has fulfilled a childhood dream after completing a season-long loan move to Celtic from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The centre-back will link up with the Scottish champions for the 2020-21 campaign after international duty, where he is preparing for Nations League fixtures against Bulgaria and Finland with the Republic of Ireland.

"I'm delighted, it's something that I've always dreamed of doing and I'm just excited to get up there now and get going. Hopefully I can do my best for the club. I'm over the moon, it's been a long time coming!" Duffy told Celtic's official website.

"People will know the connection with Derry in Ireland and Celtic, and it's all we knew, really. 

"Growing up, I was lucky enough to get over to a few games and experience the atmosphere. It's my boyhood club and it's literally a dream when you're a kid. 

"Now I get the chance to go to Celtic Park and to play for the club is a huge honour and hopefully I can do them proud."

Duffy joined Brighton from Blackburn Rovers in August 2016 and helped the club achieve promotion to the Premier League.

He was a mainstay in the Seagulls' first two campaigns in the top flight but made just 12 Premier League starts under Graham Potter last term following the arrival of Adam Webster from Bristol City.

With Ben White also having returned from a season-long loan at Leeds United, Duffy's opportunities appeared limited at the Amex Stadium this term.

Bayern Munich have signed 16-year-old winger Barry Hepburn from Celtic.

Hepburn is a Scotland Under-17 international and will play in the same age group at Bayern, where he will be coached by Danny Schwarz.

His move from Celtic to the Bundesliga champions comes one year after Liam Morrison, who is training with Martin Demichelis' U19 team, trod the same path to Bavaria.

"We are very happy with the transfer of Barry," said Bayern academy director Jochen Sauer.

"He is an attacking player with a lot of potential that we want to help his further development steps."

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