03.09.2022 19:19 h

Abada double fires Celtic to Old Firm romp

sraeli striker Liel Abada scored twice as Celtic thrashed bitter Glasgow rivals Rangers 4-0 on Saturday to maintain their perfect start to the Scottish Premiership campaign.

Abada's double plus a superb strike by Jota put the champions, fresh from a 9-0 rout of Dundee United, 3-0 up at half-time in the opening Old Firm fixture of the campaign.

And a dreadful error by Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin gifted the hosts a fourth goal through David Turnbull 12 minutes from time.

Celtic's sixth victory in six league games this season -- they have scored 25 goals and conceded just one -- put them five points clear of Rangers and extended their unbeaten record in the Premiership to 38 matches.

"The boys were outstanding from start to finish," Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou told the BBC.

"We know what this game means to our supporters. We've given them another memorable day and the players deserve all the credit for that," he added.

Rangers counterpart Giovanni van Bronckhorst was disappointed by his side's inability to cope with Celtic's pace of play.

"We knew what they were going to do (restart quickly) and still we weren't prepared enough," he said.

"Everyone needs to reflect on what they did well and what they did wrong, same for me."

Abada may have taken the scoring honours -- bringing his tally to five in the last two games -- but it was Matt O'Riley who was the creative master in setting up two of the goals.

Celtic had the game wrapped up by half-time with a three goal blitz.

Abada, 20, doubled his tally five minutes from half-time but it was Jota's 32nd minute effort that took the eye.

He received the ball from O'Riley and then dinked it over McLaughlin.

Celtic did not let up in the second-half, with McLaughlin totally at fault when passing the ball straight to Turnbull.

Celtic's dominance was all the more impressive as they had lost Japanese star Kyogo Furuhashi after just five minutes with what looked like a shoulder injury.

Both sides now have to focus on their opening Champions League group matches -- the first time both have been involved at this stage since 2007.

The win sets Celtic up nicely for their daunting match against holders Real Madrid on Tuesday.

However, Dutch manager van Bronckhorst has some serious rebuilding of morale to do before Rangers face Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the Scottish top flight, Aberdeen moved up to third in the table but were denied victory by Ross County's late equaliser in 1-1 draw.

Luis Lopes put the Dons ahead in the 88th minute but William Akio levelled late in stoppage time.

Hearts dropped to fourth after a 1-0 defeat by Livingston, with Christian Montano scoring the only goal of the game.

Hibernian beat Kilmarnock by the same scoreline, Joe Newell on target after Killie's Ash Taylor was sent off.

St Johnstone defeated St Mirren 3-0, going ahead through Nicky Clark before Drey Wright and a Graham Clark penalty in the second half secured victory, while Motherwell and Dundee United shared the points in a goalless draw.