Last night could very well be one of the most defining in the race for the SPFL Premiership title but it had an air of deja vu about it. However, it was a pair of ex-Celtic youngsters in Stephen O’Donnell and Eamonn Brophy that did the damage that would open up a huge ten point gap in the table.
Both players were released while Neil Lennon was in his first spell as Celtic manager but they gave Lennon a massive favour through two late goals to beat Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
O’Donnell spent two seasons at Celtic winning the Scottish Youth Cup as well as the U19s league before being released in 2011. Brophy meanwhile was at Celtic from 2003-2011, where coaches deemed him to be too short to make it as a professional.
Furthermore as Killie boss Alex Dyer, who has turned around the Ayrshire side’s fortunes in recent weeks, celebrated – it was with former Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati. Donati was brought in by Angelio Alessio was kept on by new boss Dyer as assistant and looked like the pair enjoyed the moment.
Massimo Donati – "When I went back to Italy I even got a Celtic tattoo – the club crest on my heart." pic.twitter.com/psHSZwCEiF
— celticbible (@celticbible) June 4, 2016
The scoreline of 2-1 has become a familiar sight between both Rangers and Killie at Rugby Park in recent seasons. Each game has had implications in terms of the league as a whole. Gerrard has blamed the plastic pitches in Scotland, the Rangers fans behaviour resulted in Killie slashing Celtic’s allocation but tonight, the greatest implication was that it allowed Celtic to create an enormous gap.
In January 2019, after Rangers had beaten Celtic at Ibrox in December, Gerrard’s men faced a Killie side determined to prove that their impressive first half to the season was no fluke. Defoe scored before Eamonn Brophy squared things up and Jordan Jones grabbed the winner against his future employers.
In August, like last night, Arfield scored for Gerrard’s side before Stephen O’Donnell scored what appeared to be a crucial equaliser. The only difference between last night and the win in August was that it was Rangers’ Connor Goldson that grabbed the winner. That moment of jubilation would have been world’s away from what the feeling in the Chadwick Stand was like as Brophy swooped in the 88th minute to seriously derail their title hopes. A delicious thought.
Anyways. Here are the highlights.
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