Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during the Europa League, Qualifying Round One, First Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Rangers. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Steven Gerrard and Liverpool loanees taste Old Firm derby defeat to Brendan Rodgers

Celtic defeated Rangers 1-0 at Parkhead on Sunday afternoon, in a battle between former Liverpool pair Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard.

Matches between Celtic and Rangers are always fierce affairs, but this one had an extra edge, especially from a Reds perspective.

Former Liverpool boss Rodgers came up against his ex-player Gerrard on the touchline, in the latter’s biggest day as a manager yet.

On-loan youngsters Ovie Ejaria and Ryan Kent started for Rangers, on a testing afternoon in a cauldron of noise at Celtic Park.

Rangers Ryan Kent during the UEFA Europa League, Second Qualifying Round, Second Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow.

A typically feisty first half didn’t see a huge amount of quality on show, but Celtic were unquestionably the dominant side.

James Forrest’s stunning attempt hit the crossbar and Gerrard’s men barely got out of their own half in the opening 45 minutes.

Although Rangers showed more attacking intent after the break, it was Celtic who took the lead on the hour mark.

Olivier Ntcham fired home after a sweeping counter-attack, and despite their best efforts the visitors couldn’t find an equaliser.

It was a quiet afternoon for Kent, who failed to influence the game at all before being replaced after 87 minutes.

Rangers Oviemuno Ejaria during the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, first leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. (Jeff Holmes/PA Archive/PA Images)

Ejaria held his own up against combative Celtic skipper Scott Brown, however, using the ball intelligently and working hard.

The win takes Rodgers’ side up into second place, while Rangers sit seventh.

It is the first defeat of Gerrard’s managerial career, but he won’t be too downhearted considering the progress his team have already made this season.

They qualified for the Europa League group stage on Thursday, having got past Russian side FC Ufa over two legs.

There, Rangers will take on two of Liverpool’s opponents from recent seasons in Europe, Villarreal and Spartak Moscow, with Rapid Wien also drawn in Group G.

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