Rangers rapidly replace a billboard which was vandalised by Celtic fans before the two sides meeting in their derby on Sunday.
Steven Gerrard’s side were handed extra motivation ahead of the visit of their Old Firm rivals after a celebratory billboard was vandalised outside Ibrox.
Celtic and their supporters have had a week of poking at the Scottish Premiership champions and the sight of the special Champion55 billboard being damaged will surely serve as inspiration to go out with extra incentive to win the cup clash.
As you were.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 18, 2021
As can be seen, black paint has been thrown over the special billboard outside the ground which celebrates the club’s legendary 55th title win.
Rangers have proven more than enough across the season that they’re the favourites going into the game and it’s not like the Gers needed any more motivation after the comments of John Kennedy last week.
The Celtic interim manager claimed after their 6-0 win over Livingston last weekend that on their day, the Parkhead side is still “the best team in the country”.
#CelticFC interim boss John Kennedy says his comments about Celtic being the best team in Scotland were taken out of context and adds that #RangersFC are deserved champions this season 👇pic.twitter.com/34wqfZN5vy
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 16, 2021
However, Kennedy moved to bring some clarity to his opinion: “My take on it is, people make a story and a headline out of taking the comment out of context,” said the former Celtic defender, who confirmed Polish striker Patryk Klimala is set to join New York Red Bulls.
“I was referring to us going into a cup game and on our day we can still be the best performing team in the country because we have that level in us.
“That is purely what it is. Several times in the last few weeks I have commented on Rangers thoroughly deserving to win the league because they have been the most consistent team, they have racked up the most points, so I have shown full respect to Rangers for what they have done.
“I am entitled to say that on any given day, especially going in to a cup tie against Rangers, I fancy us on our day to come out on top.
“People sometimes take a small part of that statement and twist it and turn it into what they want to suit their argument and that is careless for me.
“To bring a bit of clarity to that, Rangers deserved to be the champions this season because they have been more consistent than us, but come a cup game, if we hit top gear and we can perform well, I fancy us to be able to go and win the game.”
“I think that is the biggest joke I heard this year,” said Barisic.
“They didn’t win against us in three games and we are 20 points in front of them, so it is disrespectful a little bit to us. That’s my comment on that.”
With four matches left to play out, Rangers remain unbeaten in the league, with two wins and a draw against Celtic this season.
“You need to be in life always realistic,” added Croatia international Barisic. “If someone is better and if someone is 20 points in front of you, you just don’t talk like that. It is disrespectful for all the things we do this season.
“It is not only from him. I know a lot of people talking about Celtic’s situation with Covid and all of these things. It’s like we’ve lost five games or we are just five points in front of them.
“We are 20 points clear in front of them, we didn’t lose a game this year. It is disrespectful to talk about anyone and changes. I am talking about this season. That’s it.”
When pressed on Kennedy’s comments, manager Steven Gerrard said: “I don’t really focus on anyone outside Rangers. I know the reality, I know the truth.”
Celtic have not lost in the Scottish Cup since Rangers beat them on penalties in the 2016 semi-finals.
“Cup football gives everyone a chance,” added Gerrard. “What’s gone before this season will have no bearing.
“Intensity and tempo is something we will strive for, to be at our best. I believe, as a team, we play our best football when we are aggressive and when we play quick.”
Fans reacted after seeing Rangers rapidly replace a billboard vandalised by Celtic fans before the derby…
@JeffH1960: Rangers FC: On the ball since 1872 👌🏻
@KirsteneCoyne: Well done! Replaced quicker than they get out of bed
@Darrennnnn10: Class 🤣
@dave_n84: No taking shit, things you love too see Mr Rangers.
@Aaron__1872: Hahahaha cmon the champions
@DJW1872: Fucking love that
@scottfraser1972: The content I live for
@adam68429287: This I approve of very much
@Jb87R: Natural order has resumed.
@david93burt: Delicious dub admin
@jordanm_72: Hahahha 10/10 fucking well played
@skelf73: 👏👏👏 Top shithousery 🇬🇧🏴🇬🇧
@CallumF86: What is it with that mob trying to cover things up?
@moore87watp: Give the social media team a contract extension
@GillivrayxMc: 55 times the kings of Scotland. They won’t forget.
@matshaw1: 100% savage haha
@RakoTuke: You absolute shithouse.
@FiftyFiveTitIes: Don’t let them ever forget it.
— Fayez Akram (@Fayezakram10) April 18, 2021
— Michael (@SeafarerMichael) April 18, 2021
— Philip (@PhiIip1872) April 18, 2021