Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic kicked off the 2022-2023 Scottish Premiership campaign with a shutout win while Malik Tillman got his first minutes for Rangers in their win over Livingston.
Celtic 2-0 Aberdeen
Goals in both halves were enough for the defending champions to start off the new season in fine fashion as they came away with the win over Aberdeen at Celtic Park.
Cameron Carter-Vickers had a strong outing for the Hoops as he completed 93 percent of his passes and won eight duels. On the other side, Dante Polvara made his first start for Aberdeen, completing 74 percent of his passes and winning five duels along with a shot on goal while Christian Ramirez watched on from the bench.
The hosts jumped out to the early lead after three minutes when Stephen Welsh was on the spot to head in Matthew O’Riley’s corner kick.
Celtic showed their dominance throughout the first half, but the one thing that they lacked was sharpness as they squandered several chances to extend their lead. This would also continue into the second half.
However, the hosts would get the all-important insurance goal in the 75th minute when Jota put a blistering shot past Aberdeen goalkeeper Kelle Roos.
Livingston 1-2 Rangers
Rangers got sucker punched early but found the goals in the second half to secure their first win of the season over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
It would be a memorable day for Malik Tillman as he made his debut for the Blues in the second half, completing 76 percent of his passes and winning 6 duels along with two shots. James Sands came on to play the final 23 minutes, completing 88 percent of his passes and winning four duels.
Things did not start well for ‘Gers as the hosts hit them with a goal just five minutes into the contest. Goalkeeper Shamal George’s kick from the back found temmate Nicky Devlin to head the ball into the path of Joel Nouble who then sent a sublime chip over Joel Nouble.
The deficit just made the visitors work harder to get back into the game. While couldn’t find the goals in the first half, they would do the job in the second interval to secure the win.
Rangers thought they had cut the deficit when Antonio Colak headed in a Ryan Kent cross. However, the assistant referee raised his flag for offside which too close to call. They had another opportunity minutes later when George was troubled by a Borna Barisic cross into the area. He got his fingertips on the ball to push it onto the bar, but the rebound fell to the feet of Tillman who had the chance score on his debut. However, George would prevent the ball from crossing over the line.
The visitors then had a dramatic two-minute spell in which they took the lead from Livingston. Scott Arfield levelled the score in the 72nd minute when his glancing header from Kent’s cross found the back of the net. It was then the captain’s turn in the 74th minute as James Tavernier’s free-kick flew past the outstreched George to give Rangers the lead for good.
In other action from the Premiership, Ian Harkes started for Dundee United but was sent off for two yellow cards they settled for the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.
Joe Efford played the final 22 minutes for Motherwell in their 1-0 win over St. Mirren.
In the Championship, Brian Schwake started his first game between the posts for Greenock Morton as they shared the points with Hamilton Academical following a 1-1 draw.
Down in League One, Emmanuel Johnson played 70 minutes as Edinburgh City chalked up their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Kelty Hearts.