BRENDAN Rodgers last night admitted the epic 3-2 triumph over Rangers at Ibrox yesterday was as satisfying as any result he has overseen in his time as Celtic manager.

Rodgers’s side came from behind twice and survived going down to 10 men when Jozo Simunovic was sent off in the second half to record an important victory.

The win sends the Parkhead club, who have a game in hand against Dundee still to play, nine points clear of their city rivals and increased their chances of winning a seventh consecutive Scottish title.

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Rodgers, who was denied the services of Dorus de Vries and had to hand Scott Bain a debut, confessed it had been a sweet victory. Asked if it was as enjoyable a triumph as any he had been responsible for since moving to Glasgow two years ago, the Northern Irishman said: “Yes, definitely because the odds are against you at times.

“It was like a game I’d watch when I was growing watching Celtic v Rangers. We made a mistake to go behind. In fact, we were behind twice. But we had great pride in the team. We played well and showed that toughness and character you need.

“In fairness to Rangers they have been in really good form and this was at the height of their confidence levels. For us to go on and win it and win it with 10 men was a splendid performance.”

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Rodgers singled out Bain, who produced a double save from Josh Windass and Alfredo Morelos at the death to keep Celtic in front, for praise, but stressed Celtic had not retained the Scottish title yet.

“I’m delighted for Scott,” he said. “We brought him in and he has been absolutely brilliant in training.

“He didn’t have too much time to think about it. We gave him an idea last night that he might be playing, but it was only officially this morning that we said, ‘listen, your first game for Celtic is at Ibrox’.

“But the nerve that he showed, his calmness, his agility were brilliant. I’m delighted for him. That will give him big confidence now as a Celtic player.”

Rodgers added: “But the league isn’t won, not by a long way. It was obviously a big step for us, though, to go nine points clear with a game in hand.

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“There is still a lot of work for us to do and I think when you come to one of your ri-vals and are up against it with 10 men for 30 minutes of the game then you are enti-tled to celebrate. It was a great victory for us and I thought we deserved it.”

Murty, whose chances of being kept on as Rangers manager suffered a setback with the defeat, stressed that his team wouldn’t give up and predicted they would bounce back from the loss.

“I have got a group of players in there who are hurting, frustrated and who wanted to do better,” he said. “We have to learn from it and the measure of the team will be how we bounce back from that.

“I have already said to them I have doubt as to the character of the team and we have an-other opportunity fairly soon to go and reveal that. We need to get back onto the training ground and back together as a group.

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He added “I haven’t talked about the title once. My job is to look after this group of players. We want to push on, narrow the gap, push up the league and be competitive.

“Until the league is over, we will continue to fight as hard as we can. But my main aim is to improve where we are from where we are.

“I reiterate that we will improve from this. Sometimes these knockbacks actually make you stronger as a group and make you a little bit hungrier to go and succeed.

“Every single supporter walking away from the game will be as down as me. The difference is that I have got an opportunity to do something about it come Monday morning, by making sure that group of players don’t stay in the doldrums for too long.”