Brendan Rodgers explains where Celtic must improve as boss hesitant to applaud performance despite Rangers win

Brendan Rodgers admits Celtic could and should have been much better despite coming out on top over Rangers.

The Hoops are champions in waiting now as they sit six points ahead of their rivals with two games to go and a better goal difference. They earned that with a 2-1 win in the derby today, racing into a two goal first half lead through Matt O'Riley and a John Lundstram own goal.

Cyriel Dessers than gave Gers hope with a cushioned header finish but minutes later Lundstram gave them an uphill task by earning himself a red card for a rash tackle on Alistair Johnston. Celts didn't really make their numerical advantage properly count though and were left battling to get over the line for the three points in the end.

They did have chances to make it more comfortable including a Matt O'Riley penalty and the Northern Irishman reckons his team had performed well up to that moment before having the stuffing knocked out of them.

He said: "It's very significant, of course. We're nearly there now, not fully but another three points and another goal to the goal difference is really good. So a fantastic win for us.

"I thought right up until the penalty we were really good. The start of the game the energy, the speed was outstanding. Get two goals in front, we switch off and lose out concentration and they get back into the game so that was a poor goal to lose.

"We get going again second half and like I say up to the penalty we were very good, we miss the penalty and it knocks the stuffing out of our game. We had other chances, we didn't take them and of course when it's 2-1 at the end of a game there's always that wee bit of tension.

"But its a brilliant day. Celtic supporters all around the world in bars and houses, they all understand Celtic and Rangers is all about winning. And the guys have won today and I'm really proud of them."

Asked about the game management, Rodgers went on: "We should do better, there's no hiding from that. And it's happened a few times, here as well we were much the better team with ten men and we leave it a lot closer than what it should be.

"That's the downside but the great aspect of that is there's a lot of progress we can still make in that moment when playing against ten men. It's just being tidy with the ball and keeping the ball.

"I understand it's a hot day for the players but still the demand has to be better. Like I say, we shouldn't have the finish to the game but the guys showed a great mentality and it's three victories we've had against Rangers from four games."