BBC's Tom English amazed by transformation of Rangers attacker Fashion Sakala at Celtic
Rangers goalscorer Fashion Sakala became the “human magnet” for opportunities in a late transformation at Celtic according to Tom English.
Late in the 1-1 draw at Parkhead the Zambian forward arrowed home the visitors’ equalising goal, and then had a number of chances to take all three points, despite a fairly anonymous first half.
It ultimately wasn’t enough to take the win, as his best attempt at a winner came back off the post, but the sudden flourish that saw the 25-year-old become virtually unplayable late on showed how much potential he has to be a key performer going forward.
In his BBC Sport match report English wrote: “Fashion Sakala, having already thumped in an equaliser, turned into a human magnet for Rangers’ best opportunities.
“He muscled Cameron Carter-Vickers aside and forced a save out of Joe Hart, he rose high from a corner and nutted a header over, he went zeroing in on goal with six minutes to play and now you felt that Rangers were about to pull it out of the fire.
“There were 60,000 people in the stadium but in that moment only two counted. Sakala composed himself, slipped his shot low past Hart and saw it come slapping back off his left-hand post.”
Close but no cigar
Had Sakala managed to angle his late chance inside the near post as he had done so perfectly for the equaliser it would have been a comeback for the ages and struck a major late blow to Celtic’s league dominance this year.
As it was the draw left the five-game Old Firm series this season level at two wins a-piece, and the Hoops odds on the confirm themselves at champions.
Tempting as it is to focus on the frustration of coming so close to nicking it, and the frustration that the Gers forward couldn’t take any of his late opportunities, it is also worth focusing on how he was in those positions and the impressive way Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side have come back twice against their Glasgow rivals.
The cup semi-final win and Sunday’s game both saw the team dig out late levellers, after consecutive demoralising defeats to Ange Postecoglou’s side.
While extra-time gave them the opportunity to win it at Hampden, the Bhoys were able to hang on this time.
Sakala played a key role late in both games, and while he is far from the finished article, there is a lot to suggest he could become a star at Ibrox.