Griff on form to give Bren Old Firm win

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Peter Oakes By ALI MUR­DOCH

IT has been a week that Wayne Rooney will want to for­get.

But one that Ever­ton fans will want to re­mem­ber af­ter they ended their run of four de­feats and a 461-minute goal drought!

And it was Ou­mar Ni­asse, the striker they have shunned, who turned it all around af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced in place of Eng­land’s record goalscorer.

He struck twice in the last 13 min­utes to lift his team out of the bot­tom three and ease the pres­sure on Ronald Koe­man.

The Sene­gal for­ward has been a flop since ar­riv­ing on Mersey­side in a £13.5mil­lion deal from Loko­mo­tiv Moscow more than 18 months ago un­der for­mer chief Roberto Martinez.

But his cur­rent boss ad­mit­ted he will find it dif­fi­cult to leave him out of the line-up.

Koe­man said: “He’s bring­ing at least more ag­gres­sion, we needed to have an­other striker and he’s re­ally di­rect.

“It’s all about op­por­tu­ni­ties for play­ers and if we talk about strik­ers he came on last Wed­nes­day and scored, he came on in the sec­ond half to­day and scored two goals. He’s one of the play­ers who can turn it around. He’s not sur­prised me, I know him and last sea­son was a to­tally dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion be­cause of Lukaku. You will be very fool­ish not to con­sider him.”

Bournemouth skip­per Si­mon Fran­cis was for­tu­nate to avoid any pun­ish­ment af­ter el­bow­ing Rooney, who left the pitch with blood stream­ing from a nasty gash just above his left eye.

Rooney protested fu­ri­ously at ref­eree Martin Atkin­son while be­ing patched up on the touch­line and was pulled away and di­rected to­wards the tun­nel by Koe­man hav­ing been taken off on 55 min­utes.

It was his re­place­ment who made the de­ci­sive im­pact af­ter Ever­ton had fallen be­hind when Josh King fired through Ash­ley Wil­liams’ legs, de­ceiv­ing the un­sighted Jor­dan Pick­ford.

Mo­ments later, the Toffees stop­per de­nied Jer­main De­foe the chance to seal the re­sult be­fore sub­sti­tute Tom Davies played in Ni­asse to con­vert his first with 13 min­utes left.

And the mis­fit striker dou­bled his tally five min­utes later as he bun­dled home af­ter a goal-mouth scram­ble.

Cher­ries man­ager Ed­die Howe said: “There were sev­eral mo­ments when we could have got that im­por­tant sec­ond goal.

“We tried to hold on but you can’t change your phi­los­o­phy, you just have to do what you al­ways do and I thought we looked like we were head­ing to win that game.” CELTIC once again un­der­lined their Old Firm su­pe­ri­or­ity by cruis­ing to a com­fort­able vic­tory over fierce ri­vals Rangers.

Bren­dan Rodgers’ team were frus­trated for 45 min­utes but their class shone through in the sec­ond half.

Tom Rogic and Leigh Grif­fiths scored to es­tab­lish an eight-point gap be­tween the two sides af­ter just seven games.

Rangers boss Pe­dro Caix­inha vowed he had learned lessons from last May’s 5-1 rout but the Light Blues were for­tu­nate not to con­cede in­side a minute when Wes Foder­ing­ham tipped over an at­tempt from Rogic.

Grif­fiths spurned a cou­ple of chances while Pa­trick Roberts was thwarted by Foder­ing­ham as the hosts rode their luck a lit­tle.

And the Ibrox faith­ful erupted with screams for a penalty when Al­fredo More­los and Jozo Simunovic came to­gether in the area but ref­eree Craig Thom­son waved away the ap­peals.

It took just five min­utes af­ter the break for Celtic to break the dead­lock as Ross McCrorie, deputis­ing for the in­jured Bruno Alves – and Fabio Car­doso got in each other’s way be­fore Lee Hod­son swiped at fresh air, al­low­ing Aus­tralian Rogic to un­leash an em­phatic fin­ish.

Gers al­most pro­duced an in­stant re­ply when More­los was de­nied by Craig Gor­don at point-blank range.

And there was no com­ing back when Grif­fiths latched on to an inch-per­fect pass from Roberts and slot­ted a right-foot shot into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Stu­art Arm­strong and Kieran Tier­ney came close to ex­tend­ing the lead as the Hoops dom­i­nated the lat­ter stages, but the hosts were re­lieved to hear the fi­nal whis­tle with no fur­ther dam­age done.

IM­PACT: Sub­sti­tute Ni­asse keeps his cool to net the equaliser ■ OPENER: Josh King gave the away side the lead in the sec­ond half ■

RE­LIEF: A sec­ond from Ni­asse com­pletes the late come­back

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