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  • Derby draw for Celts at Paradise

    Derby draw for Celts at Paradise

    By: Jo Hendry on 12 Mar, 2017 14:47

  • Scottish Premiership
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Sunday, March 12, 2017

    (Armstrong 35)

    (Hill 87)

    CELTIC extended their unbeaten domestic run to 35 games but they had to be content with a share of the points as the fourth derby clash of the season against Rangers finished 1-1 at Celtic Park.

    Stuart Armstrong gave the Hoops a first-half lead, and though they dominated most of the second-half, Brendan Rodgers’ side couldn’t extend their lead and were hit by a late sucker-punch as Clint Hill grabbed a 87th-minute equaliser for the visitors.

    The Celtic manager made just one change from the side which had knocked St Mirren out of the Scottish Cup last weekend, with James Forrest replacing Gary Mackay-Steven.

    And in an opening 45 minutes of few chances, though several contentious challenges by the visitors that went unpunished by referee, Bobby Madden, it was the Ibrox side who enjoyed the first clear-cut chance after 24 minutes when Martyn Waghorn raced in on goal. But he was denied by the left foot of Craig Gordon, who did well to deny the Ibrox striker.

    And Gordon’s opposite number in the Rangers goal, Wes Foderingham, produced a great save to deny Stuart Armstrong, pushing his free-kick on to the post and behind for a corner.

    James Forrest was hauled to the ground by Clint Hill as he raced towards the penalty area, winning a free-kick for his side, but not for the first time in the game, the Rangers defender’s foul did not get the yellow card it merited.

    Kieran Tierney, a tireless operator down the left flank throughout the 90 minutes, came close with a fierce shot just after the half-hour mark, and just three minutes later Celtic took the lead.

    Armstrong won possession on the edge of the Rangers box and played the ball out to Forrest, who slotted it back into his path, and from the edge of the box, the midfielder unleashed an unstoppable left-foot shot into the back of the net.

    The last action of the first-half saw Celtic earn a corner, but the referee blew for half-time before the home side could take the set-piece.

    Callum McGregor was a half-time substitute for Nir Bitton, and it was the Hoops who dominated much of the second 45 minutes.

    Clint Hill was finally booked for a foul on Moussa Dembele on 52 minutes, and just four minutes later Armstrong came close to doubling Celtic’s lead with a low shot, but Foderingham denied the midfielder his second goal of the afternoon. And the Rangers keeper again foiled Armstrong with another good save on 68 minutes.

    Brendan Rodgers’ side were continuing to dominate the game and pushing forward in search of a second goal. Leigh Griffiths came on for Armstrong, while Dembele came close with a shot which flashed across the six-yard box with five minutes of the match remaining.

    Two minutes later, however, the visitors grabbed an equaliser they barely deserved. Emerson Hyndman’s shot was saved by Craig Gordon, but Hill was first to pounce and fired the ball into the net.

    There was still time for Celtic to get the winner and they were denied a stonewall penalty when Hill clearly fouled Griffiths inside the box, but referee Madden waved the penalty claims away.

    The Hoops will now look to continue their unbeaten domestic run when they travel to Dens Park to take on Dundee next weekend.

    CELTIC (4-3-3) Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Sviatchenko, Tierney; Brown, Bitton, Armstrong; Forrest, Dembele, Sinclair.
    Subs: De Vries, Simunovic, Griffiths, Gamboa, Roberts, McGregor, Kouassi

    RANGERS (4-4-1-1) Foderingham, Hodson, Hill, Wilson, Wallace; Tavernier, Hyndman, Holt, McKay; Miller, Waghorn.
    Subs: Alnwick, O’Halloran, Dodoo, Windass, Senderos, Bates, Forrester

    Website Man of the Match: Stuart Armstrong


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