Celtic will have to keep the Champagne on ice for a while longer after failing to collect the three points required to win the league at Ibrox this afternoon. The champions-elect looked nervous early on with few looking comfortable in possession, allowing Rangers significant periods of possession. After only 10 minutes Rangers were ahead when Sone Aluko beat Thomas Rogne before cutting inside Charlie Mulgrew and firing a shot past Forster in the Celtic goal.
Celtic scarcely featured as an attacking threat in the first half but moments after going behind Georgios Samaras produced one of the most scintillating pieces of skill on the day. The Greek international collected the ball 70 yards from goal, beat four opponents before his shot from 12 yards was saved by Alan McGregor. Anthony Stokes mishit the rebound allowing McGregor to tip over.
Stokes forced a further save from McGregor with a fine volley after controlling on his chest but the game was soon to look ominous for Celtic. Cha Du-Ri was caught wrong side of Lee Wallace and made the slighted touch on the Rangers player who went to ground two yards outside the penalty area. Referee Calum Murray sent Cha off despite the covering attendance of Charlie Mulgrew.
Despite their numerical advantage Rangers seemed content to prevent Celtic scoring, Fraster Forster didn’t make a single save while Celtic were numerically on level terms or only a single man down. Ten minutes after the break Victor Wanyama was red carded for a two footed tackle on Steven Whittaker.
Lee McCulloch was fortunate to remain on the field after elbowing Scott Brown on the head. In a carbon copy of the incident which ended Beram Kayal’s season in December, McCulloch went to ground after the incident until attended by a physio, which perhaps tempered the referee’s response. Clever, if predictable.
With things clearly not going their way Celtic then lost an offside goal. Celtic had an opportunity to make an attempt on goal when they won a free kick 28 yards out. With Charlie Mulgrew still running into position Scott Brown played a quick pass to Kris Commons but Celtic players were crowded out by a number of opponents and lost possession. Rangers broke forward and applied pressure which brought the best out of Fraser Forster but Andrew Little put Rangers two ahead from what was clearly an offside position.
A further breakaway on the 77th minute resulted in Lee Wallace putting Rangers three goals ahead.
Despite being two goals down substitute Kris Commons started to dictate play and brought Celtic their best period of possession. In the 89th minute Georgios Samaras broke through the Rangers defence but was scythed to the ground by Bocanegra. The referee awarded a penalty and ordered the Rangers player off. Scott Brown scored the penalty
Moments later Commons got the better of Whittaker on Celtic’s left before being brought down by the Rangers player. Commons found Thomas Rogne with the resultant free kick which the defender powered home.
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