Celtic 1-1 Rangers: Sakala claims share of Old Firm spoils

Nicholas McGee
Stats Perform
Fashion Sakala celebrates his equaliser against Celtic
Fashion Sakala celebrates his equaliser against Celtic

Celtic remain on course to win the Scottish Premiership despite Fashion Sakala earning Rangers a 1-1 draw in Sunday's Old Firm derby at Celtic Park.

Ange Postecoglou's side went into the fourth league meeting of the season between the two Glasgow giants six points ahead of their arch rivals.

That advantage looked like being extended to nine when Jota put Celtic ahead in the 21st minute.

However, Celtic failed to make the most of the superiority they largely enjoyed thereafter, and Sakala claimed a share of the spoils with his 67th-minute leveller.

Ryan Kent led a bright start for Rangers that soon dissipated as Daizen Maeda's low left-wing cross was deftly turned home by Jota.

Celtic continued in the ascendancy and Maeda should have made it 2-0 three minutes before half-time with a close-range header, Jota almost returning the favour with a cross to the far post after Rangers lost possession in their own half.

Maeda blazed over another excellent chance 10 minutes after the restart and his profligacy was punished in fine fashion.

Neat build-up play from Rangers saw Kent tee up Sakala, whose low drive had too much pace for Joe Hart and sneaked inside the near post.

Rangers came agonisingly close to completing the turnaround, Hart producing a stunning save to deny Scott Arfield from close range before Sakala hit the post, Celtic clinging on to maintain a likely decisive edge in the title race.

What does it mean? - Celtic almost there

A win for Celtic would have effectively sealed the title by sending them nine points clear with three games to play.

Sakala's equaliser ensures Celtic still have work to do, but their failure to find a winner meant the result simply delays the seemingly inevitable.

Rangers dominate second half

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's Rangers had just two shots in the first half, but were much the better side in the second, racking up 12 shots to Celtic's five.

If not for Hart's reflexes and Sakala's misfortune, they would have taken all three points.

Mixed bag for Hart

Hart will have been irritated to be beaten at his near post, but his critical save from Arfield proved he is still making a decisive impact.

What's next?

Rangers switch focus back to their Europa League semi-final with RB Leipzig on Thursday, which they trail 1-0. Celtic can essentially seal the title on Saturday, but face a tricky test against third-placed Hearts.

Tags

Scottish PremiershipRangersCeltic
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