Sports

Fashion Sakala strikes a late equaliser for The Gers in Old Firm derby to keep title chances alive

Celtic took a big step in direction of clinching the cinch Premiership title with an absorbing 1-1 draw in opposition to Old Firm rivals Rangers at Parkhead.

The Light Blues, overwhelmed 1-0 by RB Leipzig in the primary leg of their Europa League semi-final in Germany on Thursday night time, began positively however in the twentieth minute Portuguese attacker Jota volleyed previous Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor from shut vary.

Striker Fashion Sakala levelled in the 68th minute with a highly effective drive however the draw retains Rangers six factors behind the Hoops with solely three fixtures remaining – and with Celtic having a superior purpose distinction of 19 it might take a notable and unlikely turnaround to keep the title at Ibrox.

Celtic and Rangers drew 1-1 in the Old Firm derby to keep the Premiership title race alive

Celtic and Rangers drew 1-1 in the Old Firm derby to keep the Premiership title race alive

Jota (pictured) opened the scoring from close range for Celtic in the 21st minute of the match

Jota (pictured) opened the scoring from shut vary for Celtic in the twenty first minute of the match

Fashion Sakala (pictured) levelled the rating for the Rangers in the 67th minute of the derby

With such an essential second leg in opposition to the German aspect looming, and the league title nearly a forlorn hope, there had been hypothesis round Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s group choice – however the Dutchman selected a sturdy aspect.

Midfielder Steven Davis and Scott Arfield and Sakala changed Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and Scott Wright, with Joe Aribo essentially the most central striker.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou saved the identical aspect which began the 2-0 win at Ross County final week, with Japan worldwide Kyogo Furuhashi once more most popular to Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou kept the same side which started the 2-0 win at Ross County

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou saved the identical aspect which began the 2-0 win at Ross County 

Joe Aribo of Rangers contends with Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers for the ball

Joe Aribo of Rangers contends with Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers for the ball

There have been solely round 700 Rangers followers allowed contained in the 60,000-capacity stadium, drowned out by an expectant house help who watched the Ibrox aspect make the higher begin.

In the twelfth minute Ryan Kent volleyed a cross from captain James Tavernier previous the submit from 12 yards when he ought to have at the least examined Hoops keeper Joe Hart, who then had to cope with a respectable long-range drive from the attacker.

The house crowd vented frustration at their aspect however that quickly turned to cheers when Jota, on mortgage from Benfica, obtained away from Gers defender Borna Barisic and knocked in a cross from Daizen Maeda.

In the thirty first minute, after Arfield had conceded possession, Jota headed a cross from midfielder Reo Hatate over the bar.

The Govan males labored their means again into the sport however Celtic ought to have added to their lead. 

Greg Taylor (right) and Daizen Maeda (left) celebrate Celtic team-mate Jota's opening goal

Greg Taylor (proper) and Daizen Maeda (left) have fun Celtic team-mate Jota’s opening purpose

Anthony Ralston of Celtic (pictured, left) is challenged by Rangers Borna Barisic (right)

Anthony Ralston of Celtic (pictured, left) is challenged by Rangers Borna Barisic (proper)

Unmarked Furuhashi, from an offside transfer, hooked a shot over the bar from a cross from Maeda, who then headed previous the submit with solely McGregor to beat.

Rangers began the second half with promise and defender Connor Goldson blasted over the bar following a James Tavernier nook, earlier than Maeda rapidly flashed a shot over, one other good probability wasted on the different finish.

Postecoglou made a triple substitution on the hour mark with Giakoumakis, Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton changing Furuhashi, Hatate and Matthew O’Riley.

For Rangers, Davis was changed by Ryan Jack, with Wright on for Aribo, and 4 minutes later the guests have been degree when Sakala mixed with Kent earlier than rifling a low drive previous Hart at his close to submit.

Rangers midfielder Steve Davis battles for the ball with Celtic's Reo Hatate in the derby

Rangers midfielder Steve Davis battles for the ball with Celtic’s Reo Hatate in the derby

The Celtic keeper maybe ought to have achieved higher however he then tipped a highly effective drive from the Zambia worldwide over the bar, with Sakala then heading the following nook over.

The sport went from finish to finish at a ferocious tempo.

In the 74the minute a Celtic penalty declare when Rogic’s cross struck John Lundstram was ignored by referee John Beaton, earlier than Liel Abada changed Maeda.

It was a frantic end with Rangers going all out for the win they wanted to keep their slim title hopes alive.

Hart then made a terrific save from Arfield earlier than gathering Jack’s shot from the rebound after which Sakala struck the submit after being put by way of by Arfield.

The Gers midfielder was changed by Amad Diallo, who was instantly booked for bringing down Abada as he broke on a counter – the Israeli winger then placing the ball in the online with the flag up for offside effectively beforehand.

The remaining whistle ended a pulsating encounter, with Celtic all however champions.

Back to top button