Celtic 1-1 Rangers: Clint Hill hits late equaliser in Old Firm clash
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 13/03/17 10:00am
Clint Hill's late equaliser earned a dramatic draw for Rangers against runaway leaders Celtic in an entertaining Old Firm clash on Sunday.
Stuart Armstrong's fine strike on 35 minutes opened the scoring at Celtic Park but Hill turned home at the back post with three minutes to play.
Referee Bobby Madden waved away a late penalty appeal for Brendan Rodgers' side after substitute Leigh Griffiths went down under the challenge of goalscorer Hill.
The result ends Celtic's 17-match winning run and leaves them six points off a sixth straight Scottish Premiership title, with trips to Dundee and Hearts up next.
Under the eye of new boss Pedro Caixinha, given a watching brief after signing a three-year deal on Saturday, Rangers started brightly.
Their interim head coach Graeme Murty made two changes to his defence in his final match in charge, recalling Danny Wilson and Lee Hodson for Jon Toral and the suspended Rob Kiernan.
It meant another chance for Martyn Waghorn to partner Kenny Miller in attack and the former Wigan man squandered the game's first big opportunity.
He capitalised on a mistake by Dedryck Boyata but could only fire straight at Craig Gordon with just the goalkeeper to beat.
It proved costly as Celtic grew into the match and Armstrong, who had earlier hit the post with a low free-kick, broke the deadlock with his eighth goal in 14 league appearances 10 minutes before half-time.
James Forest, returning from injury for the hosts in their only change from the 4-1 Scottish Cup victory over St Mirren, teed up Armstrong to fire home from the edge of the penalty area.
Celtic had the chance to double their lead shortly after the break when Callum McGregor, who replaced Nir Bitton at half-time, snatched at his volley from Kieran Tierney's cross.
The league leaders searched in vain for a second goal as Wes Foderingham twice saved from Armstrong, while Moussa Dembele tamely found the Rangers 'keeper with a low effort.
But Rangers held firm and pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages.
They nearly stunned the home crowd with 20 minutes to play when Miller raced through and squared for Waghorn but the excellent Gordon made a superb stop.
Jason Holt then controversially dispossessed substitute Patrick Roberts deep inside Celtic territory and with the hosts appealing for a free-kick, curled narrowly wide of Gordon's goal.
But with time ticking away, the visitors finally made their pressure count in scrappy fashion through Hill.
The former QPR defender reacted quickest after yet another fine Gordon save kept out Emerson Hyndman's low drive.
There was still a final opportunity for Celtic to snatch victory in stoppage time but referee Madden turned down Griffiths' appeal for a spot kick.
It is just the second time this season Rodgers' side have failed to take maximum points but the draw extends their unbeaten run to 36 domestic matches stretching back to May last year.