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Celtic vs Kilmarnock. Scottish Premiership.

Celtic ParkAttendance58,887.

Celtic 1

  • K Furuhashi (32nd minute)

Kilmarnock 1

  • D Watson (92nd minute)

Celtic 1-1 Kilmarnock: Hoops' title hopes dented by David Watson's stoppage-time equaliser

Match report as Celtic draw 1-1 with Kilmarnock; Kyogo Furuhashi headed Celtic in front in the first half; David Watson levelled the match in stoppage time; Rangers moved two points clear in the Scottish Premiership after beating St Johnstone the next day

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock.

Celtic suffered another slip up in the title race as their draw at home to Kilmarnock allowed Rangers to claim an outright lead in the Scottish Premiership.

With the Hoops top only on goals scored, they knew they had to secure a victory to put the pressure on Rangers when they visited St Johnstone 24 hours later.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers looks dejected during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, on February 17, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

But Kilmarnock, who won the last league meeting having already knocked Celtic out of the Viaplay Cup, had other plans as they look to secure a top-six finish.

Kyogo Furuhashi managed to break their defence to head in the opener in the first half, but the hosts were wasteful and give Derek McInnes' side hope.

David Watson took advantage deep into added time, with his header allowed to stand after a VAR check.

Rangers took full advantage of that draw as they beat St Johnstone 3-0 on Sunday to top the Scottish Premiership for the first time this season, while Killie remain fourth on 37 points.

Celtic stunned by Kilmarnock again

Kilmarnock's David Watson equalised in stoppage time
Image: Kilmarnock's David Watson equalised in stoppage time

Having already beaten their hosts twice at Rugby Park this season, Kilmarnock's late goal came from one of 12 shots at goal.

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Joe Hart twice saved well from Liam Donnelly and Killie manager Derek McInnes was frustrated his side did not get a penalty for Stephen Welsh's sliding challenge on Marley Watkins.

Neither referee John Beaton nor video assistant Willie Collum were convinced by Watkins' appeals but it looked a risky challenge.

Team news

Celtic had left-back Greg Taylor back from a calf injury while Israel international Liel Abada was still absent.

Derek McInnes make four changes for Kilmarnock as Kyle Vassell returned to the starting XI.

Watkins saw a header saved from an early chance.

Adam Idah was showing some good touches up front for Celtic and one flick paved the way for Callum McGregor to play in Luis Palma. The winger had options but chose to cut inside and goalkeeper Will Dennis came out to block his shot.

The breakthrough came in the 32nd minute when Anthony Ralston ended a spell of tight passing as he noticed Furuhashi peeling off Joe Wright to the back post. The right-back floated a perfect ball for the Japanese striker to loop the ball home.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi scores to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, on February 17, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Image: Kyogo Furuhashi headed Celtic in front

Killie responded well and twice threatened following Danny Armstrong crosses. Hart stopped Donnelly's close-range header and then Watkins went down clutching his ankle after Welsh's sliding penalty-box challenge.

Referee John Beaton waved play on and the game continued after a short delay following the next stoppage.

Celtic had chances to ease the tension. McGregor shot over and Matt O'Riley was denied twice by Dennis and once by Corrie Ndaba's goalline clearance.

Taylor was replaced by Bernabei on the hour mark in what looked a pre-planned move.

Killie sensed there was something to take from the game with Armstrong at the centre of much of their attacking play.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Celtic's Joe Hart catches the ball during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, on February 17, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Image: Joe Hart pulled off vital saves

Donnelly met the winger's inswinging free-kick and powered a header which Hart pushed over. Armstrong then had a chance of his own but mis-kicked a shot wide when Ndaba's cross found him beyond the back post.

Celtic got back on top but substitute Paulo Bernardo shot over from 14 yards after getting the chance to make it a more comfortable final 10 minutes.

The home crowd grew audibly more anxious and Watson missed from close range before getting space at the back post to head into the bottom corner.

Celtic threw men forward but it was the visitors who came closer to a last-gasp winner when Murray broke and fired a low shot which Hart got down to save.

Rodgers: It's happened too many times

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Brendan Rodgers has criticised his Celtic side for being 'too safe' and 'too negative' in their 1-1 home draw with Kilmarnock, but insists his squad will do all they can to bounce back in the title race.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers speaking to Sky Sports:

"It looked like we were going to get away with a great result without a good performance, but we didn't get either by the end. It was a disappointing performance from us.

"We had some moments in the first half but nowhere near enough then in the second half we created the anxiety ourselves.

"People have talked about the support, but today was nothing about the supporters. Today our play was too safe, too negative and then we invite pressure.

"When you're at 1-0 of course you can invite the pressure and the goal we concede is very disappointing.

"It's happened too many times, it's not as if it's just today, so we have to go away and analyse it and look to get ready for the next game.

"The mind is the key at this point in the season. It's really disappointing today, it will be for a few days but then we've got to go again as we can't afford to be dropping too many more points.

"It doesn't matter what other teams do, you can only control your own performance.

"We're very much focused on ourselves, there's nothing we can do that can affect Rangers or Hearts or Kilmarnock."

McInnes praises Killie 'belief'

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Derek McInnes on Kilmarnock's dramatic 1-1 draw at Celtic and his delight with the level of performance from his team.

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes:

"I take belief from my players. They've got to believe they can come here and be as good as we were in the game.

"I thought we were a bit unlucky to go in [at the break] 1-0 down. Although Celtic have a lot of the possession they didn't really work our goalkeeper much.

"We felt a bit sorry for ourselves but we also knew there were opportunities there for us.

"We've got good options from the bench and you see the strength of that and we had a game plan to work for 60 to 65 minutes then change the freshness at the top of the pitch and go and try and get something from the game.

"It was a great moment when wee Davie equalises and there is a wee sense that maybe we could have had a bit more than the point."

Celtic engineered their own downfall

Celtic's Anthony Ralston and Callum McGregor look dejected at full time against Kilmarnock
Image: Celtic's Anthony Ralston and Callum McGregor look dejected at full time against Kilmarnock

Sky Sports' Mark Benstead at Celtic Park:

"There were boos at full time.

"As with games against St Johnstone and Motherwell here this season, Celtic have failed to kill a team off and paid the price.

"Celtic gave away a string of free kicks in their own half and the anxiety levels inside Celtic Park increased with each one.

"Kilmarnock worked hard and were positive though, and probably deserved their point.

"Derek McInnes is building a really decent Killie side and the way they approached today and the quality of the subs that came on underlined that."

What's next?


Celtic's next Scottish Premiership game is away to Motherwell on February 25, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 12pm.

Kilmarnock are at home to Aberdeen on February 24. Kick-off 3pm.

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