Celtic 0-0 Rangers: Honours even as Rangers squander chances
Last Updated: 31/12/17 6:41pm
Rangers gave Celtic a huge scare at Celtic Park in a gripping Old Firm derby that finished goalless.
Rangers collectively were outstanding in stifling the runaway league leaders and might have been celebrating victory had Alfredo Morelos not missed two gilt-edge chances in the second-half.
Celtic - as expected - had their chances too, mostly in the first-half but Wes Foderingham was in fine form to deny Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair.
The result maintains the 11 gap between the two rivals with Celtic now nine points clear of Aberdeen in second.
Celtic: Gordon (7), Lustig (6), Boyata (6), Ajer (6), Tierney (6), Brown (7), McGregor (6), Armstrong (7), Forrest (6), Sinclair (5), Dembele (6).
Subs: Ntcham (6), Griffiths (6)
Rangers: Foderingham (7), Tavernier (8), Alves (6), Wilson (7), John (7), Candeias (7), Holt (6), McCrorie (7), Windass (6), Kranjcar (6), Morelos (6).
Subs: Bates (8), Pena (6), Herrera (6)
Man of the Match: David Bates
Rangers played without fear in the early stages and a high press left Morelos with an opening down the right but his low effort was blocked away.
The game settled into a more familiar pattern from then onwards as Celtic penned Rangers in.
Foderingham made an athletic one-handed save to deny Dembele on 16 minutes and Sinclair scuffed the rebound.
Sinclair should have put Celtic ahead just before the break but he failed to fire home from 10 yards out with the goal gaping.
Celtic made three changes from their Boxing Day victory over Dundee with Stuart Armstrong, Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele returning. As for Rangers, they made two changes from Wednesday's win over Motherwell as Josh Windass and Daniel Candeias came back into the team.
Celtic's failure to take advantage of their dominance seemed to give the visitors hope as they oozed confidence in possession. Chances were few and far between though until James Tavernier conjured up a moment of brilliance down the right flank before finding Morelos but his header from four yards out was somehow saved by Craig Gordon.
There was to be another opportunity for Morelos to nick a winner but he fluffed a header from 10 yards - it would have been a goal Rangers' second half performance merited.
Both teams now embark on a winter break with Celtic in action next on January 20 against Brechin City in the Scottish Cup while Rangers face a trip to Highland League side Fraserburgh, live on Sky Sports Football.