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Celtic miss chance to end Rangers’ unbeaten run in Old Firm draw

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic wasted an opportunity to hand Rangers their first Scottish Premiership defeat this season as the champions hit back to draw 1-1 in Sunday’s Old Firm derby.

Having wrapped up the title with weeks to spare, Rangers are attempting to go through the entire campaign without a league loss.

Steven Gerrard’s side were facing Celtic for the first time since shattering their Glasgow rivals’ bid to win 10 successive Scottish Premiership titles.

Rangers fell behind to Mohamed Elyounoussi’s close-range header from Odsonne Edouard’s cross in the 23rd minute at Parkhead.

But Alfredo Morelos headed the equaliser after Leon Balogun flicked on Borna Barisic’s corner in the 38th minute.

It was a first goal in 13 Old Firm derbies for Colombian striker Morelos.

Ryan Kent nearly won it for Rangers in the final minutes when his superb strike for a tight angle was pushed away by Scott Bain.

But neither team deserved to win a tight encounter as Rangers extended their unbeaten streak to 33 league matches.

“We will give everything we’ve got in the remaining games to try and stay unbeaten from a league point of view,” Gerrard said.

“Obviously the Scottish Cup is a priority because it’s an opportunity to win another trophy.”

Rangers are 20 points clear of second placed Celtic, who have faced their hated neighbours three times in the league this term, with one more derby left to inflict a first defeat.

The Ibrox outfit can no longer match Celtic’s 106-point haul from their unbeaten season in 2016-17.

“I think we looked a bit leggy at times. We looked like we lacked a little bit of energy,” Gerrard said.

“Listen, we are away from home, we are the champions, we have taken seven points out of nine in terms of Old Firm games and are still 20 points clear. This is a more positive result for us than them.”

Celtic caretaker boss John Kennedy added: “I’m pleased with the performance. I thought we were dominant for most of the game. 

“Rangers scored with a set-play goal which was disappointing and there was one or two little stramashes in the box but other than that I thought we had good control of them.

“We created numerous chances ourselves and we should have had a penalty kick when Odsonne was fouled.”

Both sets of players opted not to take the knee before kick-off and instead stood together against racism.

The move was prompted after Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara was allegedly racially abused by Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela as Gerrard’s men lost Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg.

Celtic captain Scott Brown also spoke to Kamara as the teams were warming up to offer his support.

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