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Celtic 1-1 Rangers: Bhoys remain on track despite Sakala’s equaliser

It was a typically competitive Old Firm derby, with the visitors knowing defeat would have effectively seen Celtic wrap up the league title.

That hosts were on track for that when Jota put them in front in the first-half, but Fashion Sakala got his side level after the break. Scott Arfield and Sakala both missed huge chances late on to win it for Rangers.

It leaves Celtic six points clear at the top of the table with three games remaining, though Rangers will still be hoping for an historic end to the season with a Europa League semi-final second-leg clash against RB Leipzig to come in midweek.

The first big chance of the match fell to Ryan Kent, when he got on the end of James Tavernier’s brilliant cross only to divert it wide from close range. Kent then fired a shot from distance straight at Joe Hart soon after.

With just over 20 minutes played, it was Celtic who took the lead. Daizen Maeda found space to drill a low cross towards the far post, where Jota beat Borna Barisic to it and provided the finish.

The hosts increasingly took control of the match and Jota could well have had a second, though he sent a difficult headed chance flying over the bar.

An even better opportunity came for Maeda just before half-time. The ball was looped to him superbly by Jota and he was completely free, but Allan McGregor charging off his line clearly put him off and the Celtic man flicked the header wide.

Maeda started the second-half as he ended the first, wasting a big chance to double the lead. This time it dropped perfectly for him in the box and once again he fluffed his lines, blasting the shot over the bar.

Rangers enjoyed a better spell as they tried to find a way back into the match, with Fashion Sakala heading over the bar and Steven Davis then unable to keep his effort from range down.

The visitors got their equaliser though midway through the second-half. Ryan Kent slid the ball through to Sakala and he drilled a low effort past Hart, who would have been furious to get beaten at his near post.

Hart had to be alert minutes later when Sakala was through and the goalkeeper tipped the effort away, before the Rangers forward continued his eventful period by heading over from the resulting corner.

Once again Hart made up for his early disappointment when he made a brilliant save late on to deny Scott Arfield, with the Rangers midfielder thinking he had found a crucial later winner for his side.

There was still time for the biggest moment of the match and potentially the decisive one in the title race. Sakala was played clean through on goal, he beat Hart with the finish but saw the ball cannon back off the inside of the post.

Celtic have now perhaps overcome the last big obstacle between them and another league title.

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