Celtic slip-up leaves Rangers on brink

Hibernian 0 Celtic 0

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan insists he could not ask anything more from his players after their quest for their fourth Clydesdale Bank Premier League title suffered a blow when they were held to a draw at Easter Road.

The champions went into the game knowing a win would take them back to the top over Rangers on goal difference. But despite dominating most of the 90 minutes the Hoops could not find a way through and the result left the Ibrox side two points clear.

Celtic meet Heart of Midlothian at Parkhead next week in the last game of the season while Rangers travel to Dundee United knowing any sort of win would guarantee them their first title in four years. Strachan, however, defended his side's performance, saying: ''I could not have asked for any more from the players.

''I went round them all and said they could not do any more than that apart from put the ball in the back of the net. What you hope for is goals and that has been our failing in the last two away games.''

Strachan believes his side kept playing the right way even through the frustration of failing to get the breakthrough. He added: ''There was no panic. It wasn't a frantic game, we didn't throw balls in the box, we got in to crossing positions, moved them about and when the ball went in to the box, they were always there, always blocking with their keeper making terrific saves.''

Gary Caldwell could not resist a dig at Hibs' tactics while putting some pressure on Rangers ahead of their trip to Tannadice. He said: ''I don't think the Old Firm have managed to win at Tannadice all season so if Rangers are going to win it they are going to play well to do it. We did everything but score.

''We passed the ball against a team who sat in, didn't come out and didn't want to play the game. It would have been easy for us to start lumping it but we were very brave and tried to create. We had half chances that you've got to take but scoring goals was the problem.''

The Hibs manager, Mixu Paatelainen, refused to be drawn on the fact that Celtic had complained about Rangers having a third trip to Easter Road after the league split in to two, as opposed to another trip to Tynecastle to play Hearts.

Hibs held the Ibrox men to a 1-1 draw in midweek but the implication from Parkhead was that Easter Road was an easier fixture for the Govan side.

But Paatelainen added: ''There were some things said when the fixtures came out but I didn't pay any attention to them. My job is to concentrate on how we play and how we pick up points.''

Hibernian: Ma-Kalambay, van Zanten, Thicot, Jones, Murray, Rankin, Bamba (Hanlon, 89), Chisholm, Stevenson, Riordan (O'Brien, 90), Fletcher. Substitutes not used: McNeil, Keenan, McCormack, Cropley, Johansson.

Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, Loovens, Naylor, Nakamura, S Brown (Maloney, 68), Hartley, McGeady, Samaras (Vennegoor of Hesselink, 62), McDonald. Substitutes not used: M Brown, O'Dea, Crosas, Flood, Misun.

Referee: I Brines (Scotland).

Booked: Hibernian Murray, Rankin, Ma-Kalambay, Bamba, Riordan. Celtic S Brown.

Man of the match: Ma-Kalambay.

Attendance: 14,074.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'