Feeney finish gives Rangers hope

Celtic let two-goal lead slip while transfer speculation links Boyd with Birmingham and McGeady with Bayern
Click to follow
The Independent Football

A week after winning the Old Firm festive derby to storm seven points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, Celtic yesterday demonstrated the inevitability of the twists and turns still to come by letting slip a two-goal lead at home against Dundee United and dropping two points after a 2-2 draw. The result extends the reigning champions' lead at the top of the table to eight points, until today at least, but with Rangers playing at struggling Inverness at lunchtime – and favourites to win in the Highlands – that margin could be down to five by this evening.

Two goals from Georgios Samaras put Celtic 2-0 ahead, but Paul Dixon pulled one back for United with a curling free-kick then Warren Feeney secured the draw with a neat finish.

United's manager, Craig Levein, said he was satisfied with a point. "It's not often that you score two goals here, and certainly not often that you come back from two goals down."

But he added that his pre-match expectation had been a win. "But we played well enough in the second half to think we might win next time."

With the transfer window now open, rumours are rife over moves for the Scottish game's best players. It is understood Rangers' Kris Boyd is among strikers being considered for a bid by Birmingham City's Alex McLeish. The other big enigma of the Old Firm, Celtic's Aiden McGeady, also remains in the spotlight despite being nowhere near the action yesterday.

The Irish winger was recently suspended for a fortnight by his manager, Gordon Strachan, for disruptive and abusive behaviour but had been expected to return to the squad yesterday. He did not, and he could be sold during this month's window, with Bayern Munich among the interested parties.

Strachan claimed he did not even pick McGeady for the bench because he was "staying faithful" to the squad who played the last two games. This was as disingenuous as the claim that McGeady lost out because of the SPL rule that managers must pick at least three under-21 players in each match squad. McGeady's long-standing and increasingly open clash of personalities with Strachan is simply reaching breaking point.

Elsewhere in the SPL, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian drew 0-0 in an Edinburgh derby where Hearts squandered all the best chances. St Mirren drew 0-0 with Motherwell in their last ever match at Love Street before moving to a new stadium nearby.