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Sakala strikes as Celtic and Rangers draw in derby

Jota gave Celtic the lead but Rangers fought back to earn a point.

Fashion Sakala strikes as Celtic and Rangers draw in derby SNS Group

Celtic still hold a six-point lead at the top of the Premiership after drawing 1-1 with Rangers in the final Glasgow derby of the season.

Jota put Celtic ahead in the first half but the hosts couldn’t add to their lead and Fashion Sakala struck after 67 minutes to pull his team level. Rangers then hit the post but neither side could add to the scoring.

Celtic now need just four points from their next three games to win the title after their rivals failed to get the win that could have opened up the title race.

Rangers went into the game days after a 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig in the Europa League and manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst made three changes to his team to freshen it up for the top of the table meeting at Celtic Park.

Fashion Sakala, Steven Davis and Scott Arfield came into the team, replacing Scott Wright, Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara. Celtic went with a side that was unchanged from the 2-0 win at Ross County last week.

Rangers had the better of the early exchanges and had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 12th minute. James Tavernier crossed and Ryan Kent got in front of Anthony Ralston but the winger’s finish was off target.

Ten minutes later, Celtic scored from a similar chance. Daizen Maeda was the provider with a ball fired in from the left after a bursting run into the box. Jota was at the back post, having given Borna Barisic the slip, and he guided the ball past Allan McGregor.

The goal lifted the hosts and Jota soon headed over, then Maeda headed past the post with a glorious opportunity to score.

In the second half, Rangers came out stronger and created an early chance when Connor Goldson fired over the bar. Both side made changes as they tried to get the upper hand but Rangers were the side who got what they wanted.

Kent played in Sakala and the striker hit a low shot to Joe Hart’s near post and beat the keeper with a perfect strike.

Sakala had two further chances in quick succession, forcing a save from Hart with a powerful drive, then heading over the bar.

Celtic pushed for a winner but Rangers had the best chance of the closing stages, forcing a terrific save from Hart when Arfield got on the end of a cutback, before Sakala hit the post with another low drive.

Neither side could find a goal to settle the contest before John Beaton blew for full time. Celtic are a step closer to the title, while Rangers will take positives from their performance ahead of a crucial Europa League match on Thursday.