Celtic and Rangers draw in Old Firm clash



In what is so often a top of the table clash, Celtic travelled to Rangers this week for a different type of Old Firm derby.

Celtic came into the game 5 points clear at the top fo the SPL but this game would have no bearing on that as it was the 5th round of the Scottish Cup.

Rangers gave a debut to controversial new signing El Hadji Diouf. Diouf completed a transfer window move to Rangers from Blackburn after a notorious career in England. Celtic fans will already despise Diouf for a spitting incident in 2003 during, his then team, Liverpool's clash with the Glasgow side.

Diouf was immediately involved as it was his corner that was cleared to Jamie Ness who scored an absolute screamer after 3 minutes to give Rangers the lead.

The blistering start from the home side did not stop there as Steven Davies rattled the woodwork only minutes later. His shot smashed against the crossbar after great work from Jelavic on the wing. Nikica Jelovic was making his first appearance in an Old Firm clash after his £4million pound summer move and he wasn't wasting time in reminding the Hoops that he scored three times against them in the Europa League last season for Rapid Vienna.

Celtic finally settled into the game and nearly had the equalizer from a set piece. Celtic won a corner but Mark Wilson missed a good chance from close range when his header sailed over.

They did not have to wait long as Celtic's new boy continued his good start in a green and white shirt.
Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Diouf, Davis, Edu, Ness, Naismith, Jelavic. Subs: Alexander, Lafferty, Healy, Weiss, Bartley.

Celtic: Forster, Wilson, Majstorovic, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Brown, Ki, Kayal, Ledley, Commons, Hooper. Subs: Zaluska, Samaras, Stokes, Loovens, Carey.

Kris Commons scored his second goal in as many appearances after 16 minutes. The former Derby striker slammed home a pullback from Joe Ledley to bring Celtic right back into it.

It was a feisty game as you would expect with Celtic now getting the better of the early goings. In what somewhat came against the run of play Rangers took the lead just before half time.

Celtic goalkeeper Frasier Foster upended Rangers' Steven Naismith to receive his marching orders. It was a double blow for Celtic who had to take off goalscorer Commons to bring on their backup goalkeeper Lukasz Zuluska. Zuluska's first action was to take the ball out of the back of the net as Steven Whittaker scored the resultant penalty.

Luckily for both sides half time was approaching fast as Beram Kayal went in hard on Diouf to earn a yellow card while Majid Bougherra took the Celtic man down as retribution to earn a booking of his own.

An enthralling first half came to a close with Rangers on top.

The second half looked to be going the same way as the home side had the better of things, controlling the play and overwhelming their outnumbered opponents. Celtic manager Neil Lennon looked to change things around by bringing on lanky striker Georgios Samaras just before the hour.

Samaras' presence may have made the difference as within three minutes of his introduction Scott Brown had struck the equalizer. The goal came out of nothing as it was a sweet left footed strike from the midfielder but it was nonetheless crucial to the ten men's chances of surviving in the cup.

Rangers almost replied immediately when the impressive Jelavic looked for the stretching Whittaker who couldn't apply the finish.

Celtic's aggressive approach to being down a man almost gave them the lead when substitute Samaras had his header wonderfully saved at point blank range. Rangers were rattled by Celtic's second goal and soon lost their man advantage.

Steven Naismith received his marching orders after the referee adjudged him to have dived in the box. Naismith was sent off for a second booking.

Celtic took control of the game for the final twenty minutes but could not pick up anything except for a pair of bookings, making that 8 yellows and 2 reds for both sides.

Celtic will be happy to take Rangers back to Celtic Park for a replay after things looked so glum early on.

Celtic 2-2 Rangers.

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Diouf, Davis, Edu, Ness, Naismith, Jelavic. Subs: Alexander, Lafferty, Healy, Weiss, Bartley.


Celtic: Forster, Wilson, Majstorovic, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Brown, Ki, Kayal, Ledley, Commons, 
Hooper. Subs: Zaluska, Samaras, Stokes, Loovens, Carey.


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