Kyogo Furuhashi scored a late equaliser to snatch a point for Celtic at Ibrox, in a thrilling Old Firm derby to kick off 2023.
The league’s top goal scorer rescued a point for Celtic, who delivered a below par second half performance after an impressive opening 45, which saw them go in at the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Daizen Maeda strike after four minutes.
Rangers turned the game around in a stunning opening seven minutes to the second half, thanks to a Ryan Kent curling effort before James Tavernier netted his 100th career goal from the spot.
Ange Postecoglou made something of a surprise selection from the start, with Canadian international Alistair Johnston coming in for his Celtic debut at right back. Meanwhile for the hosts, Alfredo Morelos made the starting XI after an injury scare midweek.
The Colombian was at the heart of the action in the opening minutes, however it wasn’t in the way his new manager would have wanted. The forward’s loose ball in the centre of park was picked up by Daizen Maeda, who drove at the Rangers defence before slotting a composed finish beyond Allan McGregor.
The hosts’ slack passing continued to put them under pressure, with Celtic dominating the midfield battle as they had the run of the Ibrox park.
Joe Hart almost undone all of the work of his teammates in front of him on the half hour mark. A slack pass from the goalkeeper was capitalised on by Morelos, who eventually teed the ball up for Ryan Kent to have a strike on goal. Former England international Hart soon redeemed himself however, producing a strong one handed save to deny an equaliser.
Morelos had Rangers’ best chance of the half, minutes before the break. James Tavernier found the striker free with a corner, but he could only send his header over the bar.
A minute after the break and Rangers found themselves level. Fashion Sakala carried the ball into the Celtic half before finding Ryan Kent. The winger worked space inside the area before unleashing a delicious, curling effort into the far corner beyond Joe Hart.
The stunning start to the second half continued as Rangers were awarded a penalty five minutes later. Carl Starfelt lunged in on Fashion Sakala, as John Beaton took his time before pointing to the spot. James Tavernier stepped up and dispatched the ball clinically into the top corner.
Three minutes before the end and Celtic found an equaliser as they so often do. Some strong play from Aaron Mooy in the area kept a loose ball alive, before the ball broke to Kyogo in the six yard box.
The league’s top goal scorer made no mistake in firing the ball into the roof of the net.
Celtic end the day with their nine point advantage at the top of the table in tact, whilst Michael Beale will leave his debut derby as Gers boss with a feeling that this may be an opportunity missed.