ANDREW VORCE - Sunday, April 24, 2011
Maurice Edu and Rangers could only manage a draw at home to Rangers in a thrilling encounter typical of the Old Firm clash.
Celtic were infuriated just seven minutes in when they had a penalty turned down. Joe Ledley tried to round Steven Whittaker with a bit of skill, pushing the ball around the defenders left while trying to run around his right side. Ledley met a brick wall as Whittaker stood his ground, but the referee was not interested.
Things could have gone a lot differently had the referee chosen to be more stern throughout the match, even allowing a shoving match in the box to nearly get out of hand after the play was dead. Georgios Samaras and David Weir both gave each other a few blatant shoves but only were shown yellow cards.
The game had everything but goals as the referee eventually gave Celtic a late penalty for nearly the same incident was earlier denied for Ledley.
Samaras stepped up to take the spot kick but Allan McGregor was on hand with a clutch deflection to keep the scores at zeros with just nine minutes left to play.
Sasa Papac joined Weir in the book for Rangers while Beram Kayal and Anthony Stokes joined Samaras in the book for Celtic.
Edu went 84 minutes for the hosts, making way for El Hadji Diouf as Rangers pushed unsuccessfully for the winner.
Rangers currently sit one point ahead of their archrivals atop the Scottish Premier League, although Celtic do have a game in hand, ultimately leaving control of the league title with the green side of Glasgow. They next travel to Motherwell on Saturday.