Rangers' lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League was reduced to one point after Inverness Caledonian Thistle struck late to earn a 1-1 draw at Ibrox. After their loss in the Old firm derby last weekend Celtic piled the pressure on their rivals as they defeated ten-men St Johnstone 3-0 in the early kick-off.
At Ibrox a superb strike from Maurice Edu early in the first-half looked to be enough to continue the Gers' 100 per cent winning start to the season. But despite chances to increase their lead it was substitute Eric Odhiambo who prodded home eight minutes from time as Inverness remain undefeated away from home since November 2009.
Walter Smith said he had no complaints about the result. "We started the game well and then we were a little bit casual and slack," the Gers manager said. "We really didn't deserve to take full points from a game where we had most of the territorial pressure but never the required sharpness to look like winning the game."
Rangers made four changes from their midweek League Cup win as Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker were rested before Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Valencia.
Both sides took time to settle in the match with Inverness having the better of the early exchanges before Edu fired Rangers ahead at the second attempt in the 11th minute. The American midfielder took a fresh air swipe at Steven Davis' lofted pass before connecting at the second time of asking to send a half-volley flying past Ryan Esson from 15 yards. Kenny Miller then went on a rampaging run through the Inverness defence but Esson did well to stop his low drive.
Richie Foran headed wide of the target before Jonny Hayes sent a shot from distance harmlessly over the bar as Caley Thistle enjoyed a brief respite from Rangers pressure. Foran went into referee Iain Brines' book for a late lunge on Edu before Lee McCulloch twice missed the target with his head.
John Fleck and Naismith came on at the break for Vladimir Weiss and goalscorer Edu, who never recovered from Foran's challenge in the first-half. The first chance of the half fell to Nick Ross but he lashed his shot on the volley over the bar after connecting with a cross from the right 12 yards out. At the other end Lafferty set up Northern Ireland teammate Davis but the midfielder dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box.
Allan McGregor denied Inverness with a magnificent save as Hayes' cross was met by Foran but the keeper tipped his shot over the bar. Foran squandered another chance from the corner when he found space in the box but could only fire wide.
On the hour mark Fleck saw his fierce strike from 20 yards tipped over by Esson before the keeper smothered Lafferty's weak effort. Miller twice came close before Inverness hauled themselves level in the 82nd minute. Kirk Broadfoot lost possession allowing skipper Foran to roll into the path of substitute Odhiambo who prodded the ball past McGregor to snatch a point for the visitors.
"In the first half we just needed a bit more belief and cutting edge," Inverness manager Terry Butcher said. "We wanted to come here and enjoy the occasion and the second half was much better."
Elsewhere, St Mirren moved off bottom with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen, Dundee United won 1-0 against Hibernian while Hamilton defeated Motherwell 1-0.