Stalemate after Celtic miss late penalty
Allan McGregor was the hero for Rangers with a penalty save eight minutes from time that kept his side one point clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League following their 0-0 draw with Celtic at Ibrox.
Rangers had the majority of the chances in the 300th league encounter between the sides, but it was Celtic substitute Anthony Stokes who earned his side a penalty which could have all but earned the Hoops the title.
But with the pressure on, Greek star Georgios Samaras saw McGregor turn his spot-kick round the post to keep Rangers in the hunt for their third championship in a row. Despite the stalemate, the advantage is with Celtic as they have a game in hand over their Old Firm rivals.
Ranger manager Walter Smith said: "From our own point of view the biggest disappointment is having by far the best of the first hour of the game and not managing to get a goal at that time."
His counterpart Neil Lennon said he was satisfied with his side's performance. "A lot of questions were asked about the players again today and they have answered them and we should have won the game," he said. "Their goalkeeper was man-of-the-match so it says a lot about how we played, particularly in the second half."
Celtic drop Commons
Celtic eyebrows were raised as mid-week two-goal hero Kris Commons dropped to the bench along with top scorer Stokes while Joe Ledley, who had been struggling with a hamstring injury, returned along with Old Firm specialist Samaras.
Rangers made one change to the side that thrashed Dundee United in mid-week with Kyle Hutton making way for Gregg Wylde as Smith, in his 56th and final Old Firm match as manager, named the same side that were victorious in last month's League Cup final against the Hoops.
Celtic were appealing for a penalty in the eighth minute when Steven Whittaker checked Ledley's run into the box but referee Craig Thomson waved away the Welshman's protests.
Rangers put the Hoops under pressure and only a perfectly-timed tackle from Charlie Mulgrew prevented Steven Davis from getting a shot away in the box. Nikica Jelavic chested down a ball to Edu at the edge of the box but the American delayed his strike too long and his effort was blocked.
Celtic slowly began to establish themselves in the game and, after making space at the edge of the box, Scott Brown dragged his low shot wide. Gary Hooper then nearly hit the back row of the stand as he skied his effort after Samaras teed him up 20 yards out.
Samaras misses spot-kick
Rangers started the second half as they had the first with Weir heading a Davis corner over before Naismith's fierce volley was deflected out. Lafferty should have opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when he connected with Wylde's cross but the Northern Irishman somehow sent his header wide from six yards out.
At the other end, Beram Kayal sent his low drive from 25 yards just wide of McGregor's post before the goalkeeper produced a superb save to turn Daniel Majstorovic's goal-bound header round the post. Celtic were let off the hook in the 65th minute when Jelavic's neat flick released Naismith, who surged into the box before cracking a crisp strike just wide.
Stokes replaced Hooper and within six minutes he had won his side a penalty after he knocked the ball past Davis, who then body-checked the striker to stop his run. Samaras stepped up to take the spot-kick but McGregor dived low to his left to turn his effort round the post.