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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2006, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Celtic 0-0 Rangers
Chris Burke cannot believe he has missed a great chance
Chris Burke missed Rangers' best chance of the game
Rangers moved to within four points of second-top Hearts after drawing an atypically lacklustre Old Firm derby away to champions Celtic.

John Hartson fired wide from 14 yards and goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus saved superbly from Shaun Maloney as Celtic made the better first-half chances.

But Chris Burke blasted over from a similar distance for a more incisive Rangers after the break.

And keeper Artur Boruc did well to turn a Dado Prso header on to the post.

Both sets of supporters unfurled banners against sectarianism and racism following the recent threat of Uefa action after Rangers fans' chants in the Champions League.

And attempts to induce a less bitter atmosphere in the stands perhaps contributed to a more subdued style of play on the park.

The biggest talking points were in the pre-match team lines.

Stilian Petrov started for Celtic despite handing in a transfer request on Friday, Gordon Strachan's only change being Maloney for Shunsuke Nakamura in midfield.

Rangers were denied the services of captain Barry Ferguson, who will miss the rest of their bid to overtake Hearts for Champions League qualification after being forced to undergo an ankle operation.

His place was taken by Gavin Rae, himself on the comeback trail from surgery.

He helped Rangers match Celtic in terms of midfield possession, but it was the home side who created the better chances early on.

Rangers' Blue Order protests against sectarianism
Both sets of fans displayed ant-sectarianism banners

Hartson was found unmarked by a Maciej Zurawski overhead kick, but the Welsh striker mis-hit his volley from 14 yards under pressure from Julien Rodriguez.

Waterreus pulled off a fine stop, parrying a curling Maloney free-kick clear one-handed.

The Dutchman then raced off his line to block Zurawski's goal-bound effort after the striker was played into the penalty area.

Rangers rarely threatened at the other end.

When striker Kris Boyd did fire the ball low into the corner of the net, he was just offside after latching on to Burke's through ball.

But the Ibrox men should have taken the lead immediately after the break.

Burke blasted over from 16 yards after a fine run and cross from stand-in captain Prso.

Prso was denied by a superb save from Boruc, the goalkeeper turning the Croatia striker's header on to the post.

And Boyd headed over from the resulting corner after Boruc failed to collect the cross.

Celtic were improved slightly when Nakamura replaced Roy Keane and Waterreus had to get down smartly to turn a Maloney snap-shot from 25 yards wide of his near post.

But Rangers grabbed a deserved share of the points in Alex McLeish's last derby as manager.


Celtic: Boruc, Telfer, Varga, McManus, Wilson, Petrov, Lennon, Keane (Nakamura 61), Maloney (McGeady 81), Zurawski, Hartson (Dublin 84).
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Thompson, Pearson, Wallace.

Booked: Lennon, McManus.

Rangers: Waterreus, Hutton, Kyrgiakos, Rodriguez, Smith, Burke (Ashikodi 90), Gavin Rae, Hemdani, Buffel, Prso, Kris Boyd (Novo 70).
Subs Not Used: Klos, Andrews, Alex Rae, Malcolm.

Booked: Kyrgiakos, Novo.

Att: 59,684

Ref: C Thomson


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Celtic manager Gordon Strachan


Interview: Rangers boss Alex McLeish



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