Celtic held and miss chance to overtake Rangers

Celtic missed their chance to go top of the SPL after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to battling Kilmarnock.
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Celtic missed their chance to go top of the SPL after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to battling Kilmarnock.

A late equaliser from Thomas Rogne with his first goal for the club spared the Hoops blushes, but the draw kept Celtic two points behind Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Rangers having played a game more.

Of concern to boss Neil Lennon was an injury to leading scorer Gary Hooper who was stretchered off in the first half.

Lennon said: "The early prognosis isn't good.

"It looks like ankle ligament damage. It is too early to say whether he will miss the game against Rangers, I wouldn't like to call it. I watched it again on the television and it looks like he's stretched his ligaments.

"There's a worry about his fibula but we'll get a scan in the morning. It's a huge blow because he is our leading goalscorer and if he had stayed on the scoreline could have been different."

Celtic lost their chance to leapfrog Rangers at the top of the table with their third home draw in succession but Lennon tried to remain positive.

"I'm annoyed, not angry," he said.

"Not a lot went wrong apart from we didn't take our gilt-edged chances. I thought we played well. I thought our attacking play is general was very, very good, we just lacked composure and the finishing.

"We should have been out of sight at half-time - four or five up comfortably, but the more we miss easy chances then the opposition are always going to get a chance or two.

"We lost a poor goal from our point of view but the least we deserved was a point.

"I can't really criticise the players too much but we let ourselves down by missing easy chances."

Lennon did admit his side's recent home form is a worry.

He said: "We were wasteful and we can't keep dropping points at home. It's going to cost us. I think we can win the league with a performance like that as long as we put the ball in the net.
"It is a concern."

Kilmarnock chief Mixu Paatelainen felt his side should have held out to record their first win at Celtic Park in 55 years.

He said: "I was disappointed in the way we played, it is the worst we have passed the ball in weeks.

"The first half was horrendous but we could have done better in the game.

"We scored a good goal and defended solidly afterwards so I felt we should have held on to win the game, but it was bad defending at their goal.

"I felt we should have won the game, not because of the way we played, but we had a lead and we should have defended better.

"I expected a lot more from us and we passed the ball a little bit better in the second half, but sometimes it goes like that.

"But it shows how dangerous we are when we score a goal like that. It shows how dangerous we are even though we didn't play as well as we could. We scored a goal and to my mind should have held on."

 
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