Rangers 2-2 Celtic: Kyogo nets late equaliser after James Tavernier threatened Old Firm comeback win

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Celtic kept themselves firmly in control of the Scottish Premiership title race as a late Kyogo strike earned them a 2-2 draw at Ibrox.

Michael Beale’s Rangers side went into the first Old Firm derby of 2023 knowing it was effectively a must-win match if they were to keep themselves within range of their biggest rivals, but made the worst possible start as Daizen Maeda gave Celtic an early lead.

The second-half was a different story though as Rangers responded, Ryan Kent and then James Tavernier netting in quick succession as the hosts turned the match around, but Kyogo struck with two minutes remaining to maintain Celtic’s nine-point cushion at the top of the table.

Rangers left themselves with work to do before even five minutes had been played at Ibrox. Alfredo Morelos played a terrible pass straight to Maeda, who skipped past a couple of blue shirts before firing a finish under Allan McGregor.

The hosts were behind going into break but had their chances to equalise. Ryan Kent saw his effort tipped onto the post by Joe Hart, while Morelos wasted two huge headed opportunities from corners.

Eight minutes at the start of the second-half turned the match on its head, as Rangers flew out of the blocks. Kent provided the equaliser with a brilliant curling effort shortly after the break, and a second goal soon followed for the hosts.

Fashion Sakala was brought down in the box by a rash challenge from Carl Starfelt, and Tavernier stepped up to fire the penalty into the top corner and give Rangers the lead.

Rangers had the chance to seal it late on when Kent played Malik Tillman through on goal, but he was denied by a superb block from Cameron Carter-Vickers.

That proved to be a costly moment, as Celtic struck just when they looked on course for only a second defeat in 52 league matches. Aaron Mooy’s cut back bobbled around in the box, before it fell to Kyogo and the league’s top scorer made no mistake to earn a crucial point for his side.