Celtic laboured to a disappointing 0-0 draw with fifth place Livingston on Saturday afternoon, handing leaders Rangers the opportunity to extend their advantage at the top of the Scottish Premier League to a gargantuan 23 points.
The Hoops struggled to carve out any major chances against the Lions, and ended the game with only one shot on target, while their visitors enjoyed more attempts at goal over the entire 90 minutes.
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Celtic’s best chance of the second half came late on, when Anthony Ralston’s ball into the box almost fell to Armstrong Okoflex, but the teenager couldn’t turn the ball into the net.
The draw means that Neil Lennon’s men now sit a whopping 20 points behind Rangers, who have the chance to increase their lead by a further three points on Sunday afternoon, when they travel to Motherwell.
The Bhoys do hold two games in hand over the league leaders, which will extend to three when Steven Gerrard’s stars take to the field on Sunday. But even if Celtic do win their two current games in hand, they will remain a worrying 14 points behind Rangers, leaving their hopes of completing ten league titles in a row hanging by a thread.
Pressure is beginning to reach untenable levels on coach Lennon, who must be fearing the worst after this latest setback. Celtic’s ambitions of becoming the first team in Scottish football history to win ten consecutive league titles suffered a major blow when they lost to rivals Rangers in the Old Firm at the start of the month, slipping to a 1-0 defeat despite dominating the game.
They have since followed up that crushing loss with two limp draws, leaving the champions closer than ever to losing their crown. Rangers boss Gerrard will be smelling blood ahead of Sunday’s trip to Motherwell, knowing his men could take another giant step towards their first league title since 2011 with a victory at Fir Park.