Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic1Ross CountyRoss County1

Celtic 1-1 Ross County

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
Leigh Griffiths celebrates his opener
Leigh Griffiths took his goal tally for the season to 38 in a rare moment of quality for Celtic

Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Premiership to nine points despite a dreary performance against Ross County at a subdued Parkhead.

Leigh Griffiths' 38th goal of the season put the champions ahead.

But Stewart Murdoch's 64th-minute strike from the edge of the box gave Jim McIntyre's team a deserved point.

Sections of the home support unveiled anti-board banners before kick-off and the mood inside the stadium at the end was one of frustration and anger.

There was a brief flurry of boos on the full-time whistle, despite Celtic moving to within four points - three should be sufficient, given their vastly superior goal difference over Aberdeen - of securing a fifth league title in a row.

But there was no sign of a club on the cusp of a party on Sunday. County were the ones who left with smiles. They were alone in that.

'Desperately lacking in atmosphere and edge'

Griffiths scored midway through the opening half when County backed off him in the penalty area, almost inviting him to have a smack at goal. The striker took them up on their offer and promptly rifled his shot high past Scott Fox in the visitors' goal.

It was a rare moment of quality on a day that was low-key and desperately lacking in atmosphere, edge and decent football.

Patrick Roberts almost teed-up Tom Rogic for a second Celtic goal just before the half-hour, but the Australian blew his moment. Then it was County's turn to waste a chance - and a what a good one it was.

Liam Boyce had a prolific first half of the season but has had a barren second half, with only one goal since the turn of the year.

He had a great opportunity to double the 2016 total just before the break but he headed straight at Craig Gordon when anything to the left or right of the goalkeeper would surely have seen him score.

Stewart Murdoch thunders in the equaliser for Ross County against Celtic
Stewart Murdoch's strike from 25 yards brought County a deserved equaliser

Having spurned one good chance, County then failed to make the most of another shortly after the restart, Michael Gardyne volleying over from close-range.

Celtic had a few moments after that. A Griffiths free-kick, a Griffiths shot, a chance for Roberts. There was never really a sense that they had killed County off, though.

Alex Schalk gave them a fright when he went one-on-one with the exposed Charlie Mulgrew and fired just over. The equaliser came soon enough, Murdoch thumping his shot into the same corner of the net that Griffiths had found earlier in the game.

It was a deserved goal for County, an illustration of their mental strength and yet another indication of Celtic's awful vulnerability.

Further examples came in a flow. Nir Bitton earned hollers of scorn when scooping miles over from decent range, then Colin Kazim-Richards missed a glorious chance. The Turkish international has scored one goal in more than seven hours for Celtic - against East Kilbride.

County went close themselves when Schalk thundered in a shot that flew just past Gordon's post.

It ended in stalemate. A great point for the visitors. Another poor day for Celtic.

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigBooked at 87mins
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 21MulgrewSubstituted forAmbroseat 90'minutes
  • 63Tierney
  • 6Bitton
  • 8Brown
  • 27Roberts
  • 18RogicSubstituted forMcGregorat 65'minutes
  • 13Kazim-RichardsSubstituted forCommonsat 81'minutes
  • 9Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 14Armstrong
  • 15Commons
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 17Christie
  • 26Bailly
  • 42McGregor

Ross County

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 6Robertson
  • 43Quinn
  • 17FranksSubstituted forDe Vitaat 79'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 7Gardyne
  • 8McShane
  • 36Irvine
  • 18MurdochBooked at 68mins
  • 23SchalkSubstituted forGrahamat 90+2'minutes
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forGoodwillieat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Boyd
  • 9Graham
  • 19Dingwall
  • 21Woods
  • 24De Vita
  • 25Goodwillie
  • 44McLaughlin
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
41,396

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home18
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 1, Ross County 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Ross County 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Brian Graham replaces Alex Schalk.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Efe Ambrose replaces Charlie Mulgrew because of an injury.

  8. Booking

    Mikael Lustig (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Mikael Lustig (Celtic).

  10. Post update

    Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Booking

    Raffaele De Vita (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Raffaele De Vita (Ross County).

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  15. Post update

    Hand ball by Raffaele De Vita (Ross County).

  16. Post update

    Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by David Goodwillie (Ross County).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Kris Commons replaces Colin Kazim-Richards.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Mikael Lustig.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic34238379265377
2Aberdeen34215856391768
3Hearts34179854342060
4Motherwell34145154249-747
5St Johnstone34137145151046
6Ross County34135164956-744
7Dundee341014105050044
8Inverness CT341110134344-143
9Partick Thistle34118153341-841
10Hamilton34109153956-1739
11Kilmarnock3488183457-2332
12Dundee Utd3466223461-2724
View full Scottish Premiership table

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