Celtic 0-0 Ross County- Match Report

Celtic 0-0 Ross County: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.Celtic draw blank at homeCeltic finished off 2014 in unimpressive style with a goalless draw against struggling Ross County at Parkhead.The league leaders bossed a rather one-paced and uninspiring first-half but were unable to get the breakthrough.There was no great improvement after the break with the Hoops huffing and puffing against a resolute, if at times desperate, County rearguard.The result means Celtic have dropped five points in their last two matches but ironically they extended their lead at the top to five points.The New Year offers Ronny Deila's side a more than realistic chance of a domestic treble with a Europa League tie against Inter Milan to look forward to but they will need to show a bit more zip and guile, although in fairness, County's 10-man defence and their desire to stifle the match would have made life difficult for most teams.The Staggies had lost 5-0 to the Hoops at home earlier in the season and they made sure there would be no repeat but, in an another ironic twist , they dropped to the bottom of the table after being leapfrogged by St Mirren.The visitors suffered a blow before the game began when Graham Carey, named in the starting XI, had to drop out, reportedly with a back spasm, with Michael Gardyne coming back into the starting line-up.Before kick-off there was a minute's silence in tribute to those who died in the Glasgow bin lorry incident earlier in the week.Celtic then had to reshuffle in the ninth minute when Anthony Stokes limped off to be replaced by Callum McGregor.The home side took control of the game and Staggies found themselves camped at the edge of their own box, sometimes deeper.In the 25th minute County keeper Antonio Reguero made a good point-blank save from Nir Bitton's header, after the Parkhead midfielder had got on the end of a Stefan Johansen free-kick.It was the closest the champions came to scoring in a muted first-half.Any time Celtic did fashion a chance a dark blue sock would appear to block although there was further disruption to the Highlanders in the 38th minute when late replacement Gardyne had to be replaced by another ex-Celt, Lewis Toshney.A drive from 16 yards by Leigh Griffiths moments later, after a cross by left-back Emilio Izaguirre had caused some panic in the visiting defence, was deflected wide by John Guidetti, in his bid to re-direct it into the net.Celtic should have taken the lead in the 51st minute, moments after Hoops keeper Craig Gordon had saved a header from the unmarked Toshney in a rare County break.McGregor's curling shot from the edge of the box beat Reguero but bounced back of the bar to Guidetti who seemed surprised at the opportunity, with the ball coming off him and past the post from around 10 yards.Frustration among the Celtic supporters grew as the second-half unfolded further and Deila waited only until the 67th minute before introducing Kris Commons and Stefan Scepovic for the earlier substitute McGregor and the ineffective Guidetti.There was no discernible improvement.The latter stages saw Celtic throw everything forward but in there was a moment of panic in the 84th minute when a low drive from Filip Kiss beat Gordon only to strike the post and rebound clear.County took encouragement from that near miss but Reguero had to make a fine save from Griffiths in the final minute, before the visitors survived five fraught minutes of injury time

Source : PA

Source: PA