Steven Gerrard has refused to concede the Scottish Premiership title to Celtic – but admitted results like his side’s Easter Road draw are why Rangers risk falling 10 points adrift of their bitter rivals.
The Light Blues were utterly dominant for the first 45 minutes against Hibernian, but only had Daniel Candeias’ strike to show for it.
And they paid the price for a glut of missed chances as Paul Heckingbottom’s side stole a point with 14 minutes left thanks to Florian Kamberi’s leveller.
Celtic can stretch their current seven-point advantage further if they see off Aberdeen at Parkhead on Sunday as Gerrard was left with a familiar feeling of frustration.
He said: “Maybe (the title) was already out of reach. I don’t know. You can get away with a performance like this once a season, twice if you’re lucky.
“When you are chasing a team who have won seven trophies out of the last seven, you can’t have five or six like this.
“It’s happened three times against Hibs, once against St Johnstone and away to Dundee. Five or six times a season, good teams don’t let you get away with that.
“I don’t concede anything. We’ve got a huge game against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday which is very important.
“I’m sure everyone will talk about it being even more important now. I get it. But I won’t sit here and concede anything.”
Gerrard’s anger at the result was compounded by referee Steven McLean’s failure to spot Stephane Omeonga’s foul on James Tavernier in the build up to Kamberi’s goal.
“It’s a blatant foul, the ref is five yards away,” he said.
“Every single official on the planet would have given a foul apart from this one tonight.
“No excuse. No-one was in his way, it was five yards away.
“We can talk about VAR, support for referee. But, if they’re not going to support themselves and call blatant fouls, we can’t help.
“What’s the point in talking to the ref? I will back referees, it’s a difficult job, 100mph stuff.
“But a blatant foul five yards away, I can’t support that. I’m not being true to myself. He must have been the only person in the stadium who didn’t think it was a foul.”
Heckingbottom hailed his Hibs side for surviving the first-half onslaught.
He said: “I thought Rangers were really good first half, but the blocks and our defending were top drawer.
“The players had to dig in and we had to change things at half-time or it would have ended up two or three.
“We didn’t lay a glove on them, but in the second half the players turned it up and we had the better chances.
“We had some good looks at Allan McGregor’s goal and coulda, woulda, shoulda – and I’m sitting here being greedy – got three points.”
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