"I think you guys are really happy to see games like that. I was not so happy about the beginning, clearly. My Scottish assistant has a word for that, that I better not use in a press conference!"

Philippe Clement's post-match comments summed up what was a quite extraordinary Old Firm contest at Ibrox yesterday.

For the neutral, it contained everything that makes this fixture unique although, as Clement states, the start and indeed first half was nowhere near the level expected if the club are serious about winning the Premiership title.

After a disastrous first half, Rangers rallied and came from two goals down to equalise thanks to a James Tavernier penalty and Abdallah Sima strike. Adam Idah thought he had won it for Celtic immediately after the Senegalese had levelled matters only for Rabbi Matondo to curl past Joe Hart for a share of the spoils.

Let's examine the game in more detail.

If we have a glance at the match stats we can see just how evenly matched an affair this was. Celtic boasted the slightly higher xG with Rangers having Jack Butland to thank for some big saves in a torrid first half.

The Race Chart below highlights this was the proverbial game of two halves. Celtic with the better opportunities in the first period whereas it wasn't until Tavernier fired his spot kick past Hart that Rangers started to rally.

The penalty itself was expertly taken and given the Rangers skipper had missed his previous two from the spot and was having a poor game, he displayed the bottle and leadership required to pick his team up off the canvas. The PostShot xG score of 0.88 tell us as soon as the ball left his boot it was a certain goal.

Sima made an immediate impact when he was introduced at half time for Scott Wright. He tormented Greg Taylor and was rewarded with his deflected strike that sailed past Hart to draw Rangers level.

Like Tavernier, as soon as the ball leaves the Brighton loanee's foot it records a PostShot xG of 0.87 which highlights just how good a shot it was.

The pick of the bunch though was Matondo's stoppage-time equaliser that sent Ibrox into raptures. Much like he did against Hibernian the previous weekend, the Welshman cut inside onto his right foot before curling the ball past Hart and into the top corner.

Afterwards, Matondo was asked why he made a beeline for Clement after he seen the ball nestle into the back of the net: "I ran over to him because before the game we were speaking and he asked me if I saw Kevin De Bruyne’s goal yesterday," he replied.

"We work a lot in training and he works a lot with me on cutting in and getting shots off and keeping it low in the corners. So, I said to him ‘Yeah, I did see Kevin De Bruyne’s goal’, but it wasn’t quite low in the corner the way he wants me to do it. 

READ MORE: Rabbi Matondo on his De Bruyne moment, Clement message and Rangers fightback

"But he said that when you get to that level like Kevin De Bruyne has, that’s basically his low corner, the top corner. So, he said ‘You will get there maybe one day’, and I said, ‘I’ll show you today!’ And yeah, I think I showed it quite well! So, I ran over to him to embrace him, and it was nice."

The graphic below highlights just how difficult a hit it was. Before the ball left his boot it registered an xG of 0.01 which indicates this was an incredible shot.

If we take a look at the Shot Maps, Rangers overperformed by scoring two goals from an expected goals of 0.8 (excluding the Tavernier penalty).


Celtic also slightly bettered their expected goals of 0.96 with two strikes of their own, albeit the first from Daizen Maeda carried a great deal of luck in the opening 21 seconds of the contest.

If we examine the Pass Network, the graphic below illustrates just how disjointed and wide-open Rangers were in the first half. The second half display was more structured and organised.

It ties in with what Clement said at half time albeit he wasn't willing to go into the details when quizzed by Sky after the game: "There are moments when I can say what I say at half time, it's better that I don't say it now," he said.

"It's between me and the dressing room. I'm happy about the reaction, they showed personality and I think at the end we are clearly the moral winners of this fight, of this game with a lot of passion."Everything these supporters want, everything this club wants, everything this club is about, they showed in the second half and that's what they need to show in the next couple of weeks in every challenge we have."

It may turn out to be a point earned or perhaps two dropped, we won't know until the prizes are dished out at the end of the season but one thing's for sure, it was a proper Old Firm derby and the title race looks likely to down to the wire.