GRAEME Murty inspired his injury-ravaged Rangers side to a second draw against Celtic at Parkhead in the space of nine months today - and was left feeling frustrated the Ibrox club failed to win outright.

Murty had been interim manager on the last occasion that Rangers had travelled across Glasgow for the Old Firm game back in March just before Pedro Caixinha took over.

He oversaw an unexpected 1-1 draw against all the odds on that occasion before returning to his role as under-20 coach - and he worked wonders once again this afternoon.

His charges dominated the game in the second half and only two inspired Craig Gordon saves - the Scotland goalkeeper denied first James Tavernier and then Alfredo Morelos - prevented them from taking the lead.

Brendan Rodgers's team certainly had their chances in the first half and Rangers keeper Wes Foderingham did well to deny Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair and James Forrest.

But Rodgers and his players, beaten 4-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle a fortnight ago, were fortunate not to suffer their second domestic defeat of the month and could count themselves fortunate to have a point to show for their efforts at the end of the 90 minutes.

Rodgers made three changes to the team which had beaten Dundee at Dens Park on Boxing Day to go 11 points clear at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

Hayes, who suffered a broken leg on Tayside and has been ruled out of action for the remainder of the season, was replaced by Sinclair.

Elsewhere, Stuart Armstrong took over from Olivier Ntcham alongside captain Scott Brown in central midfield and Dembele was preferred to Leigh Griffiths up front.

Rodgers also handed an Old Firm debut to teenage centre half Kristoffer Ajer after being impressed with how the Norwegian had performed in his side’s previous three games.

Preferring the 19-year-old, who partnered Dedryck Boyata in the heart of the Celtic rearguard, to Jozo Simunovic was a big call by the Northern Irishman.

Ajer found himself in direct opposition to Morelos, the Columbian striker who has scored four goals in his previous five games and 12 since arriving in Scotland in the summer.

Murty was without four important players – Graham Dorrans, Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace are all long-term absentees.

Elsewhere, Ryan Jack, who had been stretchered off in the 2-0 win over Motherwell at Ibrox on Wednesday night, failed to pass a late fitness test.

Josh Windass took over from the young Scot in the visitors’ midfield while Daniel Candeias came in for Eduardo Herrera.

Bruno Alves, the Rangers centre half who was making his first appearance in the Glasgow derby match, did well to head a Sinclair corner to safety in the third minute.

Windass won possession in the fifth minute after Mikael Lustig had failed to control the ball just outside his penalty area.

He fed Morelos to his right and the striker forced a good save from Craig Gordon with a low shot from an acute angle.

But the home team quickly seized control of the game and Danny Wilson and Niko Kranjcar were both booked by referee Bobby Madden for fouls on Armstrong and Callum McGregor respectively as they broke upfield.

Rangers keeper Foderingham had to produce saves from Dembele, Sinclair and Forrest early on to keep his side level.

Rangers’ hopes of getting a result were dealt a massive blow in the 18th minute when Portugal centre half Alves hobbled off injured after failing to respond to medical attention. He was replaced by 21-year-old David Bates.

Celtic won the all-important battle in the middle of the park comfortably with Jason Holt and Kranjcar unable to cope with the physicality of Brown and the ingenuity of Armstrong.

Sinclair had a chance to put Celtic ahead in the 36th minute when he skinned James Tavernier with a mazy run down the left flank. The winger squared the ball across goal but Dembele inside him was unable to get a foot to it.

The Scottish champions squandered their best chance of the game during added on time at the end of the opening 45 minutes after Armstrong and Forrest had linked superbly. The ball was played back to Sinclair who looked as if he simply had to side foot it into the net to score. His effort went wide.

Rangers started the second half brightly and they created their best chance of the game in the 48th minute. Daniel Candeias broke down the right, picked out Tavernier with a cross and the defender forced a fine fingertip save from Gordon.

Rodgers desperately needed to make a change to lift his side and he did so in the 61st minute when he took off Dembele, who had once again worked hard without being able to find the target, and put on Leigh Griffiths in attack.

But the away team should have taken the lead again in the 68th minute when Tavernier broke down the right and chipped the ball to Morelos. The forward’s downward header was only kept out of the net by a fine reaction save from Gordon.

Rodgers took off Sinclair and put on Ntcham in the 70th minute, but Tavernier again found Morelos in the 79th minute only for his team mate to nod wide.

Tierney and Brown were booked for fouls on Candeias and Morelos as Rangers pushed hard for a winner which never came.

But the Rangers fans celebrated long and loud as Madden blew the final whistle and can look forward to 2018 with confidence.