Celtic edge Old Firm derby

Celtic leapfrogged local rivals Rangers by winning the slightly early version of the traditional Glasgow New Year derby.

A header from Joe Ledley was sufficient to decide the Old Firm match at Parkhead. It secured a ninth successive Scottish Premier League win for Celtic, a remarkable comeback for Neil Lennon's team to put them in pole position at the start of 2012. They were 15 points adrift in November.

After falling behind to Ledley's goal, Rangers failed to do much to find an equaliser. Typically the match was frantic and competitive, but with little in the way of classy football.

Inevitably, this being an Old Firm match, there was an element of controversy about the result. In this case it concerned a disallowed goal for Rangers. In the seventh minute Lee Wallace's header appeared to have crossed the line, but the officials declined to signal a goal.

"I think it definitely crossed the line but sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't," the Rangers manager Ally McCoist said after the game. “Lee and Nikica Jelavic were both fairly convinced it had crossed the line. But there is no point moaning about it. We never got it, so we have to move on."

The quote was a reminder that this is McCoist's first season as a manager. The traditional response to any contentious decision in an Old Firm derby is to mutter darkly about conspiracies, attack the referee's affiliations and abilities and then whine on about the decision all season. McCoist apparently has a lot to learn.

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