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Celtic 1 Partick Thistle 1: Sinclair fluffs lines as champions are held to a draw

By Ronnie Esplin

Partick Thistle keeper Tomas Cerny saved a Scott Sinclair penalty as Ladbrokes Premiership champions Celtic dropped points for only the third time this season in a 1-1 draw.

The 28-year-old Hoops forward scored a hat-trick on Sunday at Tynecastle as Brendan Rodgers' side clinched their sixth successive title with a thumping 5-0 win over Hearts.

A much-changed Celtic side struggled to reach those heights again in the first half but four minutes after the break Sinclair converted a Patrick Roberts pass for his 22nd goal of the season.

Jags striker Ade Azeez dramatically levelled in the 63rd minute and the Maryhill men remained level when Cerny pushed away Sinclair's penalty two minutes later, holding out to gain an invaluable point.

The Parkhead men remain unbeaten domestically this season with 28 wins and three draws in the league, while sixth-placed Thistle stretched their unbeaten run in the league to seven games.

Cristian Gamboa, Emilio Izaguirre, Erik Sviatchenko, Nir Bitton and Eboue Kouassi came in for the Hoops while skipper Scott Brown, Kieran Tierney, Stuart Armstrong and James Forrest were left out.

The visitors grew into their defensive mode as the first half progressed and Cerny's first save in the 38th minute was comfortable, coming from Roberts' drive from the edge of the box.

However, in the 49th minute, as they had done at the weekend, Roberts and Sinclair combined to great effect, the latter nipping in to take a through ball and directing it past Cerny.

Moments later, a Christie Elliott cross from the right was smartly tucked in at the near post by Azeez, to the surprise of most inside Celtic Park.

Sinclair was handed the chance to restore Celtic's lead two minutes later when Thistle's Callum Booth fouled Gamboa inside the box but Cerny dived to his right to parry wide.

The home side's pressure intensified but they found Partick Thistle determined to hold on to the precious point.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Simunovic, Sviatchenko, Gamboa, Eboue (Rogic 62), Bitton, McGregor (Aitchison 77), Izaguirre (Armstrong 62), Sinclair, Roberts. Goals: Sinclair 50.

Partick: Cerny, Keown, Devine, Lindsay, Elliot, Barton, McCarthy (Erskine 73), Edwards, Booth, Amoo (Doolan 55), Azeez. Goals: Azeez 64.

Referee: Greg Aitken (Scotland).

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