St Johnstone hold Rangers to give Celtic chance to go eight clear
Rangers risk losing further ground in the title race after being frustrated at home by St Johnstone.
The 0-0 draw with Tommy Wright's men may mean Gers have trimmed Celtic's lead at the top back to five points for 24 hours.
But Brendan Rodgers' reigning champions will look to punish a wasteful display from the Light Blues when they travel to Kilmarnock on Sunday by stretching their advantage to eight.
Wright's Saints had shipped five after opting to go on the attack on their last visit to Govan.
But there was little danger of them opening up as they returned to Glasgow's south side on the back of five straight defeats in which they had conceded 13 goals.
Rangers were missing suspended top scorer Alfredo Morelos and simply had no idea how to open up their disciplined opponents.
In fact it was St Johnstone who came closest to the win 11 minutes from time as a Blair Alston lob bounced back off the crossbar.
Gers were also without banned goalkeeper Allan McGregor but Jermain Defoe shook off a tight hamstring to start while Glen Kamara came in for his debut.
Saints also had a new face in goal as former Ibrox keeper Cammy Bell came in for the injured Zander Clark.
There were big handball appeals from the visitors six minutes in, as they claimed Chris Kane's header was stopped in the box by James Tavernier's arm, but referee Steven McLean waved away the penalty demands.
Rangers' Daniel Candeias lashed over while Connor Goldson then thudded a header straight at Bell but the first period was hardly an action-packed encounter.
Saints may have posed more of a threat had lone striker Kane not been so easily brushed off the ball by Joe Worrall at times. Luckily for the visitors, Rangers' play was just as messy, with Borna Barisic and Steven Davis in particular off the pace.
It took a brave block from stand-in Gers stopper Wes Foderingham just before half-time to send the teams in level after Matty Kennedy sent Kane racing in behind.
Worrall hooked a volley over from a Barisic free-kick as the second period got back under way but the state of play remained just as scrappy.
There was an almighty groan from the home support after 66 minutes as Joe Shaughnessy fired his clearance from a Barisic cross straight to Candeias but his strike soared over Bell's bar.
Shaughnessy was more effective in the other box as he connected with a Liam Craig free-kick after 74 minutes but saw a terrific header pushed away by Foderingham at full stretch.
St Johnstone came even closer five minutes later as David Wotherspoon picked out Alston as he darted beyond Worrall.
The midfielder looked up to see Foderingham off his line but was denied a spectacular winner as his lob hit the face of the bar before bouncing into the keeper's grateful grasp.
The introduction of Kyle Lafferty had helped swing December's Perth meeting of the teams in Rangers' favour and Gerrard hoped for the same as he threw the Northern Irishman on.
He almost got his wish with six minutes left as a loose ball broke to the striker but his shot thudded against the outside of Bell's right-hand post.