LEIGH GRIFFITHS made the astonishing claim that referee Bobby Madden asked him whether Clint Hill got a touch to the ball after he turned down a Celtic penalty in injury time of the Old Firm match.

Hill himself admitted he got lucky right at the end of a 1-1 draw, which a rejuvenated Rangers deserved. But so much of the talk post-match was about the controversial decisions made by Madden throughout the afternoon.

Rangers' 38-year-old defender had equalised only moments earlier to deny Celtic, who had led from the 35th minute thanks to a Stuart Armstrong goal, but the home side were left furious at what they felt was a huge mistake, which prevented them from a fourth derby win in row.

Griffiths said: "It was a penalty. He hasn’t touched the ball and the referee asked me afterwards: ‘Did he touch the ball?’ I told him that he didn’t but that was after the incident had passed and he can’t go back and give it then.

“As it was, he has to either give the penalty or book me for diving. I was about to put the ball in the back of the net and, if you look back, he’s caught me waist high. Clint Hill also asked me after the game if he’d touched it.

“He didn’t make contact with the ball and that decision has cost us three points. Bobby Madden is the only man in the stadium who didn’t think it was a penalty but it’s over and done with now and I can’t keep going on about it.

“We’ll take the positives from it; we’re still unbeaten. It’s another point gained and another point towards the title.”

Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic manager, revealed that Hill had admitted to him immediately after the game that he had been fortunate not to give away a late penalty with his challenge on Griffiths.

“We should have had a penalty right at the death,” said Rodgers. “It was a clear cut penalty. It’s very frustrating, even more so when Clint Hill tells me he got away with it. Clint’s a good guy, a real honest fella, and he knows he got away with one. I think everyone saw it apart from the referee.”

Rodgers, whose team failed to win a domestic fixture for only the second time in 35 matches, admitted he had been annoyed at how his side had defended at the late equaliser that Hill scored for Rangers.

“It’s always disappointing when you lose a goal late on like that, especially in the manner we did,” he said. “We defended the first part of the free kick quite well, but we created space of our own making in the second phase. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Rodgers replaced Nir Bitton with Callum McGregor at half-time and felt that his team, who had taken the lead through a Stuart Armstrong strike in the 35th minute, had deserved to record their fourth consecutive victory over their city rivals due to their second half display.

“I’m proud of the team today,” he said. “It was a tough game. I didn’t think we were so good in the first half. There was lots of effort and commitment, but we lacked position in our possession.

“We made a change at half-time to give us a bit of superiority in the central area and we took control of the game. I felt it was only a matter of time before we got the second goal. But, of course, when it’s at 1-0 there’s always a chance a moment can happen. That’s the way it goes. We wanted three points, but we’ll take a point.”

Rodgers revealed that scorer Armstrong, who was replaced by Griffiths, had to go off after suffering a calf strain. “Stuart was excellent,” he said. “His calves tightened up and after he went off we lost a little bit of control in that last period of the game. He should be fine though, he just stiffened up.”

Rodgers is confident that his team, who stretched their lead over Aberdeen at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership to 25 points, will go into the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden next month in confident mood.

“It will only have a positive impact for us,” he said. “Okay, if we win the game today it is four games and another victory against Rangers. Okay, you want to win, you’re disappointed when you don’t. But it just makes sure that we’re ready for that game.

“We know that sometimes that can happen at the end of the game. You have just got to take it and move on. When we play them again in the semi-final it will be another tight game, a close game, but hopefully we will get to the final.”

Roberto Martinez, the Belgium manager, was at the game yesterday and Rodgers believes that Dedryck Boyata, his centre half, will have done his hopes of getting selected for his national team again no harm with his showing despite the late goal Celtic conceded.

“He has been in the team now for a little period of time and done very, very well,” said Rodgers. “I really like Dedryck as a player; he is strong, quick, serves the ball well. He is doing very well. I thought he did okay. It is always a tense game. The pitch is a little bit bobbly as well. I thought he done okay”