There was no humiliation for Dundee at Celtic Park but no points either.
Paul Hartley’s men fell two behind to goals from Leigh Griffiths and Nir Bitton, raising fears of a hefty defeat.
However a Marcus Haber strike kept the result in doubt right to the end.
And with two minutes left substitute Faissal El Bakhtaoui was clean through the middle only to make a hash of his moment of glory by blazing over the bar.
James Vincent and Danny Williams were given starts and the former Inverness Caley Thistle duo, like the rest of the Dundee outfield players, were pinned back in their own half from the first whistle.
After non-stop early pressure Griffiths worked a neat one-two with Tom Rogic on the edge of the box and the striker’s left-foot stab at goal beat Scott Bain but came back off the post and was cleared.
Eight minutes later Rogic missed an absolute sitter. Put through on goal about eight yards out he scooped his effort over the bar when it would have been easier to score.
After a rare and short spell of Dundee pressure, Tom Hateley had a chance to shoot from distance that he wasn’t going to let pass him by. It was well struck but soared over the bar.
Rogic had another shot at goal just after the half-hour mark but Bain, who wouldn’t have seen it early, gathered at the second attempt.
A couple of minutes later Kevin Holt drilled a sweet angled left foot effort that didn’t miss the far post by much.
Dundee looked like they were going to see out the first half at 0-0 but a decent defensive effort was undone when Rogic was fouled 25 yards out by Darren O’Dea and Griffiths dispatched the free-kick past Bain in stoppage time.
Rogic limped off before the break after the free-kick incident and didn’t reappear for the second half, with Callum McGregor replacing him.
Any prospect of a Dundee comeback appeared to have been wiped out when Celtic got their second on 57 minutes.
A cross from the left was half-cleared but the rush to close down Bitton didn’t happen and he was able to side-foot his shot from the edge of the box past Bain.
On 64 minutes there was the welcome sight for Dundee fans of Mark O’Hara coming on, with Williams the man to make way for him.
There was a double chance for the visitors soon after. Craig Gordon misjudged a cross to the back post and Haber’s header came back off the woodwork. It fell nicely for Craig Wighton but his rebound effort was cleared off the line.
Dundee took heart from this and got their goal on 69 minutes when Haber’s deflected shot beat Gordon.
Celtic’s fluency in attack had long since gone and they had to wait until the 78th minute for their next decent attempt when Griffiths dragged a shot past the post before being replaced by Moussa Dembele.
On 82 minutes Celtic coughed up possession just outside their own penalty area and it gave O’Hara a chance to shoot. He tried to curl it into the top corner but it went straight at Gordon.
Then with two minutes left on the clock sub El Bakhtaoui passed up his chance to be a Parkhead hero when he shot over the bar with nobody near him.