Dundee took another significant step towards Premiership safety with a hard-fought Parkhead point.
Two draws in a row might not seem like two huge strides but few expected this game to result in anything other than defeat.
The gap between Partick Thistle and Ross County is now five points and, equally importantly, this performance reinforced the belief that Dundee will go into the last six games in good heart and good form.
Although Celtic had most of the possession and chances, as expected, the Dark Blues actually came closest to scoring when the post was struck by Dedryck Boyata as he attempted to clear in first half stoppage time.
Neil McCann went with three at the back again but Darren O’Dea wasn’t fit to take his spot in the trio and was replaced by Genseric Kusunga.
Mark O’Hara and Kevin Holt were the wing-backs, with Roarie Deacon deployed centrally, just off Simon Murray.
Celtic, who had Craig Gordon back in goal, made a fast start and with less than a minute on the clock, a perfectly weighted Tom Rogic cross to the back post from the right flew across goal without anyone attacking it.
There was an even closer shave for the visitors on three minutes. Moussa Dembele was picked out by James Forrest and only had Elliott Parish to beat from 10 yards. The keeper did very well to block Dembele’s low shot with his feet.
It was 11 minutes before Dundee had a spell of pressure.
O’Hara’s cross from the right was comfortably dealt with but the Dark Blues recycled the ball and Murray cut inside off the left and let fly from 25 yards out. The shot was crisply struck and would probably have dipped under the bar had Gordon not got his finger-tips to it.
The hosts were back in control soon after and Kusunga threw his body in the way of a Rogic shot on the 18-yard line.
There was a worrying sight for McCann when Deacon went down and stayed down after a challenge from Callum McGregor. Thankfully, after a couple of minutes of treatment he was back on his feet and able to rejoin the game.
Dundee had been doing pretty well to take the sting out of the game but nearly gifted Celtic an opener on 26 minutes.
Holt got a weak header on a long ball down the right and from that point he was back-pedalling as Forrest drove into the box. The Scotland man tried to catch Parish out at his near post but the goalie got his angles spot on and turned it behind.
The subsequent inswinging corner was a dangerous one, with Boyata helping it across goal and Scott Sinclair just failing to find the net when he redirected it.
It was by no means one-way traffic and Gordon had to be alert to run out of his box to thwart Murray when Holt played a long ball over the top of the Celtic defence.
With five minutes left of the first half Mikael Lustig teed up Forrest with a cut-back from the byeline but the forward scooped his side-foot effort over the bar.
The last word of the opening period was Dundee’s, however.
Again the ball over the Celtic centre-halves proved to be a dangerous one and after Kusunga did that in stoppage time, Boyata’s last-ditch tackle on Deacon went past Gordon, struck the inside of the post, rolled across the line and was eventually cleared by Jack Hendry.
Shortly after the re-start Sinclair dribbled his way into the box but tried to take on one Dundee defender too many and was eventually dispossessed.
Stuart Armstrong’s shooting had been wayward on more than one occasion but his 20-yarder on 54 minutes was heading for the bottom right corner had Parish not got a hand to it.
Chances were now falling to men in green and white at an alarming rate for Dundee, with Sinclair next to force a save out of Parish when he stabbed a first-time shot straight at him from just inside the box.
The Dark Blues defenders were getting pinned in and allowed Rogic to turn and shoot just after the hour mark, albeit with little power and conviction.
Brendan Rodgers made a triple substitution shortly after, with Leigh Griffiths, Olivier Ntcham and Odsonne Edouard replacing Dembele, Rogic and Sinclair.
McCann restricted himself to just the one change – Sofien Moussa for Deacon.
Edouard had a chance to make a near instant impact when he was found at the back post unmarked. His effort was more like a pass-back than a shot, however.
Ex-Dundee man Hendry got caught in possession at the other end but there weren’t enough of his former team-mates in the Celtic half to punish the error.
Edouard again found himself in a promising position on 81 minutes when a corner dropped nicely for him but his shot was deflected wide this time.
Dundee were edging towards their point but had O’Hara’s low cross from inside the box picked out a man in blue they could have been looking at a famous win.
Celtic – Gordon, Hendry, Brown, Dembele (Griffiths 66), Sinclair (Edouard 66), Armstrong, Rogic (Ntcham 66), Boyata, Lustig, McGregor, Forrest. Subs not used – de Vries, Roberts, Ajer, Musonda.
Dundee – Parish, Holt, Caulker, Kusunga, Kamara, O’Hara, Murray (Leitch-Smith 77), McGowan (Wighton 87), Deacon (Moussa 66), Meekings, Spence. Subs not used – Ferrie, Kerr, Aurtenetxe, Wolters.
Referee – Alan Muir.