Joey Barton believes that Rangers were the better side as they earned a surprise 0-0 draw with Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon.

Both goalkeepers put in brilliant displays to ensure that the two Old Firm rivals would share the spoils in their final games of 2017 ahead of the winter break.

Former Rangers midfielder Barton, who left the club in the middle of last season after falling out with Mark Warburton, admitted after the game that he was blown away by the performance of young defender David Bates against Celtic.

Bates, 21, came off the bench when Bruno Alves suffered an injury early in the first half.

The ex-Raith Rovers centre-back has barely played for the Light Blues since signing for them, but put in what was one of his best performances for the Glasgow club as he earned Sky Sports’ man of the match away.

Barton was also impressed with Bates, and took to his personal Twitter account to pay homage to his solid outing.

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“Fair result in the Old Firm. Rangers the better side for me in the 2nd half. Good result for the new manager. Bates did great when he came on,” the ex-Newcastle and Burnley midfielder said.

Bates has made just six appearances across all competitions for Rangers this season.

He played all 180 minutes of the Light Blues’ two-legged defeat to Progres in the Europa League in the summer and then was left out of the first-team since playing against Aberdeen in early December.

Graeme Murty clearly has more faith in the defender than Pedro Caixinha did, but it remains to be seen how the January transfer window will impact his standing in the squad.

In other Rangers news, Jim White has given an update on the Light Blues’ talks to sign this Premier League forward.

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