In a game that had everything, Rangers played almost an hour of the match with ten men and lost two more at the death as they battled to the end but couldn't overcome Mark Wilson's single goal.
Walter Smith was already shorn of seven first team players ahead of the match before the loss of Steven Whittaker to a red card in the first period and Sasa Papac to injury in the second.
Madjid Bougherra also saw red before the end with El Hadji Diouf joining him after the final whistle amid scenes of real drama at Parkhead.
The blow of losing Nikica Jelavic and Kyle Lafferty come only on the day of the game as they joined Steven Naismith, Jamie Ness, Vladimir Weiss, Lee McCulloch and Kirk Broadfoot on the sidelines leaving Smith down to the bare bones.
He turned to the men who got the job done in Lisbon six days earlier with Davie Weir, John Fleck, Richard Foster and El Hadji Diouf restored to the starting line up after being rested for the weekend win over St Johnstone.
It was a typically frantic start to the game and despite a couple of attempts from distance Rangers did well to contain the home side in the opening stages.
Whittaker's role in front of Richard Foster was working to good effect with the former pushing Rangers forward whenever he could.
And when Rangers did manage to find Diouf's feet he caused problems, but all too often he was beaten in the air when the ball was sent high toward him.
On one occasion he did manage to break clear on the right, drawing Zaluska, but his cross couldn't find Fleck.
Whittaker picked up his first yellow just before the half hour and with neither side have carved a clear chance.
It was an innocuous looking challenge on Ki in the middle of the park, though referee Murray seemed to indicate he was giving the card for persistent fouling.
It would be the first of a spate of cards as Majstorovic followed Whittaker in to the book five minutes later for a foul on Diouf.
If Whittaker had legitimate cause to be disappointed about his first card there was little he could argue about when the second came round on 35 minutes.
He caught Izaguirre late in a similar area of the pitch and Murray had no hesitation in hauling out a second card and the subsequent red.
While the referee was dealing with the aftermath of that incident another was sparked on the touchline when Diouf approached the visiting dugout in search of fluids.
He was confronted by the fourth official and members of the Celtic backroom team and the ensuing melee attracted all 22 players and both benches.
In the end up Murray added Diouf's name to his book while also taking time to speak to Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist about their conduct during the incident.
Back on the pitch Celtic almost took advantage of their extra man instantly when the ball broke off Edu and rolled in to Samaras' path in the Gers box.
But McGregor was quickly off his line to deal with the problem and force the ball out for a corner.
Just as it looked like the football would take the upper hand the focus fell back on Calum Murray and his notebook.
Scott Brown and Fleck were added to the list of cautioned players for fouls on Weir and Kayal respectively.
In first half injury time Ki fired a free kick over before there was another touchline coming together as the teams headed in for the interval.
With several Rangers players around Diouf to protect him, Celtic coach Johann Mjallby chose to get involved once again and order had to be restored again before the tunnel was cleared.
Rangers attempted to regroup at the interval with Kyle Hutton introduced to the midfield in place of Fleck.
But within minutes things were going for wrong for the Light Blues. Sasa Papac did brilliantly to clear Mark Wilson's first effort, but his second couldn't be stopped by Bougherra and Rangers were behind.
Papac had thrown himself behind the first effort and took it full in the face, meaning an end to his match and the introduction of young Gregg Wylde.
The game then settled in to a not unexpected pattern with the eleven men of Celtic enjoying the lion's share of possession while Walter Smith's men looked to hit on the break.
Just short of the hour mark Bougherra was the latest player to enter Murray's notebook for a foul on Hooper.
Celtic retained possession well following that incident and after a long range sighter from Ki just after the hour, they almost extended their lead.
Brown did well to find Samaras in the right channel and as he won a yard on Bartley he rattled McGregor's upright, with Foster clearing up the rebound from the penalty spot.
Rangers seemed to respond well to the incident with their strongest passage of play in the second period.
Some quick passing and quick thinking from Davis and Edu allowing the American to advance down the right hand side.
His ball in to the Celtic area was in search of Diouf but the Senegal forward couldn't outmuscle three home defenders to get in on goal.
Rangers then had to endure some sustained pressure before almost finding the one opening they needed with a little under four minutes of normal time remaining.
Davis, booked ten minutes earlier for dissent, again showed superb energy to burst down the right, with Bartley and Diouf busting a gut to give him options in the middle.
However, unlike in Lisbon, the Ulsterman couldn't quite pick his target at the back post.
They were handed one more chance when Wylde's pace on the left forced Wilson to pull him back and the Light Blues had a free kick in a dangerous position.
With Wilson duly booked, Diouf made his way over to deliver the set piece, but neither Weir nor Hutton could get enough on the ball to trouble the home defence.
And when Diouf was handed another opportunity from distance his free kick was to straight and too central to trouble Zaluska.
The drama wasn't over though as Murray bizarrely opted to book Bougherra for a second time in injury time after he took the ball in a fine sliding challenge midway in to his own half.
Diouf then became the third Light Blue to see red when he was sent off for a second yellow card after the final whistle had gone.