Five greatest Old Firm derbies as Rangers face Celtic
Robbie Purves | 31 December 2016
The two titans of Scottish football, Rangers and Celtic, will meet this weekend for another colossal clash.
Scotland’s most successful sides face-off as Brendan Rodgers’ men look to take another step close to their sixth consecutive league title.
Gers haven’t had the best of times when facing Hoops in recent encounters, failing to match up with the quality the Celtic Park side possess.
As one of world football’s greatest derbies prepares to see another chapter written, we take a look at some of the best through the years…
Celtic 7-1 Rangers (1957)
The game nicknamed ‘Hampden in the Sun’ saw Celtic hammer their rivals in a historic 7-1 Scottish League Cup Final.
The Hoops entered the clash as holders and Rangers as league champions.
Celtic flew out the traps and hit the post twice in under 20 minutes. The first goal was scored by inside left, Sammy Wilson and Gers defended for the rest of the half in an attempt to ride out the attacking storm.
However, Neil Mochan netted a fantastic solo goal on the 44th minute and within eight minutes of the restart, Billy McPhail had netted Celtic’s third.
Rangers pulled one back through Billy Simpson, scoring one of his 112 goals in 172 appearances. This reinvigorated comfortable Celtic as McPhail and Mochan converted their second goals.
McPhail scored his third on the 80th minute, all with his head. In the final minute, McPhail was fouled in the penalty box. However, he passed up the opportunity to score a fourth, a feat never achieved in an Old Firm match. Willie Fernie slotted home the penalty past George Niven and the Celtic players got to keep their jerseys as souvenirs of the game.
Coral have Celtic 8/11 odds-on to win this weekend, but their bitter rivals will look to avoid another defeat.
Rangers 2-2 Celtic (1987)
In an atmosphere that was described as particularly ‘poisonous’ even for an Old Firm game, the sides drew 2-2 thanks to a Richard Gough 90th minute Rangers equaliser.
An altercation between Celtic’s Frank McAvennie and Rangers goalkeeper Chris Woods, resulted in both being red carded after 17 minutes. Ibrox defenders Terry Butcher and Graham Roberts were also involved, with Butcher receiving a yellow for dissent.
On the 33rd minute, Andy Walker scored to put the away side ahead, two minutes later Butcher doubled their lead with an own goal.
Gers went down to nine men in the second half when Butcher, who seemed to be at the centre of everything, was sent off for a foul on Celtic keeper Allen McKnight.
Despite their nine men disadvantage, the side rallied and cut the advantage in half through Ally McCoist. The comeback was completed by Gough in the final minute in one of the hardest fought derbies in Old Firm history.
Rangers are 7/2 to put their recent performance against Rodgers’ men behind them and triumph this weekend.
Rangers 5-1 Celtic (1988)
The Gers recorded their biggest Old Firm win for 28 years when they thrashed Celtic in the late August sun.
Celtic had won the double just three months earlier, but Graeme Souness’ Rangers team made a statement, a message to Celtic that their rivals would become Scottish football’s top dogs.
McCoist netted two, plus strikes from Ray Wilkins, Kevin Drinkell and Mark Walters saw Rangers enter a new era.
The Ibrox side won the league that season and went on to equal Celtic’s record of nine consecutive league titles in an era of near total domination.
Glasgow’s giants are 14/5 to share the spoils when the two sides meet.
Celtic 6-2 Rangers (2000)
Martin O’Neill wrote his name into the history books in late August 2000.
His side thrashed Rangers at Celtic Park with goals from Stiliyan Petrov, Paul Lambert, Chris Sutton and an incredible goal from Celts legend Henrik Larsson.
The Bhoys were 3-0 up within 11 minutes, with Chris Sutton grabbing the first after just 51 seconds.
For Celtic fans who had put up with near total dominance by Rangers for a decade, the game marked the start of a Parkhead revival that brought treble glory in 2000/01.
O’Neill’s men drew first blood in the first Old Firm game of the season, but would be beaten 5-1 at Ibrox three months later.
Rangers 3-2 Celtic (2012)
With some of the club’s darkest days ahead, the Ibrox side were in administration and heading for liquidation. Celtic were clear at the top of the table and, thanks to results elsewhere, had the chance to win the title at their fierce rivals’ home. Something Rangers managed to do at Celtic Park in the treble winning season of 1999.
However, after just 10 minutes, a Sone Aluko goal put the home side in front. Celtic were down to nine men just after the half time break and the Teddy Bears made them pay.
Goals from Andy little and Lee Wallace saw Celtic trail 3-0.
Late strikes from Scott Brown and Thomas Rogne in the 89th and 90th minute had the Ibrox faithful nervous, meaning that the Hoops only needed one more strike to secure the title.
The referee blew his whistle and Celtic had to wait a few more days to lift the trophy.