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Five of the Best – Old Firm derbies

One of the oldest and greatest rivalries in the history of football. The Old Firm Derby has produced countless classics down the years. So much so that you could have five different people write this and have five completely different lists.

That’s how many legendary matches there has been between Celtic and Rangers. Let’s hope that this weekends game between the two sides can live up to the ones on this list. Here are five of the best old firm derbies….

Celtic 6-2 Rangers, Scottish Premiership, August 2000

This was Martin O’Neil’s first Old firm derby as the Celtic manager and there’s no better way to endear yourself to the Hoops faithful than by hammering Rangers.

That’s just what his team did as Chris Sutton, Stiliyan Petrov and Paul Lambert all scored within the first 11 minutes. Claudio Reyna managed to then get one back for the away side to give them hope.

Billy Dodds managed to score a penalty for Rangers in between two Henrik Larsson goals with the first being a sensational chip before Sutton scored his second of the game to finish off Rangers.

It was one to forget for Rangers fans, but it was an important early season victory for Celtic as they went on to win the treble that campaign.

Rangers 5-1 Celtic, Scottish Premiership, November 2000

You can’t put that last match in and not this one. As Rangers managed to get a measure of revenge just three months later as they faced off again, but this time it was Celtic who were humiliated. It shows the magic of a derby that a team who were soundly beaten a few months earlier can come back and dominate against the same side they lost too.

The demolition didn’t start as early as last time as Barry Fergurson was the only person to score in the first half to give Rangers a 1-0 lead heading into the break. Henrik Larsson managed to get an equalizer 11 minutes into the second half.

The Gers went ahead again a few minutes later through a Tore Andre Flo goal which opened the floodgates as Ronald De Boer, Lorenzo Amoruso and Michael Mols all got on the scoresheet to take the game away from Celtic.

This allowed Rangers to show that Celtic that they were still hot on their tail in the Premiership.

Rangers 5-1 Celtic, Scottish Premiership, August 1988

Twelve years prior to that drubbing Rangers were beating Celtic 5-1 once again. At the time this was their highest victory over the Hoops for 29 years.

The game didn’t start well for Rangers though, as the away side picked up their goal in the first few minutes of the game. However, it didn’t last long as Ally McCoist scored his first of the game only a couple of minutes later.

Then Ray Wilkins put the home side 2-1 up ten minutes before half time. In the second half Rangers really took control of the game as McCoist scored his second early after the restart. Before Kevin Drinkell and Mark Walters both scored to finish off the game.

Celtic were just coming of a double winning season so this was a statement victory for Rangers. As it signified a changing of the guard as Rangers went on to win the title that season to start an era of dominance in the 90s as the Gers won nine consecutive Scottish Premierships.

Rangers 3-2 Celtic, Scottish Cup, May 1973

From the league to the Scottish Cup final.  This was what a cup final should be, a close game with plenty of goals.

Kenny Dalglish opened the scoring for Celtic in the 25th minute before Derek Parlane got the equaliser with a header ten minutes later. Then just after half time Alfie Conn put Rangers in front for the first time in the game, but they weren’t ahead for long, as six minutes later the Hoops were given a penalty which was calmly dispatched by George Connelly.

Rangers got the winner in the 61st minute after the ball hit both posts and landed at the feet of Tom Forsyth, who simply rolled the ball in as he was less than a yard in front of the goal.

Celtic were strong favourites going into the game as they had just won the league, however Rangers managed to pull off the upset to claim their first domestic trophy in seven years.

Celtic 7-1 Rangers, Scottish League Cup, October 1957

As you can see this game is really old, but it means a lot to Celtic football club and their fans. As they achieved their biggest ever win over their greatest rivals. It is known as ‘Hampden in the Sun’ and they even created a song about this game.

Sammy Wilson opened the scoring with a volley in the 23rd minute, then Neil Mochan added a second to put Celtic two goals ahead just before half time. In the second half it was more of the same as Billy McPhail put the Hoops three goals ahead with his first of the game.

Then Rangers managed to pull one back through Billy Simpson. They weren’t able to garner a come back though, as McPhail scored two more to complete a hat trick and Mochan got his second. All before a 90th minute Willie Fernie penalty for good measure.

It was a historic victory for Celtic that will long be remembered by their fans. They went into the cup final as underdogs but just like Rangers in 1973 they pulled off the upset. This just goes to show that in a big derby like this form and whose favourite doesn’t mean anything.