5 classic Old Firm battles between Rangers and Celtic

Rangers and Celtic dished up a five-goal feast at Ibrox in the most entertaining meeting between the clubs since the Ibrox side joined their city rivals in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five classic Old Firm clashes from yesteryear.

Rangers 3 Celtic 2 (May 5, 1973)

5 classic Old Firm battles between Rangers and Celtic PLZ Soccer
Tom Forsyth came out on top in a Hampden battle with Kenny Dalglish’s Celtic (EMPICS Sport)

The Centenary Scottish Cup final of 1973 between Rangers and Celtic had it all: excitement, drama and an unlikely hero. More than 122,000 crammed into Hampden Park to see Celtic take the lead through Kenny Dalglish. Derek Parlane levelled and seconds into the second half Alfie Conn outstripped the Hoops defence to make it 2-1 for the Ibrox side. Celtic equalised with a George Connelly penalty but Gers defender Tom Forsyth, usually a stranger to the opposition penalty box, popped up to knock in the winner with his studs from inches out.

Celtic 4 Rangers 2 (May 21, 1979)

5 classic Old Firm battles between Rangers and Celtic PLZ Soccer
George McCluskey netted a crucial goal for Celtic at Ibrox in 1979 (Peter Robinson/ EMPICS Sport)

Celtic dramatically won the league title in their last game of the season against their Glasgow rivals, despite going a goal down and having a man sent off a few minutes after the break. Rangers, with games in hand, also had title aspirations which looked positive when Alex MacDonald gave them an early lead. The home side were reduced to 10 men when Johnny Doyle was dismissed but goals from Roy Aitken and George McCluskey put Celtic ahead before Bobby Russell equalised. However, Ibrox defender Colin Jackson inadvertently headed the ball into his own net and Murdo MacLeod added a spectacular fourth in stoppage time.

Rangers 4 Celtic 4 (March 22, 1986)

5 classic Old Firm battles between Rangers and Celtic PLZ Soccer
Brian McClair was on target for Celtic in 1986 (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

The rain lashed down in Glasgow when Celtic visited Ibrox in 1986 but it could not dampen the afternoon’s fireworks, which started when the visitors took a two-goal lead through Maurice Johnstone and Brian McClair. Hoops defender Willie McStay was sent off after half an hour before Cammy Fraser made it 2-1. Tommy Burns scored Celtic’s third but three goals in an incredible 11-minute spell from the home side – Ally McCoist, Robert Fleck and Fraser again – had the Light Blues ahead. However, Murdo MacLeod levelled with a long-range drive for a share of the spoils.

Celtic 6 Rangers 2 (August 27, 2000)

5 classic Old Firm battles between Rangers and Celtic PLZ Soccer
Henrik Larsson netted in Martin O’Neill’s spectacular Old Firm debut (David Rawcliffe/EMPICS Sport)

Martin O’Neill’s first Old Firm game as Celtic boss could not have gone much better for the Northern Irishman as the Hoops crushed Rangers at Parkhead. The home side were ahead after less than a minute through Chris Sutton with Stiliyan Petrov and Paul Lambert making it 3-0 inside 11 minutes. Claudio Reyna pulled a goal back for the Ibrox side just before the break but early in the second half Henrik Larsson made it 4-1. Gers striker Billy Dodds converted a penalty to reduce the deficit but there was to be no comeback. Larsson, with a header, made it 5-2 and on the final whistle Sutton sealed his brace with a tap-in.

Celtic 2 Rangers 3 (May 4, 2002)

5 classic Old Firm battles between Rangers and Celtic PLZ Soccer
Peter Lovenkrands won the Scottish Cup for Rangers with a late header (Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport)

One of the great Old Firm Scottish Cup finals ended in victory for Rangers, thanks to a last-minute strike by Peter Lovenkrands. The Danish forward had already cancelled out John Hartson’s 19th-minute headed opener before a wonderful Barry Ferguson free-kick levelled up Bobo Balde’s close-range header midway through the second half. With the game heading for extra time, Lovenkrands got his head on a Neil McCann cross to take the trophy to Ibrox.

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