Old firm classics

Celtic face Rangers in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the first time in four seasons on Saturday.

The lunchtime meeting at Celtic Park and the resumption of regular meetings in the league is keenly-awaited.

PLZ Soccer looks at five classic Old Firm clashes from yesteryear.

RANGERS 3 CELTIC 2 – May 5, 1973

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

Celtic dramatically won the league title in their last game of the season against their city 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

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 Mo 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

Martin O’Neill’s first Old Firm game as Celtic boss could not have gone any 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 after only 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 leeway 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

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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