When these two Glaswegian clubs meet, the passion and excitement from the fans is second to none – and the event is recognised around the world as one of the great sporting events. Here’s our pick of the encounters between these two sides where Rangers have ended up on top.
Rangers 5 – 0 Celtic – January 1894
Since their first ever meeting in 1890, the two sides had played nine times, with Celtic yet to taste defeat when this match took place. Yet Rangers first win against their bitter rivals was satisfying indeed, and this 5-0 win remains the biggest win over Celtic in the clubs’ history. That’s about as much as we can tell you about it though…
Rangers 3 – 2 Celtic, May 1973
By the time this Scottish Cup Final rolled around, Jock Stein’s Celtic had already wrapped up the League (for the eighth time in a row). But the 122,714 fans turning up at Hampden saw Rangers take the spoils here – in their centennial year, just as well – courtesy of defender Tom Forsyth’s decider in the 60th minute.
This was Rangers first domestic silverware in seven years, but the side would soon taste further glory; over the next five years, manager Jock Wallace would become the first Rangers boss to steer the side to two trebles. Known as a hot-tempered sort, in later years Wallace was said to have inspired his players in training by chasing around after them with a groundsman’s pitchfork…
Rangers 5 – Celtic 1, August 1988
Graeme Souness’ Rangers began the season as they meant to go on, racking up their biggest Old Firm win in 28 years and laying down an indication of how far they could go; the side would wrap up the league this season, and then, astonishingly, go on to win the league every year until 1997, for nine championships on the bounce.
Back in the there and then, the game began with Celtic taking the initiative as Frank McAvennie found the back of the net after just a couple of minutes. Ally McCoist scored the equaliser (and would also nab a second) before Ray Wilkins smashed home a volley from 20 yards, while Kevin Drinkell and Mark Walters also found the net to help record this emphatic win.
Celtic 0 – 3 Rangers, May 1999
Thanks to two goals from Neil McCann, this win saw Rangers win the title at Parkhead for the first time in their history. Tensions and tempers were high from the off, with two fouls committed before the first minute of the game had elapsed.
After McCann’s first goal in the 12th minute, the poisonous atmosphere only increased, with referee Hugh Dallas felled by a coin to the head after sending off Stephane Mahe; on returning to his feet, moments later Dallas awarded a penalty to Rangers that Jorg Albertz tucked away to make it 2-0; in the second half, McCann scored again (and Vidar Riseth, for Celtic, and Rod Wallace for Rangers were both sent off). An ugly match – but the Gers support didn’t care about that.
Celtic 1 – 1 Rangers, 17 April 1909
When this Scottish Cup Final replay ended in a draw, a week after the original match had finished 2-2, supporters were none too happy as it became clear that yet another replay would be required.
Amongst the crowd, the feeling was that the two sides had played for a draw in order to secure another payday from a third final. Hungry for a definitive result, large numbers of the 60,000 strong support invaded the pitch, ripping up the Hampden Park turf, tearing down the goalposts, hurling whatever parts of the terrace they could get their hands on – and even setting fire to pay boxes in the ground.
The unrest was so disturbing that the third replay was cancelled, thus denying Celtic the opportunity to win a third league and cup double on the bounce. Not all bad news for Rangers fans, then.
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