Five memorable Celtic derby performances against Rangers

Five memorable Celtic derby performances against Rangers

CELTIC and Rangers meet in the SPFL tomorrow, where a win for Celtic could see them move four points clear with a game in hand.

Some will argue it's the first league meeting between the sides, others that Rangers are the same club, however whatever your stance, meetings between Celtic and Rangers have never been boring.

The Hoops will go in as favourites tomorrow but as everyone knows, form goes out the window on derby day.

Here we look back at five memorable Celtic performances against Rangers from the last two decades – some when the Bhoys were in their pomp, and others when they have had to battle against the odds for victory.

Celtic 2 Rangers 0

Scottish Premier Division

January 2, 1998

This victory heralded Celtic’s first league win over Rangers in almost three years, the previous being a 3-0 victory in the last derby of the 1994-95 season.

It also saw the Hoops turn a corner in the title race and ultimately stop Rangers making Scottish football history.

Before kick-off, Celtic were four points behind their rivals in third place, with Rangers chasing a record-breaking 10-in-a-row.

Paul Gascoigne’s flute-playing and Andy Goram’s black armband could have distracted from the footballing action, but the game itself was memorable instead for Paul Lambert’s stunning half-volley from 25 yards that sealed victory after Craig Burley’s opener.

After being held to a late draw in the penultimate game of the season against Dunfermline, Wim Jansen's side clinched the title on the final day with a 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

Celtic 5 Rangers 1

Scottish Premier League

November 21, 1998

Defending champions Celtic finished the season without a trophy after a disappointing start to the season, which saw them pick up just 20 points out of a possible 42 by mid-November.

However the silver lining of that cloudy campaign was an emphatic 5-1 win over Rangers at Celtic Park.

There were some fantastic subplots, including the presence of Tony Warner in goal, who was only playing after being signed on loan from Liverpool following injuries to Stewart Kerr and Jonathan Gould. It was one of only three Celtic appearances for the journeyman keeper.

A certain Johann Mjallby made his debut for the Hoops, while another derby debutant was Lubomir Moravcik.

There were doubts when the 33-year-old Slovakian was signed a few weeks earlier but he hit a brace that day, as did Henrik Larsson, while Mark Burchill completed the scoring,

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst replied for Rangers, who had Scott Wilson sent off in the first half.

Celtic 6 Rangers 2

Scottish Premier league

August 27, 2000

Truly the stuff of dreams, this match was dubbed the Demolition Derby.

Champions Rangers had been tipped by pundits as pre-season favourites for the league, with Martin O’Neill expected to take time to turn around the mess left by John Barnes.

Both teams came into the game with 100 per cent records having won their opening four games, but that parity was blown away with an awesome display at Celtic Park.

Amazingly, the Bhoys were 3-0 up after 11 minutes and added three more in the second half, while Claudio Reyna and Billy Dodds replied for Rangers either side of the break.

It was a case of legends old and new, with Chris Sutton scoring a brace to take his tally to five in five for Celtic, while Henrik Larsson also made it five for the season with a brace.

His tally of 53 goals that season was unfathomable considering his near career-ending leg break in the previous campaign.

Paul Lambert and Stiliyan Petrov also scored, but the pick of the bunch was Larsson’s exquisite chip over Stefan Klos. It still sends shivers down the spine.

Celtic 2 Rangers 0

Scottish League Cup

November 9, 2005

It’s fair to say Gordon Strachan’s reign as Celtic manager didn’t get off to the best of starts, with the humiliating defeat to Artmedia Bratislava followed three days later by a disheartening draw against Motherwell.

A tame defeat in the league to Rangers in the first derby of the season also increased the pressure on the manager.

However between then and their next meeting in the League Cup in November, Celtic dropped only two points while Rangers won only three of 10 league games.

At 2-0, it wasn’t as big a margin of victory as others over Rangers, while one of the goals was an OG, but what a memorable strike from Shaun Maloney.

Strachan's side would beat Rangers 3-0 in the league 10 days later as the early season form of both clubs was transposed.

The Hoops went on to win the league – the first of three-in-a-row – with 91 points as Rangers finished third behind Hearts.

Celtic 2 Rangers 1

Scottish Premier League

April 16, 2008

The third of those titles didn’t look likely as the 2007-08 season entered its final straight.

After defeat to Rangers on March 29 (in the first of three league derbies in a month), Celtic then lost at home to 10-man Motherwell to fall six points behind Rangers, who had two games in hand. The league was effectively over.

However seven wins in their last seven games saw Celtic win the title in dramatic fashion on the final day.

After beating Motherwell 4-1, Celtic then hosted Rangers, cutting their lead to one point in a last-gasp victory.

A stunning goal from Shunsuke Nakamura – his first against Rangers – gave Celtic the lead in the first half before Nacho Novo equalised on 55 minutes.

The drama was ratcheted up when Carlos Cuellar was dismissed for handling Nakamura’s goal-bound effort, but injured keeper Allan McGregor saved Scott McDonald’s penalty.

However the man with the biggest name in football, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, headed the winner in the 93rd minute past substitute keeper Neil Alexander to set Celtic on course for the title.

What is your favourite Celtic victory against Rangers? Let us know