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1976-09-04: Celtic 2-2 Rangers, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1976 1977 | 1976-77 Pictures|
- Celtic are back in business! They proved it before 57,000 breathless fans and TV millions in a mighty match of sweat and drama, when they came back from the dead to prove that there is still a little justice in the game.
- Pat Stanton makes an impressive debut for Celtic.
- Sean Connery watches from the stand cheering the Celts with son Jason.
Quick ReviewBy Allan Herron, Sunday Mail the next morning.
They shook the very foundation of the Ibrox fortress with their uninhibited attacking system - and kept their heads and their rhythm when they fell two goals behind in a quite remarkable first half. No one could complain, least of all Rangers, when the much maligned Paul Wilson took a pass from Ronnie Glavin on the right flank, outsmarted John Greig in the box, and hammered a great right foot shot into the net with just three minutes left to play for a spectacular equaliser.
At that point Rangers were the team straining to hear the full-time whistle. If Wilson, who scored Celtic's first goal in the 54th minute with another fierce right foot shot from inside the box, was the player who saved the ex-champs, then new boy Pat Stanton was the player who propped them up. What a steal from Hibs! Here was the experienced player Celtic have needed for over a season, a player who can take and give a pass without any fuss, one who can inspire, encourage and direct the players around him. His contribution was significant.
Yet despite a tremendous start from Celtic when they forced four corners in the opening three minutes, it looked as though it was going to be another day of misery for their fans. In nine minutes Derek Johnstone put Rangers ahead when he was left to stroke the ball over a vacant goal line. A free kick from Tommy McLean, after Denny had been fouled by Glavin, floated towards the head of Alex MacDonald. Andy Lynch saw the danger, challenged in the air, but only succeeded in knocking the ball across goal and away from the advancing Peter Latchford . Johnstone had made it. In 34 minutes, to the extreme shock of the support, Rangers scored a second goal after a brilliant move involving Munro, MacDonald and McLean down the left flank. Mclean gained possession in the box when McCluskey missed a through ball from Munro, he then dragged Latchford off his line and hit the post with his shot. Derek Parlane, racing in, fairly buzzed the ball into the net.
Celtic didn't deserve this yet they had had their chances and missed them, like a MacDonald header which hit the crossbar and was headed over by Greig, and a point blank drive by Glavin which hit McCloy on his knees. It's goals that count in this game, baby.
It looked as though the Celtic Achilles heel, the leaking defence, was going to cost them plenty. It didn't, simply because Jock Stein now has Celtic believing in their own ability. They absolutely dominated the second half, and had Rangers pinned down in their own half for long spells. In the 47th minute Rangers skipper John Greig saved a certain goal when he kicked a Doyle shot off the line, with McCloy beaten.
But Celtic, with Danny McGrain brilliantly overlapping on the right. Glavin, Stanton and Burns pouring in the ammunition from the middle of the field, couldn't be denied.
Wilson choked his critics - and choked the victory anthems being sung by the Ibrox thousands with just three minutes to go.
A tremendous game. a game which the season ahead will have extreme difficulty in living up to.
TeamsCeltic:- Latchford, McGrain, P McCluskey, MacDonald, Lynch, Glavin, Stanton, Burns, Wilson, Dalglish, Doyle .
Subs not used:- Aitken, Lennox.
Goals:- Wilson 54, 87.
Rangers:- McCloy, Denny, Greig, Forsyth, Miller, Jardine, MacDonald, Munro, McLean, Parlane, Johnstone
Subs not used:- Hamilton, McKean.
Goals:- Johnstone 9, Parlane 34.
Ref:- J.Paterson (Bothwell).
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