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1997-03-16: Celtic 0-1 Rangers, Premier Division
| Match Pictures | Matches:1996 - 1997 | 1996-1997 Pics|
- The Bhoys went into the game 8 points behind with 6 games to play.
- Di Canio was called to Dallas' dressing room afterwards and shown a second yellow - effectively a red and giving him a suspension from the next game. MacKay and Grant both ended with three game suspensions from the penalty points from this game.
- Oh - and there was mayhem after the game.
- The ruck between di Canio and Ferguson at the end was allegedly due to Ferguson calling him a 'f****n Italian b*****d'.
- Hateley's red was the first straight red for a Rangers player since May 1995 - surprising that.
ReviewA disastrous game against a depleted Rangers. A goal against, 2 sending offs and Paolo losing the place at the end. Rangers doing a mock huddle at the end and it looked like the chances of stopping 9-in-a-row were finished. Supporters on the pitch. And four league games that season against Rangers lost - the first time in the history of the Premier League.
Stubbs looked less and less the player he was meant to be or warranted the expense that was laid out for him.
Kerr; Annoni, McKinlay, McNamara, Mackay, Grant (Hannah 68), Di Canio, McStay, Stubbs (Donnelly 63), O'Donnell, Cadete.
Sub not used: Thom.
Yellow cards:Annoni, Kerr, Di Canio, Grant (Celtic)
Red cards:Mackay (Celtic);
Dibble, Cleland, Albertz, Gough (Miller 63), McLaren, Bjorklund, Moore, Ferguson, Durrant (McCoist 86), Hateley, Laudrup.
Sub not used: Rae.
Red cards:Hateley (Rangers).
Yellow cards: Gough, Moore, Miller, Durrant (Rangers).
Referee: H Dallas (Motherwell).
- Match Report (see below articles)
|Shots on Target||2||5|
Celtic fall to occasionThe Scotsman 17/03/1997
RANGERS, looking like a lovingly restored heirloom with Mark Hateley, Ian Durrant and Ian Ferguson among their number and Ally McCoist on the bench, yesterday at Celtic Park squeezed out the only result that mattered.
Walter Smith's line-up was more early Nineties than the latter days of the decade yet the effect was the same as far as their old rivals were concerned. Celtic have been haunted by the past since the start of the season. The future looks to be no better for them.
Tommy Burns' side were up against a Welsh goalkeeper whose only Celtic connection was his place of birth and whose nerves must have been frayed at the edges going into his first experience of the unique Old Firm ritual.
Hateley was, until the time of his ordering off in the second half, more memorabilia than mobile and Rangers' midfield was shaped by the consequences of an injury-ravaged season. Yet the home side could not rise above their fear of failure.
The thought of Rangers winning nine championships in a row has terrorised the club's support the closer the likelihood of Celtic's record being equalled has moved towards becoming a reality.
The first three bookings of the game reaffirmed Ray Wilkins' assertion of last week that the Old Firm tribalism basically belongs to those who were born into the respective tribes.
Craig Moore, who is Australian by birth but has revelled in these occasions since he was a teenager, Peter Grant and Ian Durrant were cautioned for a variety of unseemly offences.
The game was as untidy as the litter-strewn pitch and Celtic's defence, undoubtedly wary of Hateley and initially prone to giving away free kicks in dangerous places, carried the capacity for further spillage. They waited until the brink of half-time to disadvantage themselves finally and give Rangers the psychological edge.
The defending champions have negotiated eight successive league games over four years without losing at Celtic Park and periodic generosity from their hosts has often helped.
Alan Stubbs continued this questionable tradition when, with half time approaching, he was remiss with an attempted clearance and let Durrant move ahead of him to lift the ball over the head of Stewart Kerr after Celtic's goalkeeper had darted from his goal-line.
Malky Mackay and Brian Laudrup pursued the ball to the line and the Dane squeezed it into the net for his 17th goal of the season.
Quick reactions are Laudrup's speciality and he had proved as much earlier in the first half while Celtic were busily building another platform from which to jump. A free kick for the home side was allowed to ricochet off Grant and Laudrup seized on the ball to run half the length of the pitch before passing it to Durrant. The latter's finish was as weak as Celtic's resolve.
The extent to which Richard Gough had pushed himself to the limits of his endurance was evident in the 63rd minute when Rangers' captain limped from the field and was replaced by Charlie Miller.
Gough says that he is going to play for Kansas City Wizards so that he can wind down after 15 years spent at the top of his profession and before he considers the next phase of his career. Afterwards, Walter Smith, his manager, conceded that it had been a gamble to play his captain in the first place.
"When Richard went off and Mark Hateley was shown the red card, I thought we would come under immense pressure," said Smith. "Credit must go to the players who stayed on the pitch for the way in which they withstood what came their way."
While Gough retired for medical reasons, Stubbs was removed for tactical purposes and Celtic committed Simon Donnelly as a means of going after their salvation. The game's redefined shape was only visible for three minutes before Hateley and Kerr clashed and the Englishman was sent off after appearing to make contact with his opponent by use of the head.
Kerr, who did not look blameless, was booked along with Mackay. The centre-half had prompted the 63rd-minute melee by bringing down Laudrup for a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. When the defender then committed another foul on the Rangers player, he left the referee with no option but to send him off.
Malevolence is an unavoidable adjunct to this fixture. It was Celtic's inability to get angry enough to get even in terms of the score that was their undoing.
Only Di Canio came close when he rattled the crossbar in the first half with a ball that Grant had flicked up to him at a free kick. It was a rare moment of innovation from a side who were bereft of ideas.
It has been Rangers' refusal to buckle in the face of difficulty which has sustained them thus far. It is that quality which will surely win them their ninth championship in a row.
What comes thereafter remains more important than what has gone before. If the names being talked about as potential signings in the summer are true, an assault on Europe that has more meaning than has been evident in recent years must be planned.
It is at that level that Rangers would want to have their true worth assessed.
- Manager Interview
"My team ran themselves into the ground but it is necessary to play well at this level while giving every ounce of physical effort. Only Di Canio seemed able to make things happen for us whereas we had 11 hard working players against Rangers in the cup."
"If I'm to be judged, I'll be judged on what I've done here-NOT all the excess baggage we had to inherit
"We're not prepared to accept blame for what happened at this club seven years ago.
"Nobody is suffering more than our players. But one thing I'm not prepared to forget is the great progress we've made, especially in the last 20 months.
"We've won something like 45 games out of 65 and lost around seven.
"We've set levels of consistency this club hasn't had for many years.
"Unfortunately, in that time Rangers got seven league titles so I don't think it's fair for people to say that these are the guys to blame.
"Ultimately, if I am to blame I'll certainly take that responsibility. I won't walk away from it.
"But I don't think anybody in their right mind can look at what we've done and then say that.
"It's unfair to give someone six championships of a start and then we're the ones who have to defend the nine."
Burns took a swipe at his critics when he said:
"Some people, who should know better, take the short-sighted view.
"You're judged by people who know nothing about football, nothing about management and nothing about coaching, whether it's TV, radio or writers."
Tommy Burns last night accused Rangers stars of sparking the Old Firm war on Sunday.
And the Celtic boss has cleared Italian hothead Paolo di Canio of any blame for the scenes which shamed the Scottish game.
Shocked TV millions watched di Canio and Ibrox midfielder Ian Ferguson clash angrily TWICE at the end of the stormiest 90 minutes of the season.
But Burns insists his playmaker was goaded into reacting by "trouble- makers" in Walter Smith's side.
Celtic insiders claim the ex-AC Milan star snapped after being called an "Italian b******d" by Ferguson.
Burns said: "There's people who are involved in Old Firm games that know the damage that can be done around the country by not behaving properly. These people should know better.
"Those who are new to it will get caught up - not that I'm condoning them - but they don't understand what is going on.
"Ultimately, I would defend Paolo's actions. He is a very passionate man about his football, who let himself be wound up by certain people who should know better.
"I have spoken to him and that's enough. I have found out the reasons why he got involved and after what he told me he was perfectly entitled to get involved."
Di Canio claimed that Ferguson swore at him as he congratulated Gers stars.
He said: "I was very angry after the game but I said good luck to number two (Alex Cleland) and number seven (Craig Moore).
"And they said `good luck to you too Paolo'. If there was silence from Ferguson, not a problem.
"But he called me f****** b******'."
But Burns revealed how Ferguson called him last night to insist he had NOT sworn at di Canio.
The Celtic boss added: "I appreciate the fact that he has contacted me to put his side of things.
"At least that shows there is a willingness to try and calm the situation.
"There are times we need to remember it's only a game.
"For some wee boy who's had his head split open, for any woman that's been attacked or any man who's been stabbed ... it's not worth it.
"We've had fans killed leaving this ground and people's sense of reality has been lost when that happens. There's too much hype."
The instant fall-out from Sunday's storm came yesterday when di Canio and the rest of the Old Firm bad boys were hit with instant bans from the SFA. Di Canio earned a second yellow card after being summoned to ref Hugh Dallas' room for his post- match behaviour.
That automatically rules him out of Saturday's clash with Dunfermline - as well as putting him one booking away from a further ban.
Now di Canio has to walk a tightrope for the next few weeks to make sure that one slip doesn't cost him a place in the cup semi-final team.
Celtic are already two players light for the Falkirk semi at Ibrox on April 12.
Malky Mackay's red card and Peter Grant's booking mean that both players face three-game suspensions.
Trouble flares after Old Firm match
The Scotsman 17/03/1997
TOM CRAINEY TROUBLE flared on and off the pitch after yesterday's vital Old Firm clash at Celtic Park.
Police made 37 arrests for drink-related and public disorder offences in and around the ground as supporters left the stadium after seeing angry scenes at the final whistle involving players from both sides.
Trouble flared throughout Glasgow and in surrounding towns. Police said they had to deal with running skirmishes between sets of opposing fans.
At the end of the match, fans and TV viewers witnessed a scuffle on the pitch involving Rangers' Ian Ferguson and Celtic striker Paolo Di Canio, who had to be led from the pitch by his team-mates.
Security officials had to tackle fans who ran on to the pitch as the players were heading for the dressing rooms. Later referee Hugh Dallas visited the dressing rooms of both teams which could lead to a report to the Scottish Football Association.
Celtic's Paolo Di Canio, one of those yellow-carded during the game, was called to the referee's room where he received a second booking.
The Italian player could be seen in heated exchange with a number of Rangers players as they left the pitch.
Rangers could be reported to the SFA for going into a "huddle" after their win, mocking the pose the Celtic team adopt before every game.
Around 50,000 fans attended the last clash between Celtic and Rangers of the season which was particularly tense as it was generally accepted Celtic had to win to keep alive their Premier Division championship hopes, and prevent Rangers equalling their record of nine championships in a row.
Rangers won 1-0 through a Brian Laudrup goal just before half-time in a physical and ill-tempered game in which two players were sent off and a number of others were booked by the referee.
The return of Mark Hateley of Rangers to the tribal atmosphere of the fixture was marred when he was sent off for appearing to headbutt goalkeeper Stewart Kerr Celtic defender Malky Mackay was also red-carded for two bookable offences.
Police said most of the arrests took place in and around the ground but later incidents were reported in other parts of the city as rival fans clashed.
Late last night Strathclyde Police reported further incidents in other parts of central Scotland, as far apart as Dumbarton and Bishopbriggs.
A police spokesman said there was a swift police response to all incidents which were quickly brought under control but they expected to make more arrests as officers dealt with numerous disturbances.
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