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2000-08-27: Celtic 6-2 Rangers, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 2000 - 2001 | 2000-01 Pictures|
- Match has been dubbed "Demolition Derby".
- Match with the famous Larsson chip goal!
- Martin O'Neill's first Celtic game against Rangers as Celtic manager.
- A turning point in Scottish football, signalling the beginning of the demise in Ranger's dominance of the domestic game.
- The most goals we'd scored against Rangers since the 7-1 League Cup victory in 1957.
- Notably, we lost the next derby game against Rangers 5-1! Seems to be forgotten by many, but it didn't affect our march to the league title and treble!
- Chris Sutton scored a goal in just 51 seconds, a record for fastest goal scored in a Celtic v Rangers match. Despite Advocaat's attempts to call the first goal offside, the video evidence proves otherwise.
- John Robertson was confirmed as assistant to Martin O’Neill on 25th August.
- The draw was made for the first round proper of the UEFA Cup. Celtic were paired with HJL Helsinki with the first leg at home.
- After the game, Barry Ferguson, who was sent off in the second half, was involved in a street brawl in Bothwell.
ReviewThe importance of this game cannot be overstated. Prior to this game, there had been various false dawns for Celtic fans over the past 15 years, such as the Centenary double, the "St Patrick's day massacre" (both under Billy McNeil) and the classic Lubo-inspired 5-1 win (under Venglos). That was the background the club had to suffer under for many a year.
Rangers were in the ascendency having comfortably won the league the previous season and spent a massive sum on transfers on top of it all. Before the start of the season, the Huns genuinely believed they were to enter the next phase of domination both at home and in Europe (highlighted in their now infamous "spikey shoes" article). In truth, few Celtic fans saw any hope of us overhauling them but the club was beginning to regroup after a couple of disastrous years under the previous team managers.
New management and a new set of players in (most of whom needed time to bed in (supposedly)). So how was MoN to cope in his first Old Firm game? We tanked the Huns 6-2!!!
A reality not a dream, a glorious exhibition of football which really shook the game in Scotland to its core.
In this match, there were plenty of moments of glory, most special of which was the greatest goal in Celtic v Rangers history: Larsson's classic chip. This cemented Larsson as the legend that he is regarded as today, with even better still to come.
This match became a turning point in Scottish Football, with Rangers to begin a decline and for Celtic to begin a rise back up to respectability under Martin O'Neil.
For those not around prior to this game, it's hard to explain the importance of the match and its impact, and in retrospect we ourselves began to only realise what we had the potential to achieve with what we always had in the club after this match, and all we needed was MoN to unlock it for us. Without the demolition in this game, it's hard to see how we could have succeeded as we did in the coming years without it (both at home and later in Europe). The psychological impact was immense on both ourselves (positively) and the Huns (negatively).
It was the beginning of a new era for Celtic.
Celtic: Gould, Valgaeren, Stubbs, Mahe, McNamara, Petrov, Lambert (Mjallby 36), Moravcik (Boyd 54), Petta, Larsson (Burchill 87), Sutton.
Subs Not Used: Kerr, Berkovic.
Goals: Sutton 1, Petrov 8, Lambert 11, Larsson 50, 62,Sutton 90.
Yellow: Moravcik, McNamara, Boyd. (Celtic)
Klos, Ricksen (Tugay 22), Konterman, Amoruso, Vidmar (Kanchelskis 65), Reyna, Ferguson, van Bronckhorst, McCann (Lovenkranes 76), Dodds, Wallace.
Subs Not Used: Charbonnier, Malcolm.
Goals: Reyna 40, Dodds 55 pen.
Yellows: Dodds, McCann, Ferguson, Reyna. (Rangers)
Reds: Ferguson (81). (Rangers)
Referee: S Dougal (Scotland).
- Match Reports (see below)
|Shots on Target||9||5|
Managers CommentsMartin O’Neill post match :
"We got off to a great start but there were plenty of uncomfortable moments. It could have been 3-2 after the first 17 or 18 minutes of the match, but you can't take anything away from the effort of the players.
"They were absolutely fantastic. Even at 4-1, I was thinking there is a long, long way to go. They got back to 4-2, and I think the only time I ever really felt comfortable was when Sutton put the sixth one in.
"But at the end of all - and I am not being patronising - Rangers are still the benchmark and are a top-class side.
"We couldn't have dreamed for a better start. We could play for another 100 years and not get a start like that again.
"I'm delighted, and the players were brilliant. The performance was really, really immense. I would have settled for scoring in the last minute and winning the game 1-0 - but there won't be many 1-0 games down here."
''The players are all delighted, but there is no feeling of euphoria because a few of them have been here a couple of years and they know not to get too carried away with anything.
"I'll be happy tonight and maybe tomorrow morning, but after that I and the players will concentrate on the next game.
"Dick Advocaat has said that he has seen Celtic make great starts before and we know that the players have often been in the shadow of Rangers, so I don't think anyone is getting too excited. Most of the players are going away on inter-national duty, and I just hope they come back unscathed."
“Paul is very, very sore at the moment. I don't think he helped matters by playing on with it and then going on a run down the wing - but Lambert is Lambert. I don't know about his chances of playing for Scotland at this minute but I will let you know as soon I have got news."
"We lost in the first 20 minutes, especially with the goals we gave away,"
"Quite simply, we have to give all the credit to Celtic.
"The scoreline doesn't lie, and they deserved to win.
"If you give goals like that away at this level, you will get punished, but at least we know what we have to change.
"We were very poor, and it seemed like every attack they made was a goal. We have four internationalists at the back - and I don't want to point the finger at certain individuals - but we were poor today."
"I am told that their first goal was offside and that the one we had chalked off was not, but I will have to see that on the television."
"They had periods when they really had us under the cosh but we dug in and worked hard for each other.
"We can't get carried away, however, Hibs are going well and they are our next opponents. We have to concentrate on that now."
Six-goal Celtic could have had eightThe Scotsman 28/08/2000
Glenn Gibbons at Parkhead
Celtic 6 Sutton (1, 90), Petrov (8), Lambert (11), Larsson (50, 62)
Rangers 2 Reyna (40), Dodds (55 pen)
FOR a team supposedly cowering under an inferiority complex developed by years of subjection, Celtic gave an impeccable impersonation of practised oppressors in what was an astonishing first Old Firm match of this new season.
Clearly inspired by the hardness of physique and spirit brought by the new signings, Chris Sutton and Joos Valgaeren, and the extraordinary resurgence of form by the previously ridiculed Bobby Petta, Martin O'Neill's renascent team not only freed themselves from Rangers' yoke, but reversed the accepted roles by putting their erstwhile tormentors through an ordeal.
Sutton's bravado in the weeks since he arrived on a pounds 6 million fee from Chelsea included the startling assertion that "it's time to put Rangers in their place", evoking yelps of profane retaliation and threatening to burst neck veins among the more animated Ibrox supporters and mere dismissive scepticism among the more placid.
The big striker could hardly have given more substance to his notion, scoring the first and last of Celtic's goals in, astoundingly, the first and last minutes. Sutton's contribution embraced more than a personal double, however, as he underlined the impression - growing since the first match - that he could be an even more profitable partner for Henrik Larsson than the unlamented Mark Viduka.
Sutton virtually terrorised Lorenzo Amoruso and the unconvincing Bert Konterman for most of an afternoon in which he seemed to sense from the start that this would be his game, the milieu in which all the bad memories of a wretched year at Stamford Bridge would be eradicated.
But, in a contest involving 11-man teams, nobody will ever achieve objectives, or even rid themselves of personal demons, without the support Sutton received from team-mates who played with the commitment of revolutionaries.
If Larsson appeared in the first half still to be appreciably short of the touch and sharpness which made him a diabolical presence before last year's leg break, he showed with two goals after the interval that these qualities are recoverable even in the course of a single game.
Curiously, the extraordinary Swede, during a first half of breathtaking incident, missed possibly the two easiest opportunities of the match.
Paul Lambert's exceptional contribution before he was replaced by Johan Mjallby (the result of a groin injury) encompassed more than an exquisite goal and Stilian Petrov, too, when recalling what he gave to the victory, would be entitled to reflect on much more than the close-range header which put him among the scoring credits.
Since the 5-1 defeat on the same ground in November, 1998, Rangers have established such dominion that nobody would have thought it possible they could concede that many, far less six, in a single match against any opposition, domestic or foreign.
As events unfolded yesterday, they could easily have been taken for eight.
These may be early days to be offering judgements on players who were signed only in the summer, but the evidence so far suggests that Konterman and Fernando Ricksen, the Dutch "defenders", already have a great deal of atonement ahead of them if they are to convince a demanding Ibrox support that they are the real thing.
Ricksen was removed after 21 minutes, and not simply because - with Celtic already three ahead - Dick Advocaat wished to resort to another midfielder when he drafted Tugay. It was primarily because the right-back had already been given a tortuous time by Petta, who at one point appeared to be teasing the Ibrox defenders. To Celtic fans, this would have been unimaginable a few months ago.
Konterman appears to lack conviction and solidity as a defender and, teamed with the sometimes disorientated and nonchalant Amoruso, there was an ever-present potential for mayhem in front of Stefan Klos. What would numb the senses of the visiting fans would be the rapidity and the mercilessness with which Celtic would exploit the weakness.
The unreality of those opening 11 minutes, when Celtic established a three-goal lead, made the whole thing seem like a rehearsal, as if the real show - the one in which Celtic perform creditably in defeat - had still to start. But the raucous celebration among the home supporters was a deafening reminder that this was no illusion.
The match was less than a minute old when Lubo Moravcik's corner kick from the left was touched into the box by Alan Stubbs. Larsson actually miscued his scoring attempt and the ball screwed towards Sutton, who bulleted it low over the line with his right foot from a position just a yard or so from the dead-ball line.
Rangers' appalling defending was in full bloom at the second, Petrov running untracked from the 18-yard line to meet another whipped corner from Moravcik six yards out and send the header past Klos. Not an opponent was seen within three yards of the Bulgarian.
It was the diligence and tenacity of Petta and Moravcik on the left which led to the third, the Slovakian finally taking possession, swerving past Konterman and rolling the ball back to Lambert, who drilled his right-foot shot from 15 yards far to the left of Klos.
During the period after Claudio Reyna reduced the deficit with a header from Rod Wallace's chip, an unnecessary anxiety seemed to descend on the home defence, but it may have derived from being in such an unaccustomed position.
Larsson put an end to the nervousness when he received Sutton's chested pass from Jonathan Gould's long punt, dragged the ball past Konterman and chipped Klos with perfect control from outside the area. The Swede headed the fifth from Petta's free kick - this after Billy Dodds had converted a penalty kick awarded for Stephane Mahe's foul on Wallace - and Sutton slotted in the sixth from close range, from Mahe's low centre from the left.
By then, Barry Ferguson had been sent off for deliberate hand ball, his second yellow card after being punished for an earlier foul on Petrov. The midfielder's gesture towards the crowd as he left the field may have recriminations.
As O'Neill himself emphasised before the game, nothing that happened would necessarily indicate that the new era of supremacy for his club is at hand. But those supporters who danced home under the influence of the kind of euphoria that comes only rarely, would receive yesterday's clubbing of the old enemy as at least a step in the direction of salvation.
Celtic's six of the bestBBC
Celtic 6-2 Rangers
Sunday, 27 August, 2000, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
A breathtaking Old Firm derby finally lived up to the hype which perpetually surrounds this fixture.
Eight goals and one red card tell only part of the story of the first Celtic-Rangers clash of the season.
So often this match fails to live up to its billing as the greatest club match in the world, but on this occasion it came close.
Martin O'Neill could scarcely have asked for a better beginning to his Celtic career as the Parkhead side maintained their 100% league record this season.
Even by the standards of Old Firm matches, this one got off to an astonishing start.
Three goals in an 11-minute period sent the Celtic fans into delirium as Rangers' defence, and Fernando Ricksen in particular, was torn apart.
With Chris Sutton continuing his terrific start to his Celtic career and Bobby Petta thriving on a new found confidence, it looked early on as if it would be a question of how many for the Parkhead side.
Following their seven-goal flourish on Thursday against Jeunesse Esch, Celtic were keen to continue testing the quality of the nets as they hammered the ball past Stefan Klos.
The game rarely slowed from the furious pace of the opening 15 minutes, with Celtic allowing Rangers no time to settle in the middle of the park.
The commitment of both sides was underlined by a heavy collision between McCann and Lambert which saw the Celtic man stretchered off midway through the first half, an injury which caused him to be replaced shortly afterwards.
Rangers replaced the over-awed Ricksen with Tugay in the hope that the Turk could find a gap in the Celtic defence.
As usual in Old Firm games, there were a number of contentious decisions by the match officials.
Chris Sutton looked offside when he scored the opening goal, Rangers' first goal by Claudio Reyna may or may not have crossed the line, while Rangers were denied a second when Wallace's wonderfully timed run and shot beyond Gould was wrongly called offside by the flag of the assistant referee.
It took the genius of Henrik Larsson to really put the game beyond Rangers with two goals to mark his return to the fixture.
His first was truly world-class and underlined his position as the best player in the country by some distance.
Although Dodds had briefly given the Ibrox men a lifeline with a penalty in between Larsson's goals, it was never going to be Rangers' day.
Dick Advocaat will have been furious at the manner in which his side defended throughout the match, with the central pairing of Amoruso and Bert Konterman inspiring no confidence whatsoever.
How Advocaat must hope Craig Moore and Arthur Numan, not mention Jorg Albertz and Michael Mols, are fit in time for the beginning of the Champions League campaign.
Otherwise, Rangers could come in for some hefty punishments.
The sending off of Barry Ferguson with ten minutes to go was indicative of the frustration felt by the Rangers players.
But this day belonged to Celtic who have had to endure more than a decade of alomst total dominance by Rangers.
There were 14 heroes for Celtic and for the man who picked them, Martin O'Neill, there must have been no little satisfaction at the spirit and style with which they won.
This season's SPL campaign is already shaping up to be infinitely more interesting than the last.
Celtic: Gould, Valgaeren, Stubbs, Mahe, McNamara, Petrov, Lambert, Moravcik, Petta, Larsson, Sutton.
Subs: Kerr, Berkovic, Boyd, Burchill, Mjallby.
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Konterman, Amoruso, Vidmar, Reyna, Ferguson, van Bronckhorst, McCann, Dodds, Wallace.
Subs: Charbonnier, Kanchelskis, Tugay, Lovenkrands, Malcolm.
Referee: Stuart Dougal.
CELTIC REPORTS 2000-2001
Celtic 6 Rangers 2
By Chris Roberts, PA Sport
Celtic conjured up a magical six-goal display to leave their arch rivals devastated and give manager Martin O'Neill a memorable victory in his first Old Firm game in charge at Parkhead.
O'Neill was left breathless as his side crushed Dick Advocaat's champions with an awesome display of flair which was inspired by £6million striker Chris Sutton, who also celebrated his first Glasgow derby with two impressive goals.
Swedish international Henrik Larsson helped himself to a magical double while Paul Lambert and Stilian Petrov also hit the target in a magical afternoon for the Hoops.
The victory was all the more satisfying for the green part of Glasgow after over a decade of being in the shadows of the Ibrox giants, who got scant consolation with goals from Claudio Reyna and Billy Dodds.
Rangers also had Barry Ferguson dismissed late in the game to complete the visitors' misery but that was only a small statistic in a thrilling Old Firm classic as the home side maintained their 100% start to the new season while at the same time ending Rangers similar opening to the campaign.
The home side knew from the start of the match that it was going to be their day and Sutton in particularly made a dream start when they took the lead in the very first minute of the game.
Lubomir Moravcik's corner kick came out to Larsson on the edge of the box and the Swede directed the ball to Sutton who fired home from close range.
The home crowd were understandably ecstatic and in the fourth minute Rangers striker Dodds took his frustration out on Alan Stubbs with a late challenge and the Scotland man went into the referee's notebook.
But Dodds should have put his side on level terms moments later when he reached Giovanni van Bronckhorst's cross at the far post but he dragged his header just wide of the mark.
Neil McCann became the second Rangers player to receive a yellow card in the seventh minute after a reckless challenge on Jackie McNamara on the touchline.
But Rangers' misery was compounded in the eighth minute when Petrov appeared unmarked in the box to bundle home Moravcik's corner and Rangers' defensive frailties were again punished.
The home supporters were in a state of shock and in the 12th minute they were in dreamland when they increased their lead.
Moravcik shrugged off the attentions of Ricksen before cutting the ball back into the path of Lambert on the edge of the area and the midfielder fired emphatically into the corner of the net.
The Rangers defence were in total disarray and in the 16th minute Larsson should have made it four when Moravcik lobbed the ball into the path of Larsson but the Swede over-elaborated to give goalkeeper Stefan Klos the opportunity to save at his feet.
Petta was having a field day against Ricksen on the left wing and in the 23rd minute manager Advocaat spared him any further embarrassment when he replaced him with Tugay Kerimoglu and Tony Vidmar switched the left side of defence.
Barry Ferguson and Kerimoglu both went close for Rangers but Celtic's domination continued as they went in search of more glory.
A fourth goal almost came in the 36th minute when Moravcik set himself up to volley Petta's cross, but Larsson managed to take the ball off the end of his foot.
The sight of Lambert leaving the field moments later after collapsing to the ground with a leg injury after an earlier collision with McCann would have worried O'Neill and the manager replaced him with Johan Mjallby.
This was a big blow to the home side and in the 41st minute Rangers dragged themselves back into the game when Reyna got on the end of Rod Wallace's cross at the back post and despite Jonathan Gould's save he could not keep it from creeping over the line.
A minute later and the visiting support were celebrating prematurely when Wallace directed Ferguson's cross over the line but the goal was ruled out for offside much to the home side's relief.
A minute later and Larsson could have restored Celtic's three-goal advantage, but he fired just wide with Klos in no-man's land.
Rangers were committing more men forward in a desperate attempt to haul themselves back into the contest, but their fightback was short-lived as Larsson brilliantly restored their three-goal lead.
Gould's long clearance was directed into the path of the Swede, who was over 40 yards out and still needed to do a lot of hard work, but he picked the ball up and pushed it through Bert Konterman's legs delicately lobbing Klos.
But like true champions Rangers refused to lie down and in the 54th minute they gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Stephane Mahe was adjudged to have bundled Wallace over in the area and Dodds stepped up to fire into the bottom corner.
McNamara went into the book for a late challenge on van Bronckhorst in the 59th minute, but four minutes later the home support were celebrating yet again.
Larsson again supplied a wonderful finish when he rose to meet Petta's free-kick in the box and he glanced a header past the helpless Klos in the Rangers goal.
Rangers were chasing a lost cause but in the heat of an Old Firm battle there was no such thing and Rangers almost pulled a third goal back in the 72nd minute when Ferguson threaded the ball through to Dodds, who fired into the side netting.
Moments later and Ferguson went into the book for a foul on Petrov and the young midfielder was in danger of losing control as their frustrations increased.
Reyna became the next man to see yellow in the 77th minute for a challenge on Petrov and three minutes later the inevitable happened when Ferguson was shown the red card for handling and then petulantly throwing the ball away.
The game was well over by this point but there was still time for Sutton to grab his second in the last minute as he slid to direct Mahe's cross into the net.
The former Chelsea striker wrapped up a dream day for Celtic and while O'Neill will be reluctant to talk about the title at such an early time in the season he has a side that finally look like they can give Rangers a fight for the Premier League crown.
Celtic: Gould, Valgaeren, Stubbs, Mahe, McNamara, Petrov, Lambert (Mjallby 36), Moravcik (Boyd 54), Petta,Larsson (Burchill 87), Sutton.
Subs Not Used: Kerr, Berkovic.
Booked: Moravcik, McNamara, Boyd.
Goals: Sutton 1, Petrov 8, Lambert 11, Larsson 50, 62,Sutton 90.
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen (Tugay 22), Konterman, Amoruso, Vidmar (Kanchelskis 65), Reyna, Ferguson, van Bronckhorst, McCann (Lovenkranes 76), Dodds, Wallace.
Subs Not Used: Charbonnier, Malcolm.
Sent Off: Ferguson (81).
Booked: Dodds, McCann, Ferguson, Reyna.
Goals: Reyna 40, Dodds 55 pen.
Ref: S Dougal (Scotland).
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