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Friday, January 2, 1998 Published at 18:28 GMT

Sport: Football

Celtic sound record warning to Rangers
image: [ Craig Burley opens the scoring on 66 minutes ]
Craig Burley opens the scoring on 66 minutes

Celtic closed the gap to Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League to one point after beating their Glasgow rivals 2-0 at Celtic Park.

They dominated from start to finish, hammering home the message that Rangers will need to fight all the way to lift a record 10th successive title.

[ image: Paul Lambert makes it two]
Paul Lambert makes it two
It was Celtic's first win in 11 old firm league meetings and came in style, Craig Burley firing past Andy Goram for the first after 66 minutes then Paul Lambert sealing the points five minutes from time with a long-range rocket.

The win lifts Celtic to second, above Hearts on goal difference. Both teams have 41 points from 20 games.

Rangers were out-passed and out-ran throughout and only Goram's agility kept Celtic out for so long.

Harald Brattbakk was twice denied in the first half, first from an angled drive. Then the Norwegian was put through only for Goram to race out and block his shot.

Celtic finally got the breakthrough they deserved after 66 minutes when Jackie McNamara's pass wrong-footed the defence finding Burley on side and in space to hit a right-foot shot wide of Goram from just inside the area. It was the former Chelsea midfielder's 10th goal of the season.

Rangers sent on Paul Gascoigne in a bid to open up the Celtic defence and avoid their second league defeat of the season.

But the home side kept pushing and sealed the game with Lambert's unstoppable drive into Goram's top left corner five minutes from time after the Rangers' defence failed to clear.

It was Lambert's first goal since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund and it sent Celtic Park wild.


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