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Monday, May 3, 1999 Published at 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK

Rangers make history out of chaos

Referee Hugh Dallas goes down to his knees after being hit

Celtic 0-3 Rangers

Rangers created history by winning the title at Celtic Park in a stormy Old Firm game which saw referee Hugh Dallas injured by a missile thrown from the pitch.

Ron Jones reports from Parkhead
One of the game's few homegrown stars, Neil McCann scored two of the goals to give Rangers a first championship win in their rivals' ground.

But his contribution is probably the only consolation to the country's football authorities after disgraceful scenes inside the ground.

[ image: Players had to stop fans from getting on the pitch]
Players had to stop fans from getting on the pitch
Television pictures beamed around the world showed referee Hugh Dallas with blood seeping down his forehead after being struck by a missile thrown from the crowd.

The German Jorg Albertz scored the other Rangers goal - a controversial penalty given by the referee just seconds after his first half injury was treated by paramedics.

The incident which sparked off the protests was the 32nd minute dismissal of Celtic's Stephane Mahe, with Rangers already a goal up.

And although the second half was played in a calmer atmosphere it still saw two more dismissals with Rod Wallace and Vidar Riseth sent off in the last 10 minutes.

[ image: The game began in an electric atmosphere]
The game began in an electric atmosphere
The game had begun with the first foul committed after 22 seconds and the second before the minute was up.

The early stages were too combative for either side to gain the upper hand, although both looked threatening and defenders needed to keep their concentration.

Celtic failed to do so in the 12th minute and Wallace was allowed to break behind a square defence.

The former Leeds man squared the ball and McCann ran in ahead of the desperate men in green-and-white to tuck it past a stranded Kerr from five yards.

[ image: Albertz celebrates the controversial penalty]
Albertz celebrates the controversial penalty
The goal raised the temperature on the field and Mahe received a first booking for a challenge on Wallace as Celtic tempers threatened to boil over.

On 20 minutes Morten Wieghorst had a superb chance to equalise as the Rangers defence allowed him to run in to the right-hand side of the box.

Klos closed him down and the Dane curled the ball inches wide of the keeper's right hand post.

Game erupts

Then came the first moment of controversy after Mahe was tripped by McCann.

Rangers manager Dick Advocaat: "It was a well deserved win"
The Frenchman chased after the former Hearts winger although did not appear to touch him as he shouted to Dallas.

The referee produced a second yellow, presumably for dissent, and Mahe was eventually led off in tears while McCann was also booked for his challenge.

Rangers were then given a free kick almost by the corner flag, preceding a violent incident seen by television viewers in 26 countries around the world.

There was a lengthy delay before the official was seen with blood seeping down his forehead and was treated by paramedics.

[ image: Rod Wallace and Paul Lambert full committed]
Rod Wallace and Paul Lambert full committed
But if the referee was worried about his own safety he did not show it with his next action, bravely giving Rangers a penalty after Tony Vidmar went down in the area.

The award brought more fans onto the pitch as public order was seriously threatened. Another appeared to fall from a top tier of the stadium during the chaos and was stretchered away.

The second half began with thankfully calmer scenes, although there was controversy when Celtic keeper Kerr handled outside his penalty area.

It looked like a mandatory dismissal for the keeper but referee Dallas may have decided discretion was the better part of valour and produced a yellow card.

[ image: Lorenzo Amoruso holds off Harald Brattbakk]
Lorenzo Amoruso holds off Harald Brattbakk
Kerr made the most of his reprieve by turning the resulting free kick inches over after the Celtic wall parted.

Just before the hour McCann had a chance to all but seal victory when he was put through one-on-one but again Kerr denied Rangers with his leg.

But any hopes that Celtic had of an unlikely comeback were destroyed by McCann who broke through again on 76 minutes.

This time he rounded Kerr and slotted the ball into the empty net.

After that the game threatened to turn even uglier when Wallace and Riseth were dismissed.

The Englishman was the first to go, although why he was sent off was not clear after he tangled with Riseth.

The Celtic midfielder was booked before getting his marching orders a minute from time for the last of a series of bad challenges.

Risky celebration

There was one final controversy. The Rangers players went to their supporters at the final whistle despite police hopes that any title win would not be celebrated on the Parkhead pitch.

Some Celtic fans stayed behind and there were more missiles thrown at the players as they finally made their way to the dressing room.

Celtic: Kerr, Annoni, Marshall, Stubbs, Riseth, Mahe, Lambert, Wieghorst, Larsson, Viduka, Brattbakk. Subs: Donnelly, Johnson, Healy, Burchill, Corr.

Rangers: Klos, Porrini, Amoruso, Vidmar, Hendry, Van Bronckhorst, Albertz, McCann, Reyna, Wallace, Amato. Subs: Niemi, McInnes, Johansson, Wilson, Riccio.

Referee: H Dallas (Bonkle)

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