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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Old Firm in thrilling draw
Ronald de Boer celebrates after scoring for Rangers
Ronald de Boer scored Rangers' second goal
Celtic 3-3 Rangers

Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton saved the blushes of Celtic goalkeeper Rab Douglas as the first Old Firm clash of the season ended in a scintillating stalemate.

Scotland No.1 Douglas was badly at fault for two of Rangers' goals - and had a questionable role in the third - as Ibrox boss Alex McLeish maintained his unbeaten record in these Glasgow derbies.

Douglas let a Mikel Arteta drive squirm under his body for the game's opening goal.

Larsson struck twice before Ronald De Boer rose unchallenged then Shota Arveladze pounced on another Douglas error to put Rangers ahead.

Mikel Arteta celebrates after putting Rangers ahead
Mikel Arteta gave Rangers an early lead
But the champions hit back again through Sutton to ensure that Rangers did not extend their one point lead in the Scottish Premier League.

The visitors were still in shock following their disappointing Uefa Cup exit at the hands of Viktoria Zizkov after 120 gruelling minutes on Thursday.

Although many predicted fatigue could be a factor, Alex McLeish made only one change, Maurice Ross being preferred to Bert Konterman in defence.

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill had the luxury of resting his first team as they completed a 10-1 demolition of Suduva in Lithuania.

Alan Thompson was the only player to keep his place and only then because Steve Guppy failed a fitness test to a painful back injury.

  Key moments
7 mins: Arteta'a drive puts Rangers ahead
39 mins: Larsson equalises with a superb turn and shot
53 mins: Larsson heads Celtic into the lead
54 mins: De Boer heads Rangers level
76 mins: Arveladze bundles the ball home for Rangers
78 mins: Sutton prods home the equaliser

But it was Rangers who drew first blood after just five minutes.

Joos Valgaeren cleared Fernando Ricksen's deflected shot to Arteta and the Spaniard's low drive from 22 yards slipped under the body of Douglas.

Rangers' slick passing kept the visitors in control following that goalkeeping error.

But the pendulum switched midway through the half thanks to Celtic's fighting spirit in what was at times a traditionally fiery affair.

Celtic looked to have good claims for a penalty denied by referee Stuart Dougal when Fernando Ricksen appeared to barge into Stilian Petrov.

The champions eventually got the equaliser their pressure deserved after 39 minutes.

Larsson's first touch to a Momo Sylla cross was not great, but his turn and shot from 15 yards was superb and bulged the net.

Rangers suffered a blow at half-time, with the injured Craig Moore having to be replaced with Konterman.

Celtic continued where they left off and took the lead eight minutes after the break.

Larsson beat Arthur Numan to a Petrov corner and the Swede's header flew into the net from eight yards.

Celtic's lead lasted less than 60 seconds, Lorenzo Amoruso sending Neil McCann down the wing.

The Scotland winger, who had just come on for Peter Lovenkrands, swung in a cross that was headed home by De Boer with both Bobo Balde and Douglas floundering.

Henrik Larsson scores Celtic's first goal
Henrik Larsson scored twice for Celtic
Only a superb, point-blank save by Stefan Klos prevented Larsson restoring the lead with an unchallenged header.

And Douglas redeemed himself slightly by turning wide a snap shot through a forest of legs by Arteta.

A Thompson free kick clipped the top of the Rangers bar and Douglas did well to deflect a low drive from Arveladze.

But it was Rangers who took the lead after 76 minutes when Douglas spilled a low drive from Numan and Arveladze forced the ball home off the shin of Ulrik Laursen.

It took Celtic two minutes to again restore parity as O'Neill went for broke by sending on two more strikers, Shaun Maloney and John Hartson.

Thompson's free kick was headed back across goal, Konterman mis-judged the flight of the ball and Sutton was there to prod the ball home.


Celtic: Douglas, Sylla (Agathe 59), Valgaeren, Laursen, Balde, Thompson, Lambert (Maloney 77), Lennon, Petrov (Hartson 74), Sutton, Larsson. Subs Not Used: Gould, Crainey.

Booked: Thompson, Sylla, Balde.

Goals: Larsson 39, 53, Sutton 78.

Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Moore (Konterman 45), Amoruso, Numan, Ferguson, de Boer (Caniggia 84), Ross, Arteta, Arveladze, Lovenkrands (McCann 50). Subs Not Used: McGregor, Latapy.

Booked: de Boer, Ricksen, Arveladze, Ross.

Goals: Arteta 6, de Boer 54, Arveladze 75.

Attendance: 59,027

Referee: S Dougal.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Ian Turner
"The usual unbridled Old Firm passion"
Rangers boss Alex McLeish
"It was a tremendous match"
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"I was pleased with the performance"
Celtic striker Henrik Larsson
"We should have won the game"
The SPL season gets under way

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06 Oct 02 | Football
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