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Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:20 UK

Celtic 2-1 Rangers as it happened

RESULT:
Celtic 2-1 Rangers


GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE

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By David Sharp

2210: PLAYER RATER
Top of the pops as far as the player rater is concerned is Rangers' Nacho Novo with 7.71. But remember, that was at 90 minutes and you can change that.

2156: What a match. Terrific result for Celtic. Not the prettiest viewing, especially towards the end...and beyond the final whistle when it all turned rather ugly. But it was certainly jam-packed with incident. You can read all about the sordid aftermath on the BBC Sport website. And, even better, you can watch exclusive highlights of this latest clash of the Glasgow titans on the BBC Scotland sport homepage after midnight. I'm off for now. Thanks for joining me and cheers for all your contributions. Catch you all again for the final Old Firm instalment in 11 days time.

2153: "Great match, superb result. Real pity about the aftermath and coin tossing incident which I'm sure will be looked into. Celtic deserved that result tonight. Rangers have consistently shut down and played some mind-numbingly boring football and while effective, I'd rather see an attacking team win the match through entertaining football."
xenosys2005 on 606

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2150: Chick Young says that several players have recieved further cautions in the tunnel after the game. No details of the culprits yet but Chick has pointed the finger at Rangers players rather than Celtic ones. Going by the TV footage the villains of the piece could be David Weir and Gary Caldwell. Wee flappy punches and face-grapplings were exchanged. If that's the case then Rangers may be without their first-choice defensive pairing of Cuellar and Weir for the final Old Firm clash.

2147: Rangers next league match is at Parkhead and Carlos Cuellar will miss it through suspension. Celtic play Aberdeen in the league on Saturday and can leapfrog Rangers into the top spot as the Ibrox side have the small matter of a Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone on Sunday.

2145: "This victory has blown it open...not wide open, but blown it open."
BBC Radio Scotland's Chick Young

2144: The race for the SPL title is back on following Vennegoor of Hesselink's last gasp winner.

2141: FULL-TIME Celtic 2-1 Rangers
A barney breaks out on the pitch at the final whistle with Novo and McManus at the centre of it. It's an old-fashioned rammy or stramash and there will surely be repercussions for several Celtic and Rangers handbag-merchants.

2140: Unbelievable stuff!

2139: GOAL Celtic 2-1 Rangers
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink nods Celtic in front. Deep cross by Gary Caldwell is flicked on by Scott McDonald and the big striker swoops to direct a header past the flailing paw of Alexander. Celtic have done it again! When it comes to late goals they are the absolute masters. BBC Radio Scotland commentator David Begg has just informed us that Celtic have scored 12 last-minute goals this season, to win games or salvage a point. Incredible!

2138: Nerves are jangling for both sets of fans.

2136: McGeady sets Wilson free down the left but he makes a dog's dinner of the cross.

2135: FIVE minutes of added time. McGregor has unwittingly bought Celtic precious time with his injury.

2134: The vital win is slipping away from Celtic.

2133: Celtic have resorted to pumping the ball up to the big men. Rangers are lapping it up so far.

2132: Four minutes of normal time to go!

2131: "Is it not about time football follows rugby's lead and starts awarding penalty goals when obvious goals are illegally stopped?"
Anonymous, via text on 81111

Surely Cuellar did what any player would have done - instinctively, in the heat of the action - to prevent a certain goal?

2130: Celtic dash up the other end of the pitch and Samaras heads narrowly wide from McGeady's outwsinging cross.

2129:The largely anonymous Barry Ferguson fizzes a shot well wide of Boruc's left-hand post from 25 yards out.

2128: Daniel Cousin comes on for the knackered Jean-Claude Darcheville. A straight striking swap.

2124: "Shocking penalty, he may as well have put an address and stamp on the ball for that corner - why let McDonald take it in the first place??"
Mc200010 on 606

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McDonald did telegraph his penalty a tad but what a save from McGregor.

2123: McGregor hobbles off at last to a standing ovation...from the visiting support.

2122: "I never write Celtic off, but after that penalty, I'm starting to feel more uneasy about this match. Still believe we can win this match now, but it will take a lot of work from the Bhoys."
marie162 on 606
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2121: Georgios Samaras comes on for Barry Robson. A torrent of boos from the Celtic support as Robson trots off. They are clearly unhappy at the substitution.

2120: The Rangers team doctor has been struck by a coin while tending to McGregor's injured foot.

2119: Hold on a seccie - McGregor is having his ankle strapped and is soldiering on.

2116: The Rangers keeper is hobbling about in the box and will be replaced by Alexander, makes his Old Firm debut. How does he follow the heroism of McGregor?

2115: PENALTY SAVE McGregor saves McDonald's spot kick. He claws the ball onto the post and leaps on the rebound. Sensational stuff!

2114: PENALTY & SENDING OFF Nakamura hits the bar! In fact, Carlos Cuellar tipped his dipping shot onto the bar and has been sent off for deliberate hand-ball. Penalty to Celtic.

2113: McGregor went over on his ankle earlier and is moving gingerly. Concern on the Rangers bench whether he can continue. Neil Alexander is warming up.

2111: Double block from Whittaker then Cuellar as first Robson then Vennegoor of Hesselink pepper shots at the Rangers goal.

2105: Rangers sub Steven Naismith has apparently been yellow-carded in the dugout for over-celebrating Novo's goal.

2104: All of a sudden the game has swung in Rangers favour. Like the Nakamura opener Novo's opportunistic goal came literally out of the blue.

2059: GOAL Celtic 1-1 Rangers
Nacho Novo rifles a low shot past Boruc to draw Rangers level.

2057: Vennegoor of Hesselink is lucky to stay on the pitch after he barges Novo to the ground. Pick on someone your own size big man. Well, that's what ref Kenny Clark is probably saying as he brandishes a yellow card at the Dutch striker.

2056: Celtic have started the second-half as they ended the first - totally dominant.

2052: "Rangers playing two up top - has the world gone mad!?"
Script Writer on 606
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2050: Nacho Novo has come on for Rangers. Kirk Broadfoot is off. The unfortunate Rangers right-back was tied in knots by McGeady and it will take some time for the Ibrox back-room staff to unravel him. Whittaker drops back and Novo joins the lonely Darcheville in a twin pronged attack.

2049: "Celtic have blown Rangers out of the water in the first half."
Radio BBC Scotland pundit Chick Young.

2049: "Celtic have had their run of bad luck it's Rangers turn now!" Sharon from Barrow-in-Furness, via text on 81111
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2048: Mark Wilson is coming on for Lee Naylor. An enforced change for Celtic. Naylor picked up a knock in the first half.

2033: HALF-TIME Celtic 1-0 Rangers

2031: Minutes later Whittaker threads the ball through to Darcheville but his angled drive inside the box is deflected past by Naylor. Darcheville's boot came flying off in the process of shooting. Boruc ducks. The Frenchman's boot was closer to going in the net than the ball.The subsequent corner fritters away to nowt. A little like Rangers first half.

2026: Darcheville unleashes a wild effort from some distance which soars high over an unperturbed Artur Boruc's goal. That was Rangers first effort at goal with five minutes to go until half-time. 'Effort' being the operative word.

2025: The game consists of extended periods of head tennis, clumsy challenges and unforced errors followed by a clearly confident Celtic spraying the ball about with some poise. Rangers have barely strung two passes together.

2022: McDonald scurries down the right wing and outpaces Papac before firing a shot-cum-cross across McGregor's broadside. The Rangers keeper is caught by surprise and flaps the ball away for yet another corner.

2018: Rangers break forward at last. It's the first phase of play they've spent in the Celtic half.

2015: Celtic have their seventh corner of the match but it comes to nothing.

2013 Rangers need to regroup after Celtic's whirlwind start. So far they haven't been able to get hold of the ball.

2012: And you can watch that incredible goal again (or not, depending where your loyalties lie!) on the BBC Scotland Sport website after midnight tonight.

2011: "An amazing goal that! And that's coming from a Rangers fan."
Suraj182 on 606
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2010: Rangers are on the rack as Celtic crank up the pressure.

2007: GOAL Celtic 1-0 Rangers
Shunsuke Nakamura hits a wildly swerving screamer from 30 yards. Woof!! A rock 'n' roll goal. McGregor has no chance. Celtic break their duck under Gordon Strachan in sensational style.

2006: Rangers somehow weather the storm.

2005: Celtic almost score. Robson corner, Caldwell heads it on and Rangers scramble the ball off the line.

2005: Make that three corners.

2004: Good spell of pressure for Celtic with back-to-back corners.

2002: Another stoppage so Lee McCulloch can get treatment for a head injury. The game is very stop-start at the moment. Not much football being played...yet.

1958: That was a great chance for Celtic. McGregor almost sacrificed his head to thwart Celtic. The Rangers keeper is going for five clean-sheets in a row.

1957: McGregor dives bravely at the feet of Vennegoor of Hesselink after Nakamura sends the Dutch striker clean through on goal. McGregor has hurt his elbow and was briefly doubled up in the box but is back on his feet.

1955: Rangers have only scored once in their last five visits to the east end of Glasgow. Celtic have failed to score in their last four Old Firm games full-stop.

1953: Naylor winds up for a long throw and launches the ball into the Rangers box. Vennegoor of Hesselink gets his head to it but the visitors' defence hoof the loose ball clear.

1950: Rangers are 1-8 to win the league, with Celtic 5-4 to win this evening's fixture.

1948: Barry Robson piles into Christian Dailly with a Big Daddy-style smash. The Celtic midfielder is making his presence felt from the off.

1947: And Rangers get the game underway. It's win or bust for Celtic.

1942: "We are the champions until somebody takes it off us."
Celtic boss Gordon Strachan

Fighting talk pre-match from the under-fire Celtic gaffer.

1937: Right back atcha! This is going to be good.

1936: "neoliverpooltillidie: Lets not kid ourselves on. This game will be a lot harder than Lisbon and should be. The Celtic players know they can do better and will be out to show it."
donkamero on 606
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1935: "Come on Rangers - if we can win in Lisbon then Celtic is a walk in the Park!"
neoliverpooltillidiem on 606
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1930: "Celtic are out of it if they draw."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1924: "If the Celtic players aren't up for this tonight then they shouldn't be at the club."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod.

1911: FULL TEAM LINE-UPS
Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Robson, Hartley, McGeady, McDonald, Vennegoor of Hesselink.

Rangers: McGregor, Broadfoot, Cuellar, Weir, Papac, Dailly, Whittaker, Davis, Ferguson, McCulloch, Darcheville.

1910: TEAM NEWS
Celtic make no changes from the side that beat Motherwell 4-1 on Sunday in the SPL. It means Paul Hartley has recovered from a niggling knee-injury to take his place alongside Barry Robson in the centre of midfield.

Rangers start with the same back five that's played so many times together since the turn of the year. Christian Dailly plays in central midfield with Steven Davis and Barry Ferguson. Lee McCulloch and Steven Whittaker are on the left and right flanks respectively, with Jean-Claude Darcheville flying solo on his own in attack.

1915 BST: This is it. The big one. Victory for Rangers will see them odds-on certainties to snatch the SPL title from the grasp of their Glasgow rivals. No doubt, it is crunch time for Gordon Strachan's Hoops.

A draw would suit Rangers better, as they are currently four points ahead at the top of the tree with two games in hand. Celtic really must win to give themselves any chance of bagging three league titles in a row - a feat not achieved since the glory days of Jock Stein.

One thing is for sure - we're in for a highly eventful rollercoaster night of football action...so hold on to your hats!



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Clydesdale Bank Premier League Table
30 January 2010 17:38
    P GD PTS
1 Rangers 23 40 54
2 Celtic 22 21 44

3 Hibernian 22 16 42
4 Dundee Utd 23 4 39

5 Motherwell 22 0 30
6 Hearts 23 -5 28
7 Aberdeen 21 -5 27
8 St Johnstone 20 -8 23
9 St Mirren 22 -11 20
10 Hamilton 21 -18 17
11 Kilmarnock 22 -15 16

12 Falkirk 21 -19 14


see also
Celtic 2-1 Rangers
16 Apr 08 |  Scottish Premier
Rate SPL players
19 Mar 08 |  Football
Win keeps hopes alive - Strachan
16 Apr 08 |  Celtic
Late goal hard to take for Smith
15 Apr 08 |  Rangers
Celtic v Rangers photos
16 Apr 08 |  Scotland


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