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BBC Five Live's Roddy Forsyth
reports from Celtic Park
 real 14k

Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"We have done brilliantly."
 real 14k

Rangers manager Dick Advocaat
"Some players think they are better than they are."
 real 14k

Man of the match, Celtic's Bobby Petta
"I just feel confident, happy within the team."
 real 14k

Sunday, 27 August, 2000, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Celtic's six of the best
Celtic celebrate one of their six goals at Parkhead
Celtic celebrate one of their six goals at Parkhead
Celtic 6-2 Rangers

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.

Larsson celebrates his glorious first goal
Larsson celebrates his glorious first goal
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.

Alan Stubbs stays tight to Claudio Reyna
Alan Stubbs stays tight to Claudio Reyna
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.

Stephane Mahe blocks a Rod Wallace effort
Stephane Mahe blocks a Rod Wallace effort
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.

Celtic's day

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.

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See also:

27 Aug 00 |  Photo Galleries
Celtic v Rangers - in pictures
27 Aug 00 |  Scot Prem
Celtic v Rangers clockwatch
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