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   Saturday, 4 May, 2002, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Rangers win Old Firm final
Peter Lovenkrands celebrates scoring the winning goal
Peter Lovenkrands scored 10 seconds from the whistle

A last-minute strike by Peter Lovenkrands gave Rangers victory in a stunning, energy-sapping Scottish Cup final against bitter rivals Celtic.

And they did it with a rare Old Firm comeback.

Celtic had twice been ahead thanks to goals from John Hartson and Bobo Balde.

But Lovenkrands produced the first equaliser, Barry Ferguson the second before the Danish striker grabbed the winner.

The victory brought Rangers their 30th Scottish Cup title, just one behind Celtic, before 51,000 at a Hampden Park complete with a newly-laid surface.

Celtic's John Hartson is left disappointed
John Hartson scored but his side lost
It denied Celtic a league and cup double and gave Rangers their second piece of silverware, having already lifted the CIS Insurance Cup.

Both managers had gambled with fitness to play what they considered their most lethal line-ups.

Celtic's Martin O'Neill decided that influential captain Paul Lambert, Chris Sutton and Balde had all recovered sufficiently from injury to start.

Rangers' Alex McLeish brought Ronald de Boer into midfield, despite the Dutch international's recent problems with a broken toe.

The Rangers manager went for speed up front, a strategy that had served him well in Old Firm matches since he took over at Ibrox.

His three-man front line had Celtic on the back foot from the kick off.

But Rangers suffered a blow after 16 minutes when veteran Argentine forward Claudio Caniggia had to go off injured after a blatant bodycheck from Sutton.

Not only had Caniggia been a major threat, but to make matters worse for Rangers, Sutton was not even cautioned and Celtic immediately used their one-man advantage to take the lead.

Slack marking in the Rangers defence allowed Balde to knock down an Alan Thompson corner and Hartson to head the bouncing ball home from six yards.

Back at full strength with the introduction of Shota Arveladze, Rangers struck back within two minutes and again poor defending was to blame.

Johan Mjallby and Sutton both challenged for the same high ball, but it fell to Lovenkrands and the Dane drove the ball low past Robert Douglas from just inside the penalty box.

Rangers took control from then on, Celtic being forced to change from a three-man defence to a four because of McLeish's three-pronged attack.

Lorenzo Amoruso tackles Celtic's Henrik Larsson
Lorenzo Amoruso was at fault for Rangers
Celtic were also being clearly hampered by a less-than-mobile Lambert, who eventually had to be replaced with Jackie McNamara two minutes before the break.

That gamble failed to pay off, but taking a chance with Balde's fitness worked for Celtic when the big defender rose above a static Amoruso to power home a Neil Lennon free kick into the net from six yards.

Ferguson continued to dictate play in midfield for Rangers and sent a 25-yard drive crashing against the outside of the post.

He was not to be denied after 68 minutes, when he struck a beautiful, curling free-kick into the far corner of the net after Balde had clattered Amoruso on the edge of the box.

Rangers almost grabbed the winner after a goalmouth melee, but Mjallby cleared Ricksen's toe-poke off the line.

Celtic looked physically drained and McCann sent in a glorious cross for Lovenkrands to steal in at the back post and win the game for the Ibrox side.


Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby, Sutton, Balde, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert (McNamara 44), Petrov, Thompson, Larsson, Hartson. Subs Not Used: Gould, Boyd, Moravcik, Guppy.

Booked: Balde, Hartson, Lennon.

Goals: Hartson 19, Balde 50.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Amoruso, Numan, Ricksen, de Boer, Ferguson, Lovenkrands, McCann, Caniggia (Arveladze 20). Subs Not Used: McGregor, Vidmar, Nerlinger, Flo.

Booked: Amoruso, Moore.

Goals: Lovenkrands 21, Ferguson 69, Lovenkrands 90.

Attendance: 51,138

Referee: H Dallas.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Roddy Forsythe - BBC Five Live
"It will be a closer title race next season"
 Rangers manager Alex McLeish
"We deserved to win today"
 Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"A game too far"
 Last-minute matchwinner Peter Lovenkrands
"It's the best feeling ever"

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04 May 02 | Scottish Cup
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