CQN continues our look back at Celtic’s Scottish Cup successes over their Ibrox foes as we prepare for Sunday’s semi-final encounter at Hampden.
Until last season’s 2-0 collapse at Ibrox when on-loan Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny emphasised the club’s miserable campaign by putting through his own goal for the decisive strike, the Hoops’ Glasgow neighbours had not enjoyed much success in Cup-ties leading to the national stadium for some considerable time.
Before the misery of last term, Celtic had dominated with SEVEN successive victories.
JOY BHOY…Billy McNeill is all smiles.
Today, CQN switches the attention to the quarter-final confrontation when the Parkhead side celebrated a victorious 2-0 performance in what became known as ‘The St Patrick’s Day Massacre’ on March 17 1991.
It was an explosive afternoon in the east end of Glasgow when FOUR players were red-carded – one from the Hoops and three from the visitors – as goals from Gerry Creaney and Dariusz Wdowcyzk settled the issue.
Legendary boss Billy McNeill beamed afterwards: “I think the fact it was St Patrick’s Day meant an awful lot to the fans. So, maybe St Patrick was watching that afternoon and decided to give us a hand.”
NUMBER ONE…Gerry Creaney hammers the ball wide of the despairing Chris Woods.
NUMBER TWO…Woods is helpless again as Dariusz Wdowcyzk’s free-kick flies into the net.
The action descended into a stormy, violent collision when the Ibrox outfit completely lost the plot as their hopes of a domestic clean sweep were torpedoed in a truly astonishing 90 minutes.
Graeme Souness, who would quit the club to take over as Liverpool manager the following month, watched in abject misery at the indiscipline of his players which led to referee Andrew Waddell banishing a trio of Govan competitors as they attempted to intimidate a rampant McNeill team that were in control when all hell broke out.
The Hoops grabbed the initiative in only six minutes when the leaping Tommy Coyne outjumped Richard Gough to glide a header into the path of Gerry Creaney.
The bustling striker didn’t even break stride as he took aim and fired an unstoppable angled right-foot volley beyond the helpless Chris Woods.
In the 37th minute, the England international keeper was picking the ball out of the net again following a 40-yard whizzbang free-kick from big-hitting Wdowcyzk.The Polish defender walloped in a ferocious deadball effort that took a nick off Terry Hurlock as the ball raged high into the net.
Parkhead exploded in joy – but there were some crazy events throughout a rollicking afternoon that saw the hosts reduced to 10 men and the visitors to eight.
SEEING RED…Peter Grant is first to go.
SEEING RED…ref Andrew Waddell dismisses Terry Hurlock.
SEEING RED…Mark Walters is banished and Mo Johnston doesn’t look happy.
SEEING RED…Mark Hateley completes an Ibrox procession of shame.
OFF! First to go was Peter Grant when he charged from the wall in an attempt to block a free-kick. The midfielder had just been booked to give away the award. The match official produced a second yellow to Grant’s utter dismay.
OFF! Hurlock was next to be banished and the English midfield destroyer could have no complaints. He lashed out with his right arm and caught Coyne flush on the jaw. Waddell didn’t hesitate as he flashed a red card.
OFF! Mark Walters was next to go and once again the luckless Coyne was the Celt on the receiving end of some rough treatment. And, once again, the ref didn’t think twice in administering punishment.
OFF! Astoundingly, Mark Hateley became the third Englishman to be banished after the standside linesman caught him as he became involved in an off-the-ball incident with Anton Rogan, who was booked for his part in the flashpoint.
In the midst of the bedlam, the Celtic support sang throughout an epic confrontation: “Happy Birthday, St Patrick.”
* TOMORROW: Don’t miss another EXCLUSIVE report on the Hampden Cup Countdown – only in your champion CQN.