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WHAT HAPPENED IN DEC 1895, SEPT 1938 AND AUG 2000?

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EASY! Celtic beat Rangers 6-2!

The most iconic Celtic performance since winning the European Cup in Lisbon in 1967 for Celtic supporters must surely be Martin O Neill’s side drubbing the old Rangers (6-2).  Chris Sutton scoring in the first 60 seconds set the scene for the “Demolition Derby” mauling, with Henrik Larsson’s nutmeg of Konterman and chip over an exposed Klos the pick of the goals from this memorable match on 27th August 2000. GW868H490

The other 5 goals were equal second!

The Celtic team that day;

Celtic: Gould, Valgaeren, Stubbs, Mahe, McNamara, Petrov, Lambert, Moravcik, Petta, Larsson, Sutton.
Subs: Kerr, Berkovic, Boyd, Burchill, Mjallby.

Scorers: Sutton (2) Petrov, Lambert, and Larsson (2) – you can order the Demolition Derby DVD from CQN Bookstore HERE for only £6.99.

Curiously however, Celtic have achieved this 6-2 score over their former rivals 3 times in history with each of these games coming in the league and all at the “New” Celtic Park in Kerrydale Street.

We have to rewind to the 1800’s to witness the first of the sequence of score lines in December 1895, just eight years after Celtic’s inception-before 25,000 spectators – producing a winning margin that on this occasion was unexpected.

Before the match John Glass, a founding member of Celtic was interviewed by the newspaper press for his opinion of the outcome.CQNtrailer2

Glass said,” It will be a great game and worth going to see……. It will be a very close thing, not many goals between them; but I have great hopes the Celts will pull through,” and a big smile spread over the face of the speaker!

“Do you consider the Celtic team superior to Rangers?” the newspaper hack enquired.

“Yes. All over. We are superior at goal and back. McArthur, Meehan and Doyle cannot be surpassed by anything the Rangers can produce.., and if anything the Celts are superior forward.”

Concerning the game itself Celtic lost the first goal but replied twice with Sandy McMahon scoring near the break to sook the half time orange 2-1 up. Sandy Mc Mahon was one of the Celtic superstars of that era along with the likes of Dan Doyle and James Kelly, with Sandy having a better goal to game ratio for Celtic than the modern day superstar Henrik Larsson.

John Glass was accurate in his assessment of Celtic’s strengths confirmed by the Glasgow Observer’s newspaper report of the contest.

“The second period was shaped by the power play of the Celtic defence with Doyle, Meehan and Kelly veritable giants in the fray.  Played in a maelstrom of wind and rain, victory was never in doubt.  Celtic scored four in Rapid succession from Blessington, Morrison, Battles and McMahon.”

Celtic were a club on the ascendency as during this season they had created the record for the most money taken at the gate in any league fixture in Scotland.

Celtic: McArthur; Meehan and Doyle; King, Kelly and Battles; Morrison and Blessington; Martin; McMahon and Ferguson.

Scorers (Celtic): Martin, McMahon, McMahon, Blessington, Battles, Morrison.

Another 33 years passed before the 6-2 score line re-occurred when again at Celtic Park the “Leather Belts” trumped the team in blue in September 1938 just before the second world war.  Celtic were on form having won the Empire Exhibition Cup before the summer break and had also thumped Heart of Midlothian the previous week to the match 1-5 at Tynecastle. GW869H513

The Scotsman reported, “Rangers were not in the same class as Celtic on Saturday’s showing, and only at one period of the game did they-look like making a fight of it……Individually the light blues were good, but collectively they failed to strike their game.”

This was a fair reflection as Celtic crossed over at half time with a 3-0 advantage.  Although their opponents reduced the margin to one goal in the second half, Jimmy Delaney opened up the deficit once more before the sublimely skilful Garngad man Malky McDonald (with South Uist parentage) added two to his first half counter to complete his hat trick.

“It would be no purpose to differentiate among the Celtic forwards as every member played to perfection or as near to perfection as one wished to see,” was the Glasgow Observer’s analysis of the Celtic spearhead formation.

This game was noted for the ragged display of a young Willie Woodburn in his debut season for Rangers whose rough play was capitalised on by Celtic.

The  Glasgow Observer offered,“In the game’s first unpleasant incident, Malky McDonald and Woodburn were booked and Lyon took the unpleasant taste out of our mouths by slamming the ball just under the bar from the free kick courtesy of Woodburn’s exertions.”

Woodburn felled Jimmy Delaney in the box for Lyon to slam home a penalty kick in the first half also.

Willie Woodburn would go on to be banned from football permanently, (“Sine Die”) by the Scottish Football Association later in his career for head-butting an opponent in 1954 Versus Stirling Albion after many confrontations with the authorities for indiscipline previously.

This Celtic team, perhaps the last great side before the Lisbon Lions were:

Celtic: Kennaway, Hogg, Morrison, Geatons, Lyon, Paterson, Delaney, McDonald, Crum, Divers, Murphy

Scorers:
MacDonald, (3); Lyon, (2); Delaney.

These kind of score lines as shown, tend to come along when they are least expected.  I think we shouldn’t expect anything at all at anytime just to see what happens!

And remember we win the forthcoming cup semi-final by 6-2 it will be the first time we have ever done it against The Rangers*, not the forth time against Rangers.

Written by Iain Reynolds for CQN

*Rangers went into liquidation in 2012 and The Rangers, a trading name of the successor club created by founding father Charles Green, the the current club playing out of Ibrox. This is the club that Celtic will face for the first time ever in the Scottish Cup in April.

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