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Top ten Old Firm

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  • 5 looks at ten classic clashes between Celtic and Rangers ahead of their latest meeting

Celtic and Rangers resume their fierce rivalry at Parkhead on Sunday in what promises to be a thrilling clash.

Old Firm derbies are rarely anything else, as the two biggest clubs in Scotland battle not only for sporting supremacy but also social superiority.

There has certainly not been much to choose between the sides this season, with one victory apiece in the league and a draw in the cup earlier this month.

They remain just about neck-and-neck in the title race, with the Bhoys five points better off but having played two games more.

Such an epic contest is difficult to cram into an all-time Top Ten so will therefore focus on the SPL era and offer up some of the most enthralling encounters between Celtic and Rangers from the last decade or so.

1998 - Celtic 5 Rangers 1

Things do not get much better than putting five past your arch-rivals on home soil, and that is precisely what Celtic managed in November 1998. The opening Old Firm contest of the campaign had been a forgettable affair, with a goalless draw played out at Ibrox. The touch paper was lit, however, when attentions turned to Parkhead, with Hoops supporters left in dreamland. Lubo Moravcik set the wheels in motion after just 11 minutes, before the Slovak striker doubled the home side's lead minutes after the interval. Swedish sensation Henrik Larsson then bagged a quick-fire brace either side of a Giovanni van Bronckhurst reply for Rangers to put the tie to bed. Mark Burchill rounded off the scoring in the final minute, but the party was already in full flow by the time he wrapped up Celtic's most convincing success over Rangers in 30 years.

1999 - Rangers 2 Celtic 2

This fixture was a real New Year treat for those in attendance at Ibrox, with the action on the field helping to warm the cockles of those who had braved the January cold. For 39 minutes it appeared as though the game could be one to push to the back of the mind, but suddenly it sprang to life once Alan Stubbs became the unlikely source for an opening goal. Gabriel Amato - another name which rarely springs to mind when recalling Old Firm classics - levelled matters before the interval, before Rod Wallace fired the Gers in front after 58 minutes. Having turned the tie on its head they were unable to hang onto their lead, though, and Henrik Larsson plundered an equaliser eight minutes later. A point apiece was probably a fair reflection on an entertaining contest, but both sets of supporters trudged off afterwards feeling their side could have taken more.

1999 - Rangers 4 Celtic 2

The 1999/00 campaign proved to be a fruitful one for Rangers as they successfully negotiated four Old Firm dates without suffering defeat. They would also end the season as SPL champions, taking the crown a full 21 points clear of Celtic's challenge in second. An early success over the Hoops undoubtedly helped their cause, with confidence aplenty taken from a come-from-behind 4-2 victory at Ibrox. Jonatan Johansson edged the Gers ahead after 21 minutes, only for Eyal Berkovic to grab a first half brace to turn the tide in favour of the men in green and white. Jorg 'The Hammer' Albertz ensured the scores were level at the interval though as he converted from the spot. Lorenzo Amoruso proved to be a useful provider of goals during his time with Rangers and he restored their advantage shortly after the restart. Celtic huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser, but they saw their hopes extinguished once Gabriel Amato - yes, him again - put the seal on a six-goal thriller.

2000 - Celtic 6 Rangers 2

This was an era of classic Old Firm derbies, with the 2000/01 season seeing both sides enjoy a crushing success over their fiercest rivals. Celtic were first up, prevailing 6-2 in one of the most end-to-end contests in recent memory. A balmy day in late August provided the setting with Chris Sutton enjoying one of those days at Parkhead. In his first taste of the all-Glasgow affair, the one-cap England international grabbed the first and final goal of the afternoon, in the first and final minute. In between, Stilyan Petrov and Paul Lambert had helped to fire Celtic in front early on. Claudio Reyna and Billy Dodds restored some pride for Rangers, sandwiching yet another goal from the talismanic Henrik Larsson. The Gers may have felt they were still in with a shout at 4-2 down with over half-an-hour to go, but another from Larsson and Sutton's late show soon put a stop to such thoughts.

2000 - Rangers 5 Celtic 1

The scars of their humiliating defeat at Parkhead three months earlier were still sore by the time Rangers reconvened with their old adversaries on home soil. The Gers would leave it late before exacting their revenge, but exact they did - in spectacular fashion. Barry Ferguson's 34th minute opener had given the home support hope that this could be their day, but Henrik Larsson - who else - restored parity 11 minutes into the second half. The Gers could easily have crumbled at this point, but instead they rose to the challenge ahead of them and plundered four goals in a dramatic final 30 minutes. Tore Andre Flo, Ronald de Boer, Lorenzo Amoruso and Michael Mols were the heroes for the home side, leaving the blue half of Glasgow positively beaming.

2002 - Celtic 3 Rangers 3

Rangers would claim a last-gasp success over Celtic in the Scottish Cup over the course of the next two years, but in the league the action failed to reach the heights Old Firm fans had grown accustomed to. Then, in October 2002, the first derby of the new season conjured up another six-goal thriller. The clash at Parkhead would swing from one side to the other so often throughout the course of the afternoon that it is a miracle any fans walked away from the ground with nails, hair and a heartbeat. Mikel Arteta brought the game roaring to life inside six minutes, only for the irrepressible Henrik Larsson to tip the balance towards the Hoops with two goals either side of the interval. However, just seconds after he had the hosts in front, Ronald de Boer had the Gers back on level terms. Georgian goal machine Shota Arveladze then had Rangers supporters dreaming of a rare success behind enemy lines with 15 minutes remaining, but Chris Sutton brought those lofty aspirations crashing back down to earth three minutes later. All in all, the type of game with does not allow for a lot of breathing and tends to be watched through the gaps between your fingers.

2005 - Rangers 3 Celtic 1

Not necessarily a fixture which falls into the same thrills and spills category of some of the games already mentioned, but this clash in August 2005 provided plenty of talking points to keep fans amused until the next Old Firm date rolled around - and plenty more after that. The first incident of note came 23 minutes in when Alan Thompson, obviously affected by the red hot temperatures, scythed into Nacho Novo and was duly given his marching orders. Eleven minutes later Dado Prso had Rangers in front, and they would never surrender that lead. Thomas Buffel doubled their advantage six minutes into the second half and that appeared to be that. Shaun Maloney did convert from the spot with four minutes remaining, but that appeared to be a minor blot on the Gers' copybook. There was still plenty more action to come, though, with Novo coolly crashing home a penalty of his own as the game ticked towards a conclusion. Even the final whistle failed to bring a halt to proceedings, though, as Neil Lennon saw a red card flashed in his face following a particularly heated discussion with the referee. Rangers supporters went home happy, while the Hoops departed with their blood still boiling.

2008 - Celtic 3 Rangers 2

Just 11 days after crashing to an agonising defeat at Parkhead, Rangers were back on Celtic territory for what was, to all intents and purposes, a winner-takes-all title decider. With so few games remaining, and with the title race too close to call, the victor in this contest was expected to go on to take the crown. So it proved, with the Hoops going on to finish in top spot for the third consecutive year. Gordon Strachan's side were pushed all the way though in the final grudge match of the campaign. Scott McDonald offered them the perfect start inside four minutes, but David Weir and Daniel Cousin swing the tie in favour of the visitors with half an hour gone. McDonald equalised shortly before half-time and the second period was set perfectly. It failed to replicate the entertainment value of the first, but a Barry Robson penalty was enough to see Celtic over the line, in more ways than one.

2008 - Celtic 2 Rangers 4

It is amazing how many times the Old Firm derby has produced six goals and there was another example in this thrilling 2008 fixture. On this occasion there were also two red cards thrown into the mix for good measure. A lively, yet unspectacular, first half took 37 minutes to get going, before Daniel Cousin and Georgios Samaras notched for either side. Kenny Miller, a former Bhoys star, then got Rangers' nose in front before Pedro Mendes had the away support in raptures. Miller grabbed his second of the game 11 minutes from time, ensuring a late effort from Shunsuke Nakamura was nothing more than a consolation. It is also worth nothing that by that stage both teams were down to 10 men, with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink - who managed just four minutes on the field - and Cousin having being dismissed within seconds of each other as the game entered the final 15 minutes.

2010 - Celtic 1 Rangers 3

Rounding off our list is the first Old Firm derby from this season, and never before can both sides have been in such fantastic form going into a clash, with Rangers and Celtic each on maximum points after eight wins out of eight at the start of the campaign. Something had to give and it turned out to be Neil Lennon's previously unblemished record since taking charge at Parkhead. Ex-Celtic player Kenny Miller was again the hero with a second-half brace as Rangers came from behind to prevail 3-1. Gary Hooper had given the Bhoys the advantage on the stroke of half-time with a powerful finish before Glenn Loovens' own goal let the visitors back in the game early in the second period. Miller then volleyed Rangers ahead and wrapped up the victory with a controversial penalty after substitute Kirk Broadfoot went down in the box under Daniel Majstorovic's challenge.

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