Celtic 2-1 Rangers

Last updated : 10 January 2005 By Kevin Smith

Celtic put an end to the laughable thought of a Rangers treble this season, by knocking their great rivals out of the Scottish Cup, for the second consecutive season. A goal in each half from Chris Sutton then John Hartson secured the win for Celtic, in a game which The Bhoys dominated.

It was another cold, wet and windy day at Celtic Park, as the teams emerged. Celtic welcomed back Didier Agathe, and along with Neil Lennon's suspension, it was the only change from last week's win against Livingston. This meant Rab Douglas kept his place in goal, and Aiden McGeady started the game. Jackie McNamara was pushed forward to fill Lennon's position.

The two previous Old Firm encounters have resulted in Rangers victories, so Celtic were on the hunt for revenge. By the end of the game, we all realised that normal service had been resumed.

Rangers started the game on the offensive, without creating anything. They gave away a series of fouls and were lucky that Hugh Dallas was the match referee, or a few of them could have picked up early yellow cards.

Another poor pass from Alan Thompson resulted in a Rangers chance, when Dado Prso was beaten by Rab Douglas to prevent a goal.

Celtic retaliated with a shot from Stan Petrov, which was easily held by Klos. Minutes later, John Hartson connected with an Alan Thompson cross but Klos stopped and Andrews cleared.

Celts started to up the pressure now, and Rangers were let off the hook once again when an Aiden McGeady cross caused all sorts of bother in the Rangers box. Chris Sutton and John Hartson both almost scored, but Stefan Klos finally got hold of the ball on his goal-line.

It was inevitable Celtic would soon take the lead, and the goal came on 37 minutes. Rab Douglas punted the ball long up the park, and John Hartson beat Zurab in the air to flick on towards Chris Sutton. Sutton was quicker than his marker, Andrews, and he slotted the ball through Klos' legs.

It was a well deserved goal for Celtic, but of course, was not enough. The players pressed more towards the end of the half, looking for a second goal which would kill off Rangers, but it wasn't to be, and the half time score read 1-0 Celts.

Immediately after the re-start, Rangers drew level. Alan Hutton was allowed too much space on the left-hand side by Aiden McGeady, and his cross was met by an unmarked Fernando Ricksen in the Celtic box.

Celtic managed to keep the concentration and attacked Rangers, the last thing The Champions would want would be a replay at Ibrox.

McGeady whipped in a shot which Klos managed to scoop away, before Zurab cleared the ball off the line. This was followed by another stop on the line from Rangers, this time by Ricksen, from Sutton's header.

With 13 minutes left to play, Didier Agathe picked up the ball on the right wing. His long cross was touched by Sutton, missed by Andrews and Big Bad John Hartson was at the back post to tap past Klos, to put Celtic back in front.

Hartson, who earlier in the week had cemented his immediate future to the club, looked delighted with the goal, and those Rangers fans who taunted the Welshman throughout the game were made to eat their words.

Rangers replied with five consecutive corners in a row, the final cross was caught by Douglas which brought rapturous cheers from the Celtic fans.

Rangers had one last chance at an equaliser, when new arrival Buffel found himself in space with a great shooting chance, but chipped over the bar.

So it was to be Celtic's day. Scenes which followed the final whistle were scenes of jubilation from the Celtic support. The Bhoys now take their place in tonight's fourth round draw for the Scottish Cup.

Celtic: Douglas, McNamara, Laursen, Balde, Varga, McGeady (Camara), Thompson, Petrov, Agathe, Hartson, Sutton

Come On The Hoops Man Of The Match: John Hartson

Come On The Hoops Moment To Remember: The delight at the final whistle.

Come On The Hoops Moment To Forget: The Rangers support once again.