Larsson’s Outrageous Volley, Lenny’s Bust Up, Rab’s Howler: Celtic 3-3 Rangers, 18 Years On

Celtic v Rangers was always an interesting fixture, but in 2002 both sides had real quality in their ranks. There were a number of tense tussles in this era and one of the best of those took place 18 years ago today at Paradise.

The match provided six goals, seven bookings, two goalkeeping blunders and a half time bust up. Quite the spectacle!

The teams lined up as follows:

Celtic – Douglas, Sylla (Agathe 59), Valgaeren, Laursen, Balde, Thompson, Lambert (Maloney 77), Lennon, Petrov (Hartson 74), Sutton, Larsson

Rangers – Klos, Ricksen, Moore (Konterman 45), Amoruso, Numan, Ferguson, de Boer (Caniggia 84), Ross, Arteta, Arveladze, Lovenkrands (McCann 50)

Incredibly, there were idiots in the media doubting Henrik Larsson, calling him “finished.” How the Swede silenced them. There was also speculation about Martin O’Neill’s future, as the press tried to suggest that the Irishman wanted away from Parkhead.

With that backdrop, the game began as frantically as ever, with Arteta putting Rangers in front on 6 minutes. In reply, the King of Kings scored one of the greatest Glasgow derby goal and he controlled Sylla’s cross, before instantly spinning and volleying into the top corner with a left footed thunderbolt.

The half time whistle signified mayhem:

Henrik put Celtic in front early in the second half, but the lead was only held for a minute before De Boer equalised courtesy of some dodgy defending and goalkeeping.

It was Rangers who took the lead after 76 minutes, when Robert Douglas spilled a low drive from Numan and Arveladze forced the ball home off the shin of Ulrik Laursen. Celtic replied inside two minutes though, a prod home from Chris Sutton restoring parity.

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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