On This Day in 2000, Martin O’Neill set up his side for their first experience of an Old Firm game at Paradise. Rangers, managed by Advocaat, arrived as Champions but Celtic had recruited well in the summer with a number of signings made.
It would later be referred to as ‘The Demolition Derby’ owing to Celtic’s blistering attack but the game will be remembered as the game that saw Henrik Larsson score one of the greatest goals ever. The Swedish superstar met a knock-down from strike partner Chris Sutton before riding a challenge and nutmegging a defender before chipping the ball over Klos’ head.
Bobby Peta won a free-kick after beating Fernando Ricksen down the left flank after a weighted pass from Lubo opened the defence up. Moravcik took the corner with Stubbs and Larsson going for it. The break of the ball found Sutton, who stabbed the ball home from close range.
Number two followed, again from a Moravcik corner, thanks to a Stan Petrov header. The Bulgarian midfielder was allowed enormous amounts of space after running off a Rangers defender, he then attacked the ball from Lubo and scored.
It was 3-0 within 12 mins thanks to Paul Lambert, the midfielder found himself in a glorious position to strike after Lubo cut the ball into his path in the box. The Celtic skipper thundered a shot that left Klos helpless.
Rangers scored in dubious circumstances as Reyna’s shot was adjudged to have crossed the line. On replay it appeared that Gould had kept it out but Stewart Dougal was swayed by his linesman that ran back to the halfway line, indicating a goal.
It was 4-1 after Larsson’s glorious chip. However, Rangers won a penalty that Billy Dodds converted after 55 mins to make it 4-2.
Celtic had No.5 through Larsson who scored a header from about 11 yards away from the goal. Peta swung a delivery in and the King of Kings rose unchallenged to guide it into the net.
Chris Sutton bookended proceedings after finding himself on the end of a cross to record Celtic’s most goals scored against the Ibrox side since the 7-1 win in 1957.