The Larsson Cup Final – 19 Years On

There have been many famous cup finals in Celtic’s history, which have ended up being unofficially named after a star player. In 1925 it was the Patsy Gallagher cup final as the Irishman scored an incredible goal with the ball between his feet as he somersaulted into the net. 1989 saw the Joe Miller cup final as the striker scored the only goal in Celtic’s Scottish Cup triumph over Rangers, and on this day in 2001, it was the turn of Henrik Larsson as the king of kings scored a second half hat trick to give Celtic a 3-0 victory over Kilmarnock in the League Cup final.

48, 830 people clicked through the turnstyles at Hampden to see the match, which was refereed by Hugh Dallas. Rab Douglas and Didier Agathe were cup-tied and both Jackie McNamara and Alan Thompson were suspended, meaning Celtic lined up: Gould, Valgaeren, Mjallby, Vega, Healy, Lambert, Lennon, Moravcik (Smith 83), Petta (Crainey 13, Boyd 88), Larsson, Sutton

The game started competitively with tackles thundering in. Bobby Petta was clattered by Mahood on 10 minutes and had to be replaced by Stephen Crainey shortly after. Similar followed in the first half as a scrappy game of few chances ensued up until the interval.

Two minutes after the restart Celtic took the lead. Healy forced Marshall into a save and from the corner Larsson opened the scoring with a bicycle kick from close range after Vega chested Moravcik’s delivery in the direction of the Swede.

The aggression that encompassed the first half returned on the hour mark when Sutton was shown a straight red card after a dangerous tackle on Gary Holt. Yet despite this setback Celtic doubled their advantage on 74 minutes, as a Larsson sidefooted shot was deflected by Innes and spinned over the head of Marshall in to the net.

Seven minutes later Larsson scored a sublime goal to complete his hat-trick and make it 3-0. Racing clear from the defence, with a drive into the Killie half, Larsson outpaced the all in his wake and opened his body as if to curl into the far corner, only to sell the keeper a beautiful dummy, dragging the ball to his left to round Marshall and slot into an empty the net.

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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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