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A small dose of pain relief for Gers
In any Old Firm derby – under any circumstances – it would be silly to rule one team out. Rangers will always carry a threat to Celtic and visa versa. So that’s why it came as such a surprise to me that Rangers were nearly 3/1 with some bookies to beat their oldest rivals. My dad, who’d been quite unhappy at my prediction for the game on my weekly sports radio show (I’d gone for 1-0 to Celtic) was confident enough that Rangers would win, so staked £20 on the Bluenoses.
He turned out to be right. Annoyingly, he usually is.
It was a brilliant day for Rangers fans, one that drowned out the Celtic supporters’ gloats superbly. The script had it down for Celtic to win their first title in three years. Luckily, though, Ally McCoist and his men took heed of that famous Latin phrase: carpe diem.
There were a number of excellent performances: the young Rhys McCabe was sensational in a deep-lying role, his distribution and awareness was that of a much more experienced player and at no point during the first half did the lad look fazed by the occasion. Sone Aluko had a fine game too, his goal was a superb display of individual skill – dancing through the Celtic midfield, evading the defence and slotting home so calmly. Lee Wallace topped off a brilliant performance with a deserved goal; his runs from deep provided the attack with an extra man, and were often crucial in applying pressure in the midfield and final third. Allan McGregor was, as always, willing to put his body on the line and won nearly every ball – true fighting spirit.
But the man of the match was not on the field for one minute of the 90. He was sat in the home dugout. McCoist got everything right: from the starting line-up to the match tactics. Even when the game was finished he showed supreme class in holding his own guard of honour at the mouth of the tunnel.
It was a match to savour for Rangers fans, despite the context of the game and despite the impending title defeat. The team performed so admirably and so defiantly both on the pitch and in the stands. Had the game meant something in the race for Scottish supremacy – and had there not been a late double from the visitors – I’d go as far as to say it was a perfect victory for the club.
Posted by Rangers fan Ali Hunter
Follow Ali on Twitter @AliHunter1
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