Celtic ... the most memorable matches (15-11)

15.

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Celtic players celebrate winning the double after beating 2-1 Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final in 1988. #SportTimestop50
Celtic players celebrate winning the double after beating 2-1 Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final in 1988. #SportTimestop50

Game: Celtic v Rangers.

Date: Sunday, August 27, 2000.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 59,476.

Result: Celtic 6 Rangers 2.

IT was Martin O'Neill's first Old Firm game as Celtic manager, and it quickly became known as the Demolition Derby.

The emphatic victory confirmed the dawn of a new era for the Hoops, whose new-look side was ready to bring the title back to Paradise.

Chris Sutton got the ball rolling with the opener after just 51 seconds. Ten minutes later, Stilian Petrov and Paul Lambert had also got on the scoresheet.

Reeling Rangers did get one back before half-time through Claudio Reyna, but Larsson struck just after the break to regain the three-goal advantage.

Billy Dodds scored from the spot for Dick Advocaat's side to make it 4-2.

But Larsson again, with a sublime chip over Stefan Klos, then Sutton in the final minute got the goals which underlined Celtic's superiority over a Rangers side which had lost Barry Ferguson to two cautions in the closing stages.

14.

Game: Celtic v Manchester United.

Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2006.

Competition: Champions League.

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 60,632.

Result: Celtic 1 Manchester United 0.

NOT only did Gordon Strachan's side defeat Fergie's Manchester United, they also booked their place in the Last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history, with one group game to spare.

It was several minutes after the final whistle before Strachan and his players were informed the result of the other game in the group, Benfica defeating Copenhagen 3-1, meant qualification had been won.

All this the year after they had been knocked out of Europe altogether in their first qualifier against Artmedia Bratislava.

Shunsuke Nakamura and Artur Boruc were the biggest heroes on the night, the Japanese star firing in the only goal with a stunning 30-yard free-kick nine minutes from time, and the Polish keeper saving a spot-kick from Louis Saha in the dying minutes.

13.

Game: Boavista v Celtic.

Date: Thursday, April 24, 2003.

Competition: Uefa Cup.

Venue: Estadio Do Besso, Oporto.

Attendance: 11,000.

Result: Boavista 0 Celtic 1.

IN a building site of a stadium, undergoing major redevelopment ahead of the 2004 Eurooean Championships, Boavista proved to be the architects of their own downfall.

The Portuguese side's defender, Filipe Anunciacao, unwittingly played a 1-2 with Henrik Larsson inside his own area 12 minutes from time, and the iconic Celt scored to send the Hoops through to the Uefa Cup final.

It wasn't the cleanest strike the Swede ever hit, but it was enough to beat cocky keeper Ricardo.

Having missed from the spot in the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Glasgow, Larsson's relief was mirrored by the joy of everyone else in the squad, and among the travelling support.

For Boavista, the agony was doubled when they discovered city rivals, Porto, would be Celtic's opponents in the final.

12.

Game: Celtic v Vojvodina.

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 1967.

Competition: European Cup.

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 75,000.

Result: Celtic 2 Vojvodina 0.

TALK about leaving it late. The goal which saw Celtic safely through this tense quarter-final tie came just 20 seconds from full-time.

And it was captain courageous, Billy McNeill, who popped up at a corner to head past keeper Ilija Pantelic and avoid the looming replay in Rotterdam.

The Hoops had lost the first leg 1-0 in Yugoslavia, conceding a cheap goal late in the game.

It was the only time they tasted defeat in their glory run to the trophy, and challenged them to go through for the first time in a European tie when trailing from the first leg.

Stevie Chalmers made the tie level on aggregate with the opener after 58 minutes, capitalising on a blunder by the keeper.

It was then a case of Hail Cesar when Billy scored with a trademark special.

11.

Game: Celtic v Dundee United.

Date: Saturday, May 14, 1988.

Competition: Scottish Cup final.

Venue: Hampden Park.

Attendance: 74,000.

Result: Celtic 2 Dundee United 1.

WITH the league championship already in the bag in their centenary season, Billy McNeill's side added the cup for a memorable double.

But United made them fight all the way, taking the lead through Kevin Gallacher early in the second half.

The Hoops - minus late call-off Pat Bonner - threw the kitchen sink at the visibly-wilting United side, and eventually got their reward when Frank McAvennie equalised with 14 minutes remaining.

The final looked to be destined for extra-time, but McAvennie - perhaps with a prior engagement in mind - had other ideas and grabbed the winner in the final minute to allow Roy Aitken to collect the cup from Margaret Thatcher.

YOUR SHOUT...

NOW it's your turn to let us know what you think about Celtic's 50 most memorable matches.

Get in touch with us via email at sport@eveningtimes.co.uk and have your say on the Hoops' biggest games.

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