McCloy: Moscow glory is rightful winner in Rangers series

DECIDING what was the most memorable game in the history of Rangers was not as straightforward as many might think.

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Peter McCloy is mobbed by fans after Rangers' Greatest Ever Game when they beat Moscow Dynamo to win the Cup-Winners' Cup
Peter McCloy is mobbed by fans after Rangers' Greatest Ever Game when they beat Moscow Dynamo to win the Cup-Winners' Cup

The European Cup-Winners' Cup final victory over Moscow Dynamo at the Nou Camp in 1972 topped our list of 50 classic matches in the end.

It was, after all, the only European trophy that the Ibrox club has won in its 142-year history.

However, the 2-0 triumph over Bayern Munich in the semi-final of that competition came in for serious consideration due to the sheer quality of the opposition.

Six members of that Bayern side were in the West Germany team that won the European Championships two months later.

And that same sextet starred as West Germany landed the World Cup in their homeland two years later.

The nucleus of the Bundesliga giants' side also won the European Cup in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

Rangers great Peter McCloy played in both the final and the semi-final matches, and can understand why the victory over Bayern Munich came so close.

But McCloy, who kept the legendary West German striker Gerd Muller at bay that night, reckons SportTimes got the winner spot-on.

"A lot of people had said the game against Bayern Munich was the final before the final," he said.

"But the Russian team took a few big scalps that season."

The Moscow club had, in fact, beaten Olympiacos, Eskisehirspor, Red Star Belgrade and Dynamo Berlin en route to the final.

"They were a very good side and a bit of an unknown quantity.

"I would say that winning the final was the greater achievement."

He added: "We certainly had the harder half of the draw than Dynamo.

"When we played Torino in the quarter-finals, for example, they were on top of the Italian league at the time.

"Bayern Munich were also the German champions and would go on to enjoy great success.

"The majority of that team won the European Cup three years in a row.

"If you speak to any Germans they will all tell you that was the best-ever Bayern Munich team. It was quite a coup for us to beat them."

Willie Waddell's side did well to salvage a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the semi-final in West Germany after being battered by Bayern Munich.

But the rematch - a game played in front of 80,000 fans at Ibrox - was a completely different story.

McCloy said: "We were lucky to get out of our half over in Germany. We were under siege. We got a bit of a pasting. But in the second half we got a vital away goal.

"We got off to a great start in the game in Glasgow when Sandy Jardine scored in the first minute - with his left peg, too!

"Sandy scored a fair few goals over the years, but not many with his left peg. Then Derek Parlane scored another.

"Willie Waddell took me aside before that game and said to me: 'Look, if you keep a clean sheet tonight we'll go through. I'll look after you if you do'.

"I pushed an Uli Hoeness shot on to the outside of the post early in the second half and we ended up winning to go through.

"After we had won the final I said to him: 'Remember you said you would look after me?'

"He said: 'I don't remember saying that!' You didn't win many arguments with Willie Waddell!"

Rangers beat Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in Barcelona - a historic victory that has never been forgotten by the club's supporters in the intervening years.

"It was a funny final," said McCloy. "We found ourselves 2-0 up in the first half without playing brilliantly.

"Our domestic campaign had finished a few weeks before.

"Willie Johnston scored his second goal from my kick out early in the second half and we were 3-0 up. I think the boys put the tools away after that.

"But they brought on a midfielder who started to make things tick for them.

"We lost a sloppy goal from passing it around at the back. But we held on for the final few minutes.

"We are asked to do things as a team ever since - which is very nice.

"Sandy has gone now, which is hard to believe, and his recent death still hurts us."

Football

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