Rangers ... the 50 most memorable matches (45-41)

45.

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Ray Wilkins celebrates with this team-mates after scoring with a 20-yard volley against Celtic at Ibrox in 1988. #SportTimestop50
Ray Wilkins celebrates with this team-mates after scoring with a 20-yard volley against Celtic at Ibrox in 1988. #SportTimestop50

Game: Rangers v Celtic. Date: Saturday, August 27, 1988. Competition: Premier Division. Venue: Ibrox. Attendance: 42,858. Result: Rangers 5 Celtic 1.

SURRENDERING the Scottish title to their age-old city adversaries Celtic in the Parkhead club's centenary year the season before had hurt Rangers badly.

But Graeme Souness's charges underlined their intention to win it back with a stunning showing in the first Old Firm game of the 1988/89 campaign.

They blew Billy McNeill's team away to equal their highest-ever win in a Glasgow derby match since the Second World War. It is a record that stands to this day.

Frank McAvennie gave the visitors the lead after just a few minutes. It was, though, not a taste of what was to come.

Ally McCoist was magnificent up front and netted two goals. New signing Kevin Drinkell and Mark Walters also got on the scoresheet.

But the 20-yard volley rifled home by Ray Wilkins was the pick of the bunch.

44.

Game: Dundee v Rangers.

Date: Saturday, May 31, 2003.

Competition: Scottish Cup (final).

Venue: Hampden.

Attendance: 47,136.

Result: Dundee 0 Rangers 1.

THIS Scottish Cup final was by no means a classic. Having won the Scottish title on goal difference from Old Firm rivals Celtic the week before on a final day of unparalleled drama, the Rangers players looked jaded.

But the narrow 1-0 victory they recorded on a baking hot day in Glasgow, thanks to a second half goal by captain Lorenzo Amoruso, meant they completed their seventh domestic Treble. That remains a world record.

Alex McLeish's side was dealt a blow before the game when Spanish playmaker Mikel Arteta was ruled out. Bob Malcolm had to replace him in central midfield and he never looked entirely comfortable in the role.

Barry Smith hit the crossbar for Dundee in just the fourth minute. Michael Mols responded shortly afterwards by heading against the woodwork. The game then degenerated into a nervy, tense affair.

It was settled in the 66th minute when Amoruso glanced in a Neil McCann free-kick. It was the Italian's last game for Rangers and he broke down in tears after the final whistle. "This is the best gift I can give to the fans," he said.

43.

Game: Rangers v Hearts.

Date: Sunday, November 24, 1996.

Competition: League Cup (final).

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 48,559.

Result: Rangers 4 Hearts 3.

A DOUBLE from striker Ally McCoist in the opening half an hour of this League Cup final looked to have effectively sewed up the silverware for the Ibrox club. Hearts, though, had other ideas.

Jim Jefferies' side, for whom future Gers winger Neil McCann was absolutely outstanding, battled back bravely and had levelled before the hour thanks to goals from Stevie Fulton and John Robertson.

Walter Smith's charges needed to produce something special to reclaim the lead. Fortunately for them, they had one Paul John Gascoigne in their ranks. The Englishman won the game with two goals in the space of just three minutes.

Davie Weir, another player who would go on to enjoy great success for Rangers, netted for Hearts with a just few minutes left. But the Light Blues held on in what was a captivating cup final enounter to secure a record 20th League Cup triumph.

42.

Game: Rangers v Hearts.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 1996.

Competitition: Scottish Cup (final).

Venue: Hampden.

Attendance: 37,730.

Result: Rangers 5 Hearts 1.

GORDON DURIE scored a second half hat-trick as Rangers romped to the largest Scottish Cup final win since the Second World War and their second largest ever.

But this game will forever be known to Gers supporters as "The Laudrup Final" due to the outstanding personal performance of Danish magician Brian Laudrup.

Hearts had no answer for the pace, close control, trickery and vision of the winger. He netted two goals himself and set up all three of his team-mate's strikes.

The emphatic triumph ensured that Walter Smith's charges, who had sewed up Eight-In-A-Row earlier in the 1995/96 campaign, landed the league and cup double.

41.

Game: Rangers v Slavia Sofia.

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 1967.

Competition: European Cup- Winners' Cup (semi-final).

Venue: Ibrox.

Attendance: 70,000.

Result: Rangers 1 Slavia Sofia 0.

HAVING won the first leg of this European Cup-Winners' Cup semi-final to Slavia Sofia 1-0 in Bulgaria a fortnight before courtesy of a solitary Davy Wilson goal, Rangers already had one foot in the final.

But Scot Symon's side booked their place in Nuremberg, where they would come up against German giants Bayern Munich, with a convincing triumph.

Their dominance was not reflected in the narrowness of the scorline. Simeon Simenov, the visitors' keeper, produced a succession of outstanding saves.

But Willie Henderson netted from 20 yards on the half-hour mark, after Roger Hynd had headed a Willie Johnston corner into his path, to send Rangers through.

YOUR SHOUT...

Now it's your turn to let us know what you think about Rangers' 50 most memorable matches. Get in touch with us via email at sport@eveningtimes.co.uk and have your say on the Gers' biggest games.

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