Rangers ... the 50 most memorable matches (50-46)

By CHRIS JACK and MATTHEW LINDSAY:

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Rangers' £12million man Tore Andre Flo

RANGERS have recorded many memorable and momentous triumphs throughout their 142-year existence.

The Ibrox club has won the league on a world record 54 occasions as well as the League Cup 27 times and the Scottish Cup 33 times.

On the road to recording that incredible haul of domestic trophies, the Light Blues have claimed seven Trebles.

That is a feat no other football club on the planet has managed to match.

The Gers have also excelled in Europe over the years.

They have reached four finals in continental competition - in 1961, 1967, 1972 and 2008.

The Glasgow giants have also slayed some of the biggest names in football over the years - including Bayern Munich, Juventus, Leeds United and PSV Eindhoven.

And there have, of course, been numerous victories over Celtic which will never be forgotten by their legion of loyal followers.

But what are the 50 most memorable games in the history of Rangers?

Chris Jack and Matthew Lindsay trawled through the Evening Times archives in an attempt to come up with a definitive list of their biggest outings.

And in the coming fortnight in SportTimes, we will count down from 50 to 1.

Not every Rangers fan is likely to agree with their findings.

But starting today, we take a nostalgic look back at the most entertaining, most unlikely and most important results for Rangers since the Second World War.

It promises to be as much fun as watching them in action.

50

Game: Rangers 5 Celtic 1.

Date: November 26, 2000.

Competition: Scottish Premier League.

Venue: Ibrox.

Attendance: 50,083.

The most expensive player in the history of Scottish football made his debut as Rangers overwhelmed their Old Firm rivals at Ibrox.

Tore Andre Flo, the striker signed for £12million from Chelsea, netted on his Light Blues bow as Dick Advocaat's side bounced back from an embarrassing 6-2 drubbing at Parkhead in some style.

Rangers were miles off the pace in the title race, but this derby victory cut their arrears to the Hoops to 12 points and gave the Light Blue legions plenty to shout about.

Barry Ferguson, Ronald de Boer, Lorenzo Amoruso and Michael Mols were also on target for the Gers.

It was to prove a horror day for Martin O'Neill's side, who had got back into the game at 2-1 after Henrik Larsson scored before Alan Thompson saw red and Rangers romped to a victory to savour.

49

Game: Rangers 10 Valletta 0.

Date: September 28, 1983.

Competition: European Cup-Winners' Cup.

Venue: Ibrox.

Attendance: 11,500.

Rangers recorded their biggest-ever European victory, but few were inside Ibrox to see history being made.

Already 8-0 ahead from the first leg in Cyprus, John Greig's side turned on the style on home soil to also set a new aggregate score record and Scottish club record in Europe.

The Gers were off and running inside the first minute when David Mitchell scored and the game was won after 10 minutes, John MacDonald netting the first of a hat-trick before Mitchell completed his brace.

Ian Redford also scored twice and there were goals from Ally Dawson, Billy Mackay and Billy Davies as the Light Blues romped to victory.

48

Game: Rangers 2 Real Zaragoza 0.

Date: March 1, 1967.

Competition: European Cup-Winners' Cup.

Venue: Ibrox.

Attendance: 65,000.

The 1966/67 campaign is one of the most remarkable in Rangers' history, with the team that reached a European final humbled by Berwick.

Scot Symon's side would eventually win this tie, and book a place in the semi-finals against Slavia Sofia by virtue of a coin toss after a defeat in Spain left the scores tied after extra-time.

The crowd that packed into Ibrox would have been unaware of the drama that would unfold, especially after the Gers took control of the match and seemed to be heading smoothly for a last-four berth against the fancied Spaniards.

Dave Smith put the hosts ahead after just 10 minutes and when Alex Willoughby doubled their advantage before the half-hour mark, victory on the night was secured for Rangers.

47

Game: Kilmarnock 1 Rangers 5.

Date: May 15, 2011.

Competition: Scottish Premier League.

Venue: Rugby Park.

Attendance: 16,173.

In his final game as manager, Walter Smith bowed out in style as he led Rangers to their third successive SPL crown.

The Light Blues went into the Rugby Park clash a point ahead of Old Firm rivals Celtic on the final day, but blew Killie away to win the title inside seven minutes.

Kyle Lafferty scored twice, either side of a Steven Naismith strike, to settle the nerves and allow the Light Blue legions to start celebrating in Ayrshire. After the break, Nikica Jelavic beat Cammy Bell and Lafferty completed his hat-trick.

It was the perfect way for Smith to bring the curtain down on his illustrious managerial career, with the celebrations continuing in front of thousands of fans when the team returned to Ibrox.

46

Game: Rangers 3 Aberdeen 1.

Date: April 28, 1996.

Competition: Scottish Premier League.

Venue: Ibrox.

Attendance: 47,247.

Rangers wrapped up eight-in-a-row to move within touching distance of the famous nine and did so thanks to a superb showing from Paul Gascoigne.

The England midfielder enjoyed a terrific first campaign at Ibrox and put the seal on the title with all three goals against the Dons to clinch the title for Walter Smith's side.

Gazza was the most expensive signing of the previous summer for Smith, who shelled out £4.3million to bring him from Lazio, and he took his tally to 19 goals with his hat-trick on the penultimate day of the season as he cancelled out Brian Irvine's opener and produced a world-class display to get the party started at a packed Ibrox.

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 Light Blues' biggest games.

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