Pat Bonner opens up on memorable Celtic derby victory

By John Reid

March 20, 2020

Celtic legend Pat Bonner has been reflecting on one of his favourite ever Hoops win over Rangers on the 32nd anniversary of the game taking place, the Daily Record reports.

The match Bonner has in mind is a 2-1 win at Ibrox on this day in 1988. The victory, thanks to goals from Paul McStay and Andy Walker, all but sealed the title for Billy McNeill in his first season back as Hoops manager.

Bonner has outlined why this game is so memorable to him.

Celtic manager Billy McNeill celebrates Celtic’s title win in 1988 (Photo by Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images)

“The reason why we won the league and maybe also this game was the team’s desire and will to win” he said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“Desire was part of it”

“Big Billy said Rangers played well that day, but we won and that desire was part of it. Our success was based on closing down. Our strategy was to turn away, let full-backs have it and then press to force play into the middle of the field. We could score when we needed it but didn’t rip teams apart.”

Billy McNeill and Chris Morris after Celtic completed the centenary double (Photo by Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images)

The victory and subsequent title triumph in 1988 was all the sweeter for Celtic for a few reasons. Firstly, it stopped the big spending Ibrox side in their tracks, and showed that good coaching, and not spending vast amounts of money could triumph.

Win was perfect triumph in centenary season

Secondly, the game was in Celtic’s centenary season, and there is no better way to celebrate that than with a season-defining victory at the home of your greatest rivals.

The Hoops went on to win the league and Scottish Cup double in 1988, and the win over Rangers played a big part in the title triumph.

It is good to see that the game is still so memorable to Bonner after all these years.

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