Looking back at three memorable Celtic festive wins over Rangers
With Celtic set to take on Rangers in the annual Christmas/New Year’s Day fixture on Sunday, we thought we’d take a look back at some of Celtic’s most memorable festive victories over the Ibrox side. These victories are memorable for a number of reasons, and will still be remembered fondly by the Hoops support.
1. Celtic 2 Rangers o, (2nd January, 1998)
The game which gave Celtic belief that the Hoops could stop Rangers winning 10 in a row. The Hoops dominated the first-half of the game, but as usual Andy Goram stopped every effort on goal. That changed in the second-half, when a sublime Jackie McNamara pass set up Craig Burley, who hammered the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The victory was sealed late on, when Paul Lambert’s thunderbolt crashed into the top corner, in one of the most memorable goals in Glasgow derby history. The win was a turning point in the title race, and Celtic went on to make it one in a row at the end of the season.
2. Rangers 0 Celtic 2 (2nd January, 2011)
Perhaps one of the most unexpected derby wins of recent times, as Georgios Samaras delivered a one man masterclass at Ibrox. Missing the likes of Scott Brown and Gary Hooper, Celtic weren’t exactly favourites heading into the game. That didn’t matter to the mercurial striker though. He took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second-half. He evaded an onrushing Allan McGregor to give the Hoops the lead, then doubled the advantage from the penalty spot. The game cemented Samaras’ place as a Celtic cult hero forever.
3. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (28th December, 2011)
Neil Lennon’s Celtic side completed an unlikely resurgence to end 2011 at the top of the Premiership table, in a feat which seemed highly improbably only months before. At one stage of the season the Hoops trailed Rangers by double figures at the top of the league, but a run of wins gave the Hoops the chance to go top of the league. The Hoops grasped the opportunity in a game of few chances played in a gale, as Joe Ledley’s towering header sealed the victory. Four months later, Celtic would go on to win the first of eight league titles in a row.