Category: Archive

Rangers have no trouble getting treble of their own

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Dermot Clarke

The palpitations had barely subsided when we were faced with the Old Firm Cup final on Saturday. Rangers were seeking a treble of their own, hoping to add the Cup to the League title and League Cup already secured, while the Celts were on a pride restoration mission. The two sides seemed to be feeling each other out for most of the first period, a period that ended scoreless.

When a fortuitous Wallace goal put Rangers ahead early in the second half, it was already difficult to see a way back. Henrik Larsson hadn’t scored in his last four games for Celtic and Lubomir Moravcic looked little more than half fit. Indeed, had the dangermen even been on top of their form, they would have found it difficult against Colin Hendry and Lorenzo Amoruso at the heart of the Gers defense. Amoruso the skipper had a superb game in particular as did goalkeeper Kloss.

Celtic had chances, but it wasn’t going to be their day. The nippy Mark Burchill may have caused these two big defenders some trouble had he been introduced, you would have thought. Josef Venglos in his wisdom decided to leave the exciting youngster out of the whole equation, failing to even provide a seat for him on the bench. Rangers won the game 1-0. With the two Glasgow clubs virtually dominating affairs in Scotland, runners-up silverware just isn’t acceptable, it’s failure. Venglos may not be around next year.

Meanwhile, Manchester City gave United the old "Anything you can do" on Sunday last when they clinched promotion to the first division in United style fashion. Gillingham, their opponents led 2-0, courtesy of goals from Carl Asaba and Bob Taylor. As the 90-minute mark approached the bulk of the city faithful had either left or were preparing to leave, what had been a packed Wembley stadium. Situations like these were OK for their lofty Manchester rivals, who could throw in a Solksj’r or a Sheringham. It looked all over until Kevin Horlock pulled one back for City, but even then it appeared that this was a mere consolation. Then the fourth official offered four minutes of injury time and the remaining fans began to think — maybe. With a minute to go in the five, Paul Dickov equalized. Gillingham were dead, they couldn’t pull themselves back. They lost 3-1 on penalties and Joe Royle’s team head back up the ladder to the first division.

Graham Taylor’s Watford are back in the Premiership. A 2-0 victory over Bolton secured the third spot for them on Monday. The Republic game versus Yugoslavia still hangs in the balance with pressure being put on the authorities to call it off. Ireland will be without Roy Keane should the game go ahead, he would also miss the game on the following Wednesday against Macedonia. Better, I think, that these games be postponed.

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