Rangers Send Celtic Clear Message In 398th Old Firm Derby


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Northern Ireland international midfielder and first team skipper STEVEN DAVIS of Rangers and South Korea World Cup midfielder SUNG-YUENG KI (13), who signed with Celtic after transferring from FC Seoul for a fee of 2.1 million English pounds in August of 2009, race for the ball during the 398th edition of the OLD FIRM DERBY at storied Ibrox Stadium on the banks of the River Clyde in the Scottish capital city of GLASGOW.
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Although it is absolutely certain that the three-time defending Scottish Premier League champion cannot retain its crown again this season, a proud and determined RANGERS side, nevertheless, sent tradtional arch-rival CELTIC a clear and concise message along with the result of the 398th OLD FIRM DERBY that went something like this :

“Attention Celtic : You WILL win the 2012 S.P.L. title … but NOT at Ibrox!”

The match, itself, was really just another, standard garden-variety Glasgow Derby, then. The enthralling stage complete with colorful backdrop and electric atmosphere gave host to yet another magical and memorable performance in Scotland’s fixture of all fixtures. Indeed, three red cards flowing from the match referee’s pocket and four balls bulging the back of the net with roughly quarter of an hour to play did much to uphold this most entertaining as well as wonderful tradition.

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CELTIC supporters, poised to celebrate their first Scottish Premier League title since the end of the 2007-08 campaign, prepared a little sign for the traditional, intra-city adversary Rangers ahead of the 398th Old Firm Derby contested last Sunday at Ibrox …
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RANGERS supporters, who are always quick to point out that the Ibrox club have already won a domestic record 54 league titles in the long history of the Scottish top flight, reply that this particular ground — even if the team have recently gone into administration and the future is very much hanging in the balance — happens to be, if only for the time being, still in their possession!
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South Korea World Cup defender DU-RI CHA of Celtic, the 31-year-old former Bundesliga veteran whose father Bum-Kun Cha was a big star in West German domestic football while earning a UEFA Cup winners’ medal with both Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen during the 1980s, sits in disbelief after being ejected by match referee Calum Murray in the 29th minute of the 398th Old Firm Derby.
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A trio of Rangers in reverse numerical order — Northern Ireland international and club captain STEVEN DAVIS (8), United States World Cup midfielder MAURICE EDU (7) and Scotland international midfielder LEE MCCULLOCH (6) — stare down Celtic midfielder VICTOR WANYAMA (67) as the 20-year-old Kenya international is dismissed for a studs-up, two-footed challenge in the 57th minute of the 398th Old Firm Derby.
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United States World Cup captain CARLOS BOCANEGRA (18), the 32-year-old veteran with 101 senior international caps for the U.S.A. who spent five seasons in England with Fulham Athletic and three years in France with FC Stade Rennes and AS Saint Etienne before transferring to the Glasgwegian giant on the banks of the River Clyde this past summer, receives his marching orders in the 88th minute of the 398th Old Firm Derby.
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Celtic first choice FRASER FORSTER, the 24-year-old English goalkeeper who has been out on loan to the Bhoys in Glasgow the past two seasons from English Premier League side Newcastle United, has conceded seven goals on his last two appearances at Ibrox Stadium in the always-entertaining Old Firm Derby.
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398th Old Firm Derby
March 25, 2012
Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow

RANGERS : McGregor – Wallace (Kerkar 78′), Goian, Papac, Bocanegra, Whittaker – McCabe (Lafferty 60′), McCulloch, Davis, Edu – Aluko (Little 72′)

CELTIC : Forster – Cha, Mulgrew, Rogne, Matthews – Ledley (Hooper 90′), Wanyama, Brown, Ki (Commons 70′), Samaras – Stokes (Izaguirre 32′)

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Nigeria international SONE ALUKO (19), the 23-year-old, English-born striker who signed for Rangers late last November after having been released in the summer by S.P.L. outfit FC Aberdeen, registered his first career Old Firm Derby goal and fifth strike in the Scottish top flight this term in only the 11th minute opposite arch-rival Celtic last Sunday .
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Second half substitute striker ANDREW LITTLE (34), the 22-year-old Northern Ireland international who had recorded one tally from three appearances for Rangers in the S.P.L. this season prior to the intra-city clash in Glasgow at Ibrox last Sunday, scored with his first touch in the 72nd minute shortly after coming onto the pitch in the 398th installment of the Old Firm Derby; .
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Rangers fullback LEE WALLACE (12), the 24-year-old Scotland international purchased this past summer from S.P.L. side FC Heart of Midlothian for a transfer fee of 1.5 million English pounds, extended the home side’s lead at Ibrox to three-nil in the 77th minute of the 378th Old Firm Derby with his second goal in the top flight for the ‘Gers this season.
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Celtic captain SCOTT BROWN (8), the 26-year-old Scotland international midfielder who set a new domestic record within the Scottish Premier League when transferring to the Parkhead club from FC Hibernian of Edinburgh for a fee of 4.4 million English pounds in August of 2007, nets his second career goal in Glasgow’s Big Game and his seventh of the season in all competitions for the Bhoys from the penalty spot in the 89th minute of the 398th Old Firm Derby.
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Norway international defender THOMAS ROGNE (25), the 21-year-old who joined the Parkhead outfit following a free transfer from Stabaek Football of Baerum in Jaunary of 2010, heads both a first in the Scottish Premier League this season as well as his first-ever Old Firm Derby goal in time added on to the 398th all-time meeting between the two great Glasgow rivals but it is not enough as Celtic fall to Rangers 3-2 at Ibrox Stadium.
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OLD FIRM DERBY, all-time record (all compeitions)
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159 wins – Rangers
144 wins – Celtic
95 drawn matches

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