Rangers 0 Celtic 1 (Zurawski 11) - Match Reort

Last updated : 12 February 2006 By Southside Johnny

Attendance 49,788

Manager Alex McLeish, in his final months as Ibrox
Boss, made four changes from Aberdeen’s debacle – but
whilst new faces were anticipated the actual line-up
raised more than a few eyebrows amongst the 49,788
crowd with Alan Hutton, Steven Smith, Nacho Novo and
Thomas Buffel replacing Fernando Ricksen, Ian Murray,
Kris Boyd and Peter Lovenkrands.

After a cautious start with both sides sizing the
other up, Celtic took the lead in eleven minutes when
Maciej Zurawski netted from a Stilian Petrov pass.

The game exploded three minutes later when Sotirios
Kyrgiakos fouled John Hartson, and – with the referee
playing advantage – the Welshman blatantly kicked the
Greek off the ball. To general astonishment Mike
McCurry contented himself with a lecture, when it
should have been a stonewall red card.

Rangers were gradually coming more and more into the
game – and should have equalised in 35 minutes when
Buffel, through on a Dado Prso head-flick, squared the
ball to Novo who was inches away from connecting.

Referee Mike McCurry incredibly blew for the interval
right on the 45-minute mark despite blatant
time-wasting by the hordes in the Broomloan Road Stand
– retaining possession of the ball at every

McCurry again let himself down when he ignored a
blatant dive by Petrov in 50 minutes.

Eleven minutes later Lovenkrands replaced Novo.

Roy Keane was yellow-carded in 64 minutes for a
blatantly cynical foul on Dado Prso – once again the
official had bottled his decision, for the offence
without question merited red.

Julien Rodriguez made a welcome return two minutes
later, substituting for Kyrgiakos who appeared to have
difficulty breathing.

In a last throw of the dice Kris Boyd replaced Buffel
in 71 minutes.

Rangers piled on the pressure in the closing stages,
and only a wonder save by Artur Boruc in 89 minutes
kept Celtic in the lead, tipping over a 25-yard Bob
Malcolm free-kick from a wide angle.

Deep into injury time Chris Burke, limping heavily,
cleverly chipped the ball over the Celtic defence only
for Rodriguez to stab the ball wide of the target –
Prso seizing on the loose ball only to see his cutback
held by Boruc with both Marvin Andrews and Rodriguez
waiting to pounce.

Time ran out on Rangers, and afterwards Alex McLeish

“We were punished for one mistake. It was a game of
rare chances. I could not be more disappointed. We
changed our system, but the loss of an early goal made
it difficult. Every player gave their all. It’s been a
tough week – I hope to be smiling soon, it’s amazing
what one win would do.”

RANGERS Waterreus; Hutton, Andrews, Kyrgiakos
(Rodriguez 66), Smith; Burke, Malcolm, Ferguson, Novo
(Lovenkrands 61); Buffel (Boyd 71), Prso
UNUSED SUBS Klos, Hemdani, Murray, Namouchi

CELTIC Boruc; Telfer, Balde, McManus, Wilson; Petrov,
Keane, Lennon, Maloney (Pearson 89); Hartson (Dublin
74), Zurawski
UNUSED SUBS Marshall, Thompson, Nakamura, Wallace,

REFEREE Mike McCurry