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CELTIC laid a 20-year-old hoodoo to rest yesterday as they won an Old Firm final at Hampden for the first time since 1989 with a 2-0 extra-time victory which saw them deservedly take possession of the Co-operative Insurance Cup for the 14th time in their history.
ON THE morning after Rangers' defeat by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the "hotline" column of a tabloid newspaper carried an item which revealed at least one fan's astounding perspicacity.
Rangers manager Walter Smith handed 17-year-old John Fleck his Old Firm debut in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash against Celtic at Parkhead.
AN INEBRIATED Celtic supporter in the De Kuip main stand provided an unwelcome distraction from his club's encounter with Tottenham Hotspur on Friday.
ACCORDING TO the bookmakers, the outcome of season 2008-09 in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League is not a two-horse race. No, they haven't taken leave of their senses, they have just altered the market.
ALLY McCoist hopes the tempering of bitter Old Firm rivalry following the death of Tommy Burns can signal the start of a lasting improvement in the relationship between the Celtic and Rangers supporters.
Steelmen hand Celtic initiative in title race as Ibrox side's week goes from bad to worse
RANGERS' chances of halting Celtic's title three-in-a-row may have been diminished by yesterday's draw at Fir Park but Walter Smith is not ready to concede defeat. The Ibrox gaffer believes that despite there being only three games remaining, points could still be dropped, and even Gordon Strachan's mate Mark McGhee has warned there could be a final sting in the tale.
RANGERS' failure to win at Fir Park yesterday has convinced the bookmakers that Celtic are now overwhelming favourites to lift the SPL title for the third year in a row. William Hill prices the Parkhead club at 2/9, with Rangers out to 3/1.
WITHOUT a first-team appearance since December, Steven Pressley has long since come to terms with the end of his Celtic career. He is not, however, ready to accept his playing career has reached its conclusion, despite many having expected the defender's next step to be into management.
SCOTT McDonald had the look of a man who'd dodged a bullet, which in SPL terms, he had. His 30th goal of the season was more important than many he has scored in this remarkable campaign of his and the relief at having helped his team escape with three points was written all over his face. "Motherwell will feel harshly done by. But we don't care," he said.
CELTIC are set to make a summer swoop for Newcastle defender Stephen Carr,
McDonald 62; Samaras 79
JACKIE McNamara last night insisted he's not ready to call time on his playing career yet.
SCOTTISH clubs reach European finals only rarely, and when they do, it is only right that we celebrate, not denigrate, their achievements. Over the coming 11 days, however, there is sure to be a sustained debate about the comparative merits of this year's Rangers team and of the last Scots club to go as far in the UEFA Cup, Celtic in 2003.
Zenit given time to prepare for the final
Celtic focused on widening the gap
A SIZEABLE number of people will have viewed Rangers' procession into the Uefa Cup final with the puzzled fascination of watching a car reverse from one end of a road to the other. Those who disdain the manner in which the Ibrox side have made the rendezvous with Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester on Wednesday week, however, should bear in mind that travelling backwards is no bar to reaching your destination.