Aidan Smith: Gheorghe Hagi at Rangers v Braga rekindled memories of a special talent

These Euro Old Firm double-whammies are starting to prove addictive. Perhaps not quite on the scale of April 1972 when Celtic and Rangers brought Glasgow to a standstill playing at home on the same epic night and the strikers

The great Gheorghe Hagi in his pomp. Picture: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
The great Gheorghe Hagi in his pomp. Picture: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport

Dixie Deans and Derek Parlane experienced such contrasting fortunes, but Rangers’ comeback against Braga was stirring stuff. At two-nil down going on six with the Portuguese lethal, Steven Gerrard must have been scrapping thoughts of further winter breaks in the Gulf sunshine and advance-booking the Seaview Hotel in a place with sand but there the similarities with Dubai abruptly end… Gullane. Rangers’ big-shot players, Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent, weren’t at their best and needed others to step up. Enter Joe Aribo and Flo Kamberi, tackling back like he never did at Easter Road. It was great to see Gheorghe Hagi gracing Ibrox with his presence and beaming in the stand after his son Ianis’s goals. “Was his dad good?” asked my 12-year-old. I revved up YouTube for some ho-hum howitzers – not meaning they were boring, simply that there were so many – and didn’t rest until I found Hagi Sr’s skinning of that legend-in-his-own-half-time, Roberto Carlos. Every bit as special as the Cruyff Turn.

Steven Gerrard watches in horror as Rangers went 2-0 down to Braga before fighting back to win 3-2. Picture: SNS.