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8 January 1998 Edition

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Sportsview: Justice at last

BY CIARAN HEAPHEY

There is not a lot of sport to write about this week. Well, maybe there is, but you don't get to see an awful lot of sport over the Christmas when your arse is glued to a bar stool. So we'll just have to gloat over another victory for the cause of right thinking and progressive people everywhere.

Celtic have finally broken the near infallabilty of a Rangers side hoping to stroll to ten titles in a row by ending a ten-year famine of victories over them on New Year's - and their first since 1995. In the first 20 minutes the match was an even enough affair, after which Celtic stepped up a gear.

In the midfield battle the limitations of Rangers was tested by Craig Burley, Paul Lambert and big Dane, Morton Wieghorst.

In defence Italian Enrico Annoni, the much improved Stubbs and Boyd and McNamara blotted out the Rangers attack, even the normally rampant goal-scoring Marco Negri failed to get a look in.

Up front new £2m striker Harold Brattbakk could have bagged a few goals with better finishing and a little luck. We look forward to hearing more from Harold in the future. The goals when they did come were crackers. Craig Burley's 76th minute strike sent Parkhead ablaze and Paul Lamberts 25 yarder nipping in inside the left-hand post was pure genius.

The nearest Rangers could come to a goal or even threatening Jonathan Gould's goalmouth was a penalty appeal after Stubbs was supposed to have stepped across Laudrup on the edge of the box.

With a trip to Motherwell at the weekend this game looks ripe for the three points. Remember, however, what happened at St Johnstone before the Old Firm game. And as manager and players alike have been saying, there is definitely no room for complacency after beating Rangers. Using the victory as a springboard to league success would be a mistake, after all it's only three points like any other game. Now that the pychological barrier in beating them is broken confidence is I'm sure sky high. The last time Celtic beat Rangers on New Year's day in 1988 they won the double...

And what about Paul Gascoigne? This poor clown hasn't learnt a thing from a previous encounters with an imaginary flute a few years ago. Does he even know what's it all about? I doubt it. And so what if the crowd guiled him by calling him a ``wife beater''? It's only the truth.

 


I must admit to a period of chuckling at someone else's misfortune when I saw that the World Cup Final this year is to be played on the Twelfth of July. I was quite relishing the prospect of soccer-loving Orangemen having to miss the match in favour of kick-the-Pope speeches and ice cream cones at the field. But then I heard that the Twelfth falls on the Sabbath this year, so the marching is on the Monday, which means it won't be a quiet day for isolated nationalists after all.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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