Alex McLeish explains how Rangers sealed Scottish Cup win over Celtic

BlueMeanie

Well-Known Member
THE 2002 Scottish Cup final was one that Rangers fans will look back on fondly. Twice Celtic took the lead over their arch-rivals in an end-to-end contest, only to be pegged back first by Peter Lovenkrands and then by Barry Ferguson.
As the game passed the 90-minute mark, extra-time looked inevitable. But then, right at the death, Lovenkrands' late header steered the ball past Rab Douglas to seal a League Cup and Scottish Cup double for the Light Blues.

Alex McLeish, the Ibrox boss at the time, insists that the last-gasp victory was one of his greatest moments as a manager. And speaking to the Athletic, the former Hibs and Scotland manager revealed that he had a plan to target a weak link in Martin O'Neill's starting XI.
Chris Sutton started at centre-back that day at Hampden, and McLeish was convinced that Lovenkrands would be able to cause the striker-turned-defender all sorts of problems.

"Chris was a centre-forward but he had played there with aplomb before," he said. "Peter's legs were too good for any of Celtic's back four and through the middle of defence was definitely an area we targeted.

"I've had a few highs in my career but to win such an exciting game in the way we did after beating Celtic in the League Cup was a fantastic way to end the season.
"That was a top Celtic team. Martin O'Neill said that was their next-best team since the Lisbon Lions."
The Danish forward got on the end of Neil McCann's first-time cross to bundle the ball home to seal Rangers' name on the trophy, and McLeish reckons that Lovenkrands didn't always get the recognition that he deserved.
"Peter was a fantastic finisher," he said. "He was capable of overhead kicks or scuffing one in with his right foot.
"He was great at coming in off the line but playing on the wing wasn't his greatest strength. People thought, 'Peter has pace, he can go by people and put the ball in' but there is an art to getting past people.
"Peter often looked more deadly when he ran inside or ran through the middle. He was sort of a modern-day wide player - like you see now in front threes, like [Liverpool pair] [Sadio] Mane and [Mo] Salah, who like to play narrow.
"He deserves more credit than he was given."
 

prenzlauerbear

Well-Known Member
"He was great at coming in off the line but playing on the wing wasn't his greatest strength. People thought, 'Peter has pace, he can go by people and put the ball in' but there is an art to getting past people.

By people, I take it he's talking about himself.
 

Woodrow Call

Well-Known Member
Most of us knew he was more effective through the middle. The question is, why was he not used there more often than he was.
Because it was based on blistering pace and domestic opponents sit deep it's no coincidence that Peters better games were against the papes who come out and play us. That said O'Neill got smart to it and doubled up on him with McNamara and think it was Lambert.
 

Xavi Hernandez

Well-Known Member
Absolutely fabulous game of football and sheer joy at the end.

The line ups on both sides that day were of unbelievable quality. Will never see that again.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Amoruso, Numan, Ricksen, de Boer, Ferguson, Lovenkrands, McCann, Caniggia (Arveladze 20). Subs Not Used: McGregor, Vidmar, Nerlinger, Flo.

Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby, Sutton, Balde, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert (McNamara 44), Petrov, Thompson, Larsson, Hartson. Subs Not Used: Gould, Boyd, Moravcik, Guppy.
 

DC1494

Active Member
But what a great game, one of my favourite cup finals too. And how quick did the vermin empty afterwards?
 

Major Winters

Well-Known Member
Played them off the park that day, feared the worst though when Barry hit the post from outside the box when we were 2-1 down.
 
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PunkScott

Well-Known Member
Eck says the wing wasn't his strong position...why did he play him on the wing so often then?

And even the right-wing when Europe came around.

That being said, great Cup Final.
 

crookie_bear

Well-Known Member
THE 2002 Scottish Cup final was one that Rangers fans will look back on fondly. Twice Celtic took the lead over their arch-rivals in an end-to-end contest, only to be pegged back first by Peter Lovenkrands and then by Barry Ferguson.
As the game passed the 90-minute mark, extra-time looked inevitable. But then, right at the death, Lovenkrands' late header steered the ball past Rab Douglas to seal a League Cup and Scottish Cup double for the Light Blues.

Alex McLeish, the Ibrox boss at the time, insists that the last-gasp victory was one of his greatest moments as a manager. And speaking to the Athletic, the former Hibs and Scotland manager revealed that he had a plan to target a weak link in Martin O'Neill's starting XI.
Chris Sutton started at centre-back that day at Hampden, and McLeish was convinced that Lovenkrands would be able to cause the striker-turned-defender all sorts of problems.

"Chris was a centre-forward but he had played there with aplomb before," he said. "Peter's legs were too good for any of Celtic's back four and through the middle of defence was definitely an area we targeted.

"I've had a few highs in my career but to win such an exciting game in the way we did after beating Celtic in the League Cup was a fantastic way to end the season.
"That was a top Celtic team. Martin O'Neill said that was their next-best team since the Lisbon Lions."
The Danish forward got on the end of Neil McCann's first-time cross to bundle the ball home to seal Rangers' name on the trophy, and McLeish reckons that Lovenkrands didn't always get the recognition that he deserved.
"Peter was a fantastic finisher," he said. "He was capable of overhead kicks or scuffing one in with his right foot.
"He was great at coming in off the line but playing on the wing wasn't his greatest strength. People thought, 'Peter has pace, he can go by people and put the ball in' but there is an art to getting past people.
"Peter often looked more deadly when he ran inside or ran through the middle. He was sort of a modern-day wide player - like you see now in front threes, like [Liverpool pair] [Sadio] Mane and [Mo] Salah, who like to play narrow.
"He deserves more credit than he was given."
Lovenkrands was a cracking player, used to get some stick on here. This place has never changed really there's always a player that gets singled out.
 

Clicker

Well-Known Member
Was that the game where Mutton took Caniggia out with a typical sleekit elbow and he almost missed the World Cup Finals?
 

4ladsHAD

Well-Known Member
Bundled the ball home ? It was a great goal .

Doesn’t get much better than a cup final injury time winner .
 

mulguy1953

Well-Known Member
I was at the game & loads of different memories from that day but I had the whole coverage of the match & build up recorded.
So next day settled down to watch it all & who was in the Rangers dugout that day ? None other than Gordon Strachan & one of Strachan, s mates.
The reason given was he had asked big Eck for a couple of tickets so he take his English mate to an OF game , Eck forgot & with the game being a sellout the only way he could get them in was to make out they were part of the backroom team !!
Strachan was the Southampton manager at the time & at half time he was interviewed & asked if he would be giving any advice to Eck, his reply was no & that Eck & Rangers were doing just fine.
Funny how things turn out, then he became a twisted little basta#d
 

ClockworkOrange

Well-Known Member
Killer comeback.
But, always check your post before you hit the button, particularly when trying to look clever.
Sound and irony free advice from a guy who felt it appropriate to point out Rangers fans might be interested in reading an article about Rangers. Ta.
 

mathers1

Well-Known Member
Was only 10 at the time, one of the first cup finals I can recall. Unbelievable day.

Me & old man jumped up and into each other upon Lovenkrands’ winner, and he ended up bursting my nose ... great day though.
 

Commentator

Well-Known Member
Sound and irony free advice from a guy who felt it appropriate to point out Rangers fans might be interested in reading an article about Rangers. Ta.
After this clarification I'm out.
Your original question was not, as your attempted rewrite states, "Who reads an article about Rangers?"
It was instead "Who reads an interesting article on tactics and the first thing that jumps out is the verb choice of the author to describe a header".
There's several differences.
I'd suggest you stop digging but, dig away, I'm bored.
 
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