Big days in the a title winning season
With the party celebrations still continuing for Rangers fans, we’ve decided to look back on some of the major games of the season. These are our top 5 tips which helped Rangers retain their title to become the SPL champions of 2009/10.
Sunday 23rd of August
Hearts 1 v Rangers 2
Being down to ten men after 13 minutes, trailing at half-time, the second game of the season was not looking great for Rangers and their long-term hopes. Tynecastle is commonly a tricky place for Rangers to visit and there would have been no surprises if Walter Smith’s team dropped points here but their determination once again came to the fore.
A Lee McCulloch goal after an hour levelled the score but as the clock hit the 90 minute mark, Rangers were dropping 2 points. Rangers fans were up in arms at the early sending off of Kevin Thomson but Hearts fans were left outraged for the injury time penalty given for a foul on Steven Naismith, which some camera angles suggested took place outside of the penalty box.
That didn’t affect Kris Boyd as the striker swept home the spot-kick and ensured all three points for the Champions.
Sunday 4th of October
Rangers 2 v Celtic 1
After three goal-less SPL draws in a row, Rangers went into the first game versus Celtic in shaky form and in need of goals. Two Kenny Miller strikes in the opening 20 minutes proved the difference on a day which could claim to encapsulate the season as a whole.
Debatable refereeing decisions, terrible defending from Celtic, wasteful finishing from Celtic while Rangers displayed a clinical edge in front of goal. Winning the games against your title rivals is a key aspect in any league campaign and this victory reinforced Ranger’s domination over Celtic.
Wednesday 30th of December
Rangers 7 v Dundee United 1
This match was the culmination of a sparkling spell of form for Rangers and to be honest, any of the games building up to this one could also have been listed. However, it was the demolition job of the Arabs, including Kris Boyd scoring 5 times that emphasised the heights Rangers could hit when they clicked.
The match will be remembered as the game when Boyd surpassed the number of goals that Henrik Larsson scored in the SPL, giving the Rangers fans something else to cheer from a memorable season.
Sunday 3rd of January
Celtic 1 v Rangers 1
It was only a point but in denying Celtic all three points, Rangers took a massive step towards retaining their SPL crown.
Even Walter Smith could admit that Rangers hardly turned up on the day with Celtic dominant for the vast majority of the match. As said about the earlier Celtic match, the Hoops wastefulness in front of goal cost them really badly.
A Scott McDonald goal late on looked set to give Tony Mowbray a lifeline in the title race but Rangers rallied quickly and a Lee McCulloch header from a corner levelled the game and made many people assume the title race was over.
Sunday 25th of April
Hibs 0 v Rangers 1
Not the most exciting or entertaining game of the season but for Rangers fans, it will be one of the best days of the year. Even though everyone has been saying that the title race was over months ago, getting over the finishing line can still be tricky. There is no doubt that Rangers have tired of late and perhaps the motivation wasn’t always there but don’t forget, this was the Ibrox club’s first opportunity to actually win the title.
A win was required and Kyle Lafferty’s first half strike grabbed the points and ensured Rangers had an insurmountable lead at the top of the SPL. There were a few late scares for the Rangers fans to sit through but yet again, the team did what was required of them, kicking off the party at Easter Road and then later on at Ibrox.
Every game and every point along the way to a title win is vital in its own way but these five matches are among the most important of Rangers 2009/10 title winning campaign.
Do you have any different favourite games of the season?