Rangers 7-0 Dunfermline (Oct 1997)
RANGERS have played in many classic matches through the years and in this new series of features we’ll remember some of the best.
RAMPANT Rangers fired their fans in to seventh heaven with a remarkable performance against Dunfermline and midfield superstar Paul Gascoigne showed why he is one of the greatest players ever to wear a Light Blue jersey.
Gazza had dominated the country’s media prior to this match as rumours of his departure to England grew by the day.
But on this particular Saturday he proved that Rangers has a special place in his heart and stunned the Fife opponents with a breathtaking display of skill and control.
It was far from being a one-man show and the home support also lapped up the return of Richard Gough who was in sensational form despite the fact it was his first game back from injury.
But as Goughie and Gazza received a standing ovation at the end of the 90 minutes – one Ibrox star slipped almost unnoticed down the tunnel.
And that’s after scoring four goals!
Marco Negri was at his brilliant best and took his phenomenal goalscoring tally to 19 goals from his opening eight league games in a Light Blue jersey.
The Italian was red hot throughout the 90 minutes and was starting to look like he could re-write the history books with his prolific form.
Rangers started the match strongly and were in the driving seat after 16 minutes thanks to some wonderful play from Brian Laudrup.
Gascoigne crossed the ball from the left and, when Negri flicked the ball on, the Great Dane was on hand to knock the ball in.
Three minutes later and Negri was on hand to score his first past Westwater after a great long pass from Gough had split the Pars defence.
The Italian ace kept his cool – as usual – and finished with ease.
As chants of ‘Gascoigne must stay’ echoed around Ibrox, the playmaker turned on the style.
He was involved in number three as he had a header parried by the Pars keeper, and Negri pounced for the rebound
After the break, the home side maintained the pressure and within nine minutes were four goals up.
Gazza cut past Hamish French, slipped his way unchallenged through the box, and drilled a spectacular left foot drive past the keeper.
A frantic finale witnessed three strikes – one of which was a goal of the season contender – as Dunfermline were wiped out.
Negri scored his hat-trick in 79 minutes but it was the following piece of magic which stunned the crowd.
Laudrup and Gascoigne linked up and Gazza let loose with a sublime lob from 30 yards over the Dunfermline keeper.
If things were not bad enough for the Pars, Negri then popped up with two minutes remaining to net his fourth although he was unable to match the five goals he had score against Dundee United at the start of the campaign.
Dunfermline boss Bert Patton summed it up perfectly after the game.
He said: “Even I had to sit back and admire the quality of some of the goals. Gazza was exceptional and he really is a wonderful talent. Our boys were down after the final whistle but Rangers were on fire today and we could not live with them.”
Walter Smith added: “This was without doubt one of our best performances of the season and I thought Gazza was exceptional. It is not often that a striker will score four goals in a game and not get man of the match but that is what happened and I don’t think Marco would have any complaints about Gazza being given the award.”
RANGERS: Goram, Miller, Stensaas, Gough, Porrini, Bjorkland, Gattuso, Gascoigne, Negri, McCall, Laudrup
Subs Not Used: McCoist, Durie, Albertz
DUNFERMLINE: Westwater, Shields, Miller, Tod, Barnett, Duarte, Moore (Curran), French, Smith, Britton (Shaw), Millar (Bieman)
Rangers 7-0 Dunfermline
Scottish Premier League
October 18, 1997
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