Football: Eu've Got to Admire Old Firm

Article excerpt

Byline: RAY HEPBURN

WITH a few months of rain, sleet, snow and ice ahead of us, the warm winds of spring seem quite a way away.

But this year the arrival of that most welsome of seasons, will be even more mouthwatering after the Old Firm's midweek heroics.

You could argue that Moscow Dynamo were a poor imitation of their great teams of the past but for Rangers to win 4-1 therewas still a great achievement.

And there are few superlatives left unused to sum up Celtic's performance against Juventus.

It's possible to take some of the gloss of that victory too, by arguing that Juventus had already qualified and weren't too concerned about the result.

But that would be churlish and instead we should bask in the thrilling, spectacular way that Martin O'Neill' side played.

The draw for the next round of the UEFA Cup was not overly kind to either club, with Celtic landing the shortest straw against the Spaniards of Valencia.

But Rangers have not been granted a simple task either, with Paris St. Germain to overcome - Nicholas Anelka and all.

No matter, the form that both teams displayed this week means they can approach these matches without trepidation.

It would be superb if after years of a strictly Autumn diet, Spring was to hold a feast of European football once again.

Hearts striker Gary McSwegan has been told by Craig Levein to train on his own, pounding solo round the training pitch in front of is team mates. …