The Final Reel

My nerves are still in the process of settling back down after tonight’s Old Firm clash which saw Celtic grab a last minute winner against Rangers. And that was just 30 seconds after I said to myself that the title race was all but over because a draw would not have been good enough to keep the pressure on Rangers.

Amazing the difference a couple of seconds can make in a game of football.

And could these be the few seconds which determine where the trophy will reside at the end of the season?

Well, I actually thought that moment had arrived when Allan McGregor saved the penalty awarded to Celtic after Carlos Cuellar handled the ball on the line to deny Nakamura a second goal. At that point a draw looked certain as Rangers, reduced to 10 men, would just defend deep and smother the game.

Now that they failed in that objective, times get interesting. If Celtic beat Aberdeen this weekend and then beat Rangers again the following weekend then all the pressure is on the Ibrox side despite them having games in hand. The problem is, for me anyway, that after tonight’s roller-coaster ride I don’t think I can cope with the mounting tension. This season it looks as if the title won’t be decided until the last day – it’ll go down to the wire, as they say. At about the same rate as my thumbnails go down to the quick!

Of course, it’s not helped by the fact that there was a little bit of a fracas after the final whistle. Tempers flared, punches were thrown and the dust has not yet settled. As Radio Scotland’s coverage finished word had it the two players had been red-carded after the game and that a third had been given a yellow card. No names were mentioned officially though it was suggested that the team captains (Celtic’s Stephen McManus and Rangers’ Barry Ferguson) were the ones to see red. Looks like we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear the final details though.

In the meantime, I’m going to cover my thumbnails with tape, or band-aids, or maybe I’ll just sit on my hands. The next month and a half or so could be very uncomfortable indeed.

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