In this season, the draw for the group stages of the League Cup threw up what must have been one of the most competitive sections ever, when Celtic, Aberdeen, Dundee United and Rangers were drawn together.
Celt started slowly but effectively. A 1-0 home win over Dundeed Utd was followed by a 1-1 draw with Rangers at Ibrox ( when the crowd was given as 94,168), a 3-1 victory over Aberdeen at Parkhead and then another single goal win over the ‘Arabs’ at Tannadice. Next up was the second meeting of the two Glasgow giants, a much eagerly anticipated encounter, which drew an attendance of some 75,000 to Celtic Park on the evening of this day in 1967.
Rangers took the lead through Willie Henderson in 8 minutes and seemed content to sit on that lead. Celtic were certainly the more threatening side and made some chances but none of them were taken and with some 15 minutes to go, it was still 1-0 to the Light Blues.
Then, drama…a penalty to Rangers! Again Henderson was the man, breaking away on the Rangers right before being downed by John Clark. Up stepped right-back Kai Johansen, Rangers hero in the Scottish Cup Final 16 months previously, and he certainly struck his shot with power. Sadly for the visiting fans, though, it was too high, slamming against the cross-bar before being cleared by the Celtic defence.
As if on cue, that seemed to be a signal to the Celtic side that this was going to be their night and suddenly, everything clicked into place. In 78 minutes, Willie Wallace glanced home a header from a corner for the equaliser; in 83 minutes, Bobby Murdoch sent an unstoppable shot high into the net past Eric Sorensen.
Then, with only a minute remaining, Bobby Lennox darted through the Rangers defence to add a third goal and put a seal on a truly remarkable victory.
NB1 In the final match of the section, Celtic beat Aberdeen 5-1 at Pittodrie, with young Pat MacMahon making his League Cup debut and scoring the second goal as well.
NB2 In the two matches against Rangers and one of the two versus both Dundee United and Aberdeen, the Celtic eleven which took to the field was the side known as the ‘Lisbon Lions’.