Old firm back in business

SCOTTISH FOOTBALL
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The Independent Online
SCOTTISH FOOTBALL

DAVID MCKINNEY

Saturday was pay-back time for Rangers and Celtic, who had an immediate return on their summer spending. Paul Gascoigne and Andreas Thom, who between them cost pounds 6.7m, both scored to help their sides ease through to the third round of the Coca-Cola Cup.

On a day when the seeded draw had matched many of the big clubs with ambitious but lesser outfits there was only the hint of a shock result when Third Division Livingston - the former Meadowbank Thistle - beat First Division St Johnstone on penalties after extra time.

For Rangers, Morton, from the First Division proved less of a distraction to the anticipation of their European Cup tie against Famagusta in midweek than Brian Laudrup's ankle injury, which means he is unlikely to play. Ally McCoist, Mark Hateley and Gascoigne scored the goals in a 3-0 win.

While Rangers anticipate Stirling Albion at Ibrox in the next round, Celtic have to come to terms with Raith Rovers, the side which beat them to lift the trophy last season while they were a First Division side.

Rovers have since been promoted and while they could only beat Arbroath, of the Third Division, 2-1, the scoreline camouflaged the gulf between the teams. Celtic, meanwhile, disposed of Ayr United with goals from Thom, Pierre van Hooijdonk and John Collins.

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