Old Firm fans praised after Rangers beat Celtic

Celtic and Rangers fans Celtic and Rangers met at Hampden in Glasgow on Sunday

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Old Firm fans and players have been praised after Rangers' 2-1 League Cup victory over Celtic at Hampden Park passed without major incident.

Both teams had been briefed on their responsibilities by police after an ill-tempered clash earlier this month which was linked to 34 arrests.

Strathclyde Police said there had been six arrests related to Sunday's match.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the game had been a "great advert for Scottish football".

He added: "This was the showpiece final everyone wanted to see, and it was a great advert for Scottish football.

'Memorable occasion'

"Both teams were passionate, committed and it was end to end stuff from kick off to the final whistle.

"The players, management and fans contributed to a memorable occasion, and I urge that their positive example inside the ground is replicated outside it over the course of the evening and beyond."

A police spokesman said of the six people arrested in and around the ground, four were for breach of the peace and two were relating to sectarian behaviour.

Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Corrigan said it was clear that there had been significantly fewer arrests.

He added: "I think the atmosphere at the ground was excellent and the match was a great advert for our football.

"I hope that this atmosphere is replicated across the force and that we see a drop in the levels of alcohol-related violence that blights so many communities."

A summit chaired by the First Minister Alex Salmond was held in the wake of the fiery Scottish Cup game at Celtic Park earlier this month.

An eight-point action plan was agreed, including supporting new measures to reduce alcohol consumption before and after games and the expansion of community partnerships between the two clubs.

Three players were sent off during the match which culminated with a confrontation between Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers assistant coach Ally McCoist.

Church leaders had issued a joint appeal ahead of Sunday's game, saying there was no excuse for violence, abuse and bigotry connected to football matches.

Mr Salmond said police had made it "crystal clear" to players and staff where their responsibilities lay.

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