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1997-01-18: Celtic 4-1 Hibernian, Premier Division
| Match Pictures | Matches: 1996 - 1997 | 1996-1997 Pictures |
- The club refused to confirm or deny rumours of a £1.5 million offer for AS Roma defender Enrico Annoni.
- 5 games in 16 days was starting to show. Morten Wieghorst was out and required a cartilage op, Phil O’Donnell had a thigh injury, Simon Donnelly was out with a hip injury, and Di Canio was still recovering from his ankle injury.
- Hibs were without regulars Shaun Dennis, John Hughes, Darren Jackson and Keith Wrigh. Ex Celtic man Jim Duffy had just arrived as manager of Hibs taking over from caretaker Jocky Scott.
- Van Hooijdonk was again watched by representatives of West Ham.
ReviewAn easy win Hibs in a bad state, but for Leighton it could have been a bucket load.
Kerr; Boyd, McKinlay, McNamara, MacKay, Hannah, Hay, McStay, Van Hooijdonk, Thom (McLaughlin, 35), Cadete.
Non Used Subs: Grant, Gray
Scorers: Van Hooijdonk (21), McLaughlin (42), Van Hooijdonk (48), Cadete (68)
Leighton, W Miller, McQuilken (Love ,78 ), Hunter, Welsh, Elliot, Dow, Grant, Harper, G Miller (Weir ,68 ), McGinlay
Subs not used Cameron,
Scorer: Harper (63)
Bookings: Miller (Hibernian)
Referee: A Roy (Aberdeen)
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||16||7|
Dutchman hammers it homeScotland on Sunday 19/01/1997
Celtic 4 Hibernian 1
THE playwright Alan Bennett once worried that despite acclaim he was simply "adding to the number of words in the world". There have been times in this championship that Celtic looked like they were just adding to the number of goals.
Rangers' draw against Kilmarnock last Wednesday gave these four a greater relevance than some they have bagged of late and kept renewed optimism bubbling up amid the stands. This mood was manifest in Celtic Park's best attendance since November and the 50,000 Chinese whispers which attended every scrap of radio news. And no, they weren't listening in to the rugby at Murrayfield.
Pierre van Hooijdonk gobbled the greatest portion on an afternoon in which Celtic played virtually five attackers (two up, three deep), with the peerless Paul McStay behind, and neither Hibs' defence nor midfield coped. Van Hooijdonk, it was reported yesterday, blew a 4m move to West Ham in midweek - verbally agreed but withdrawn after Harry Redknapp saw him play against Raith Rovers.
However, Hibs proved therapeutic for the Dutchman and his headed goals were emphatic. By the end some of the old swagger was back.
One of the difficulties for scouts is surely that, so excellent is Jorge Cadete at present, it makes the Dutchman look ordinary. Cadete's was a focal presence in attack and with his ninth goal in five games and 22nd in 24 matches this season, he even seems intent on stealing his partner's thunder as regards statistics.
Jim Duffy still hasn't won since the valedictory six-goal defeat of East Fife at Dundee and Hibs looked bland. Celtic might have missed Paolo di Canio, Phil O'Donnell and Alan Stubbs, but the visitors, without Darren Jackson, suffered the greater loss. Only Kevin Harper and as ever Jim Leighton were creditable, the former fluttering around uncomfortable Malky Mackay all afternoon, the latter simply over-employed.
It was a day bulging with side issues. Hibs, with both Jamie McQuilken and David Elliot starting on their refitted left, showcased the two new signings which takes their spending to more than 1m this season.
What do you get for 1m these days? Nine players bought by different managers if you follow Easter Road's quirky business strategy. Combined it is doubtful they are as valuable as Jackson himself (who is probably worth more) the least of Duffy's problems. There were Jackie McNamaras everywhere: senior the Hibs assistant manager burning off as many calories in the 'technical area' as junior on the turf.
We also had a brace of Millers for Hibs, Greg (Alex Miller's son) augmenting Willie in only his second start for the club. His lively run and left-footer at 1-0 came as close as anything to changing matters for Hibs.
However, the central theme was evident from the start. Celtic with strikers as good and famished as Cadete and Van Hooijdonk merely had to get the ball quickly into forward areas to menace Hibs. The visitors were already beleaguered when Van Hooijdonk drove in the opener from a set play. Andreas Thom touched forward a free-kick 25 yards out and the Dutchman beat Leighton with an exactness which made a mockery of the range.
Brian McLaughlin added a second before the interval but the real presence was Cadete. He is a marvellous thief of goals and space, this Portuguese. Like few other strikers Cadete can slip in between the last defender and goalkeeper while remaining onside.
This attribute saw him beat Leighton to an early back pass and almost poke it in from a tight angle. And later get behind Brian Welsh to batter a header into the goalkeeper, flexing those powerful neck muscles of his. More than a predator, he sends others in for the kill. After David Hannah missed one of his crosses from a yard out, Cadete one-twoed with McLaughlin for the winger to capitalise with greater effect, slipping the ball under Leighton's body.
How Hibs must hate Van Hooijdonk. The Dutchman's second, a big, steep near-post header means that nine of his 55 goals for Celtic have come against Hibs.
It was also the seventh consecutive game in which he has had Leighton rooting about the rigging, which should make Duffy feel less of a victim.
At least Harper got the manager one back: an intelligent - not to say unlikely - header which looped over Stewart Kerr and took some skill to execute.
Cadete then purloined a fourth for ce. Having gone manno a manno with Leighton twice and seen both first-time shots saved, he took it round the goalkeeper on the third occasion and walked it in. The Portuguese then beckoned more noise from the crowd in that soft metal lead singer way of his. He clearly loves leading an audience and, the way Celtic Park feel about him, right now they'd follow anywhere.
- Manager Interview
"We created a helluva lot of chances and Jim Leighton was outstanding - as were the youngsters.
"Chris Hay made a really good contribution, Malky MacKay did well once more and Brian McLaughlin took his goal well and looked very sharp in his first game in a while.
He has come through a difficult period after losing his mother last month
"Brian's family are very close and it hit them really hard so it was important that we gave him time.
"Now he's looking strong and I was delighted with his attitude and application."
"It was pleasing to play so well while without the like of Paolo, Alan Stubbs, Phil O'Donnell, Brian O'Neil, Morten Wieghorst and after losing Andy Thom so early.
"The lads who came in showed great attitude and I've told all my squad each and every one of them will be given the chance to contribute.
"Some more than others, of course, but if a player comes in and wins three games for us then his input could be as vital as any player."
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