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1997-08-26: Celtic 6-3 FC Tirol Innsbruck, UEFA Cup 2nd Qualifier
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- It looked like Annoni was for the off. Allegedly this was all down to a training ground bust up between him and Jansen on pre-season in Holland and he had been on the injury list for some time. And just to prove it Jansen included him in the squad – so much for newspaper rumours.
- Surprise surprise when Bebeto was not going to be signing for Celtic. The 33 year old returned to his Spain and although it was said he would return to Deportivo la Coruna he eventually joined Sevilla.
- Darren Jackson was taken ill prior to the match and immediately after was admitted to hospital for tests. He complained of a migraine and was too ill to play.
ReviewAn incredible European night. A nail-biter all the way down the line finally settled by goals in the 87th and 94th minute.
TeamsCeltic: Gould; Boyd, Mahe, MacKay, Hannah, Donnelly, Burley, Wieghorst, O'Donnell (McNamara, 55), Larsson, Thom (Stubbs, 89).
Non Used Subs: Marshall, Annoni, Gray, McKinlay, McLaughlin
Scorers: Donnelly (34, pen 69), Thom (44), Burley (70, 94), Wieghorst (87)
Tirol Innsbruck: Tchertchessov (Weber, 18), Knavs (Jochum, 77), Tangen, Prudlo, Marasek, Baur (Krinner, 80), Brzeczek, Abou El-Dhab, Kirchler, Severeyns, Mayrleb,
Non Used Subs: Yilmaz, Acher, Wazinger, Barisic.
Scorers: Mayrleb (39), Larsson (45og), Krinner (82)
Bookings: Thom, Hannah (Celtic); Marasek, Brzeczek (Tirol)
Referee: K E Fisker (Denmark).
- Match Report
The Scotsman 27/08/1997
Celtic 6 Donnelly (34, pen 69), Thom (44), Burley (70, 94), Wieghorst (87)
Tirol Innsbruck 3 Mayrleb (39), Larsson (45og), Krinner (82)
CELTIC conjured up one of the most astonishing performances seen in Parkhead's long European history, as two late, late goals won a tie their defensive frailties had almost conspired to throw away.
Even the legendary night of Partizan Belgrade was eclipsed for sheer drama but, unlike that occasion eight years ago, Celtic actually won this one. A place in the UEFA Cup first round now awaits Wim Jansen's team but that seemed pure fantasy at one stage after Celtic three times conceded their hard-earned aggregate lead.
They looked to have cut their own throats when they allowed Tirol substitute Gernot Krinner to punish them with an 82nd-minute header, which hauled the Austrians back to 5-5 on aggregate and ahead on the crucial away-goals rule.
But, astonishingly, this tie had not one more twist left, but two, as Morten Wieghorst scored the vital goal in the 87th minute which finally pulled Celtic clear, before Craig Burley added another deep into injury time.
The 47,000 Celtic fans who filled Parkhead would presumably cough up an entire season ticket payment just to go through this one again but it is doubtful if doctors would advise it. Heart failure was a risk as the tie see-sawed one way, then another, and even the normally placid Jansen looked as if he had been through the shredder.
In truth, the generous nature of Jansen's defence rather than Tirol's attack was the source of the pulsating excitement as they gave away goals to the Austrians every time Celtic had managed to get their nose in front.
First-half goals by Simon Donnelly and Andreas Thom were cancelled out almost as quickly by Christian Mayrleb and an own goal from Henrik Larsson. After the interval, when Donnelly, with a penalty, and Burley produced two goals within a minute, Celtic still could not rest easy. Krinner, who had been on the field mere seconds, hit back and it needed Wieghorst and Burley again to ensure the Parkhead team did not make yet another miserable early European exit.
It has to be stressed that this tie was still only the second qualifying round and if Celtic leak goals as easily as they did in this second-leg match, they will not grace the competition much longer.
The first major blow to Celtic had come before the kick-off when Darren Jackson, the man Jansen had pinpointed as his chief goal threat, had to withdraw after severe head pains meant it was too risky for him to play.
Tirol were similarly debilitated by the 19th minute when their Russian international goalkeeper Stanislav Tchertchessov, was stretchered off with a knee injury and replaced by Heinz Weber, making his first appearance for the club. Weber was picking the ball out of the net in the 34th minute when Donnelly scored a wonderful goal which cancelled out the deficit from Innsbruck a fortnight ago.
Tom Boyd won possession and set up Wieghorst whose cross picked out Donnelly in the box and the young striker's finish was perfection, unleashing a right-foot volley which crashed into the roof of the net.
However, Mayrleb, who scored both Tirol's goals in the first leg, drew his side level five minutes later. The striker latched on to a cute pass from Jerzy Brzeczek and stabbed the ball past Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould. A minute before half-time Celtic regained the lead with Weber's inexperience being crucial. The goalkeeper gave away a free kick just inside the box for holding on to the ball too long and Larsson rolled the ball into the path of Thom whose measured shot went in off the post to give Celtic a 2-1 lead.
Inconceivably, Celtic then surrendered their advantage before they could even reach the dressing-room. Just 30 seconds later Mayrleb again created havoc, bursting into the Celtic penalty area and although his cut-back was intended for Francis Severeyns, the ball came off the boot of Larsson and looped over Gould to put Tirol ahead on aggregate.
Jansen threw on Jackie McNamara for the tiring Phil O'Donnell in a bid to raise the tempo in midfield and it worked when his team produced two goals in a minute to turn the tie round yet again. Tirol defender Oliver Prudlo needlessly gave away a 69th-minute penalty by tripping Larsson when the Swede was going nowhere, and Donnelly confidently drove his penalty high past Weber.
Just 60 seconds later, Larsson skipped past four tackles before setting up Burley and the midfielder's shot took a vital deflection off Tirol defender Stephan Marasek to put Celtic ahead once more.
However, Krinner who had replaced Tirol captain Michael Baur in the 82nd minute, looked to have immediately put the Austrians in the next round when he rose to head a cross from Severeyns past Gould at the back post.
But Celtic refused to die. Wieghorst showed wonderful skill in the penalty box to control Donnelly's knockdown before stabbing the ball past Weber with just three minutes left and then, in the 94th minute, Larsson who appeared to be taking the ball for a walk, kept beating tackles on a solo run and rolled the ball across the face of the box for Burley to bring the curtain down on an astonishing night.
- Manager Interview
“What I take from the victory was the great attitude of the players. They simply never gave up and, willed on by our supporters, continued to believe they could win the tie even when it looked like it might be behind them.
“When it was 2-2 at half time it wasn’t so easy for us but I kept telling them we could still do it if we pressed for two goals from the first minute of the second period.
“That is what they did, showing great energy when we went 3-2 up and refusing to accept we were out even when Tirol made it 4-3.
“All our players gave it more than 100 percent and there was not one failure in our side simply because of the way they kept going right tio the end.
”When it was 4-4 on aggregate we had lots of problems but I didn’t have much time to think about what was happening because one minute we were in, the next we were out and suddenly we were in the competition again.
“Of course we know that we cannot expect to score six goals each time we play and normally if you score four in a European tie you have done enough to go through.
“That wasn’t the case against Tirol and therefore being more solid at the back is something we know we must work on.
“We still need to do more talking on the pitch. Our communication is getting better but the players must help one another more and make it easier for themselves.”
“As the game swayed one way then the other I kept urging the players to push on and squeeze the game up.
“But I have to say a big thank you to our fans. They were right behind us from the first minute.
“They helped us and the people behind the dugout just continued to shout encouragement and kept believing the tie could go our way.”
"My own goal was unbelievable and after making Chic Charnley such a big man in Scotland because of my mistake which let him win the first league match for Hibs, I didn't want to go out of the UEFA Cup because of my assist. I saw the large headlines saying: 'Larsson knocks Celtic out of Europe!' and I didn't want that."
"I'm losing my hair as it is so I can do without any more games like that.
"I've never experienced a night like it. It was quite incredible and the atmosphere was astonishing. That was what got us through, I think.
"When we were 4-2 up I remember thinking that there was still another twist to come.
"Even after Morten Wieghorst made it 5-3 I knew the Austrians would still come at us and, sure enough, they had a couple of decent attempts.
"I made a save just after that and I knew if I spilled it the way I had an earlier one, striker Christian Mayrleb might score.
"However, the ball stuck to me and there was a mixture of satisfaction and relief when it did."
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