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1999-02-17: Celtic 1-0 Kilmarnock, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1998 - 1999 | 1998-1999 Pictures|
- Viduka finally pulled on a Celtic shirt and played a game – albeit an U21 game – against Motherwell. He scored a goal and laid on another for Liam Keogh.
- O’Donnell missed the game with a knee injury which would require a scan, Boyd and Stubbs were still out but Burley and Jackson came back into the squad and Tosh McKinlay and Blinker retained their places. Goal scorer Riseth had been doubtful for the game as he was suffering with ‘flu.
ReviewOver 59,000 turning out for an evening kick-off mid-week game. Remembered for the barracking of McCoist on the Killie goal line when the second corner in succession was headed home by Riseth and for MacPherson’s moaning about Larsson’s challenge after he’s spent all night doing his best to maim the King of Kings.
TeamsCeltic: Gould, Mahe, McNamara, Larsson, Brattbakk, Lambert, McKinlay, Blinker, Moravcik, Riseth, Mjallby.
Subs Not Used: Burley , Jackson, Healy, Burchill, Kerr.
Goals: Riseth 49.
Kilmarnock: Marshall, MacPherson, Montgomerie, McGowne, Reilly, Holt, Durrant, McCoist (Wright 71), Mahood (Roberts 89), Baker,Burke (Henry 76).
Subs Not Used: Lauchlan, Strain.
Booked: Mjallby (Celtic) Baker, Mahood (Kilmarnock).
Ref: J McCluskey (Stewarton).
- Match Report
The Herald 18/02/1999
THERE was no goal party at Parkhead last night, but the great majority of the 59,126 went home singing all the same.
Celtic's impressive run - they have not lost since December 7 - continued against a team of genuine challengers and puts them now in second place in the Premier League, albeit a daunting 10 points behind Rangers.
For Celtic, that was a satisfactory ending to an evening when Killie came very close to denting their pride, especially in the first half when, after a careful start, they might well have gone into the break in front.
Indeed, if Ally McCoist had scored with the best chance of the night, rather than hit a post, they would have had the real as well as psychological advantage.
The Ayrshire side were made to realise just how vital that could have been when a few minutes after the interval, Vidar Riseth headed in a fine goal, only his second for the club, to put them on the uphill run again.
That goal sparked off Celtic's best spell when they began to put together some fine passing movements, but the second goal proved difficult and in the end impossible to collect.
Their star turn, for a change, was not Henrik Larsson, who was well watched by Ray Montgomerie and his mates, but Lubo Moravcik, whose skills in midfield and up front were the key factor in the game, even if it was from one of his beautifully struck corners that the winning goal came.
Risth, scorer of that goal, also came on to a fine game in defence after a shaky beginning.
Kilmarnock's misery was completed near the end when Gus MacPherson was carried off after a clash with Larsson.
The incident happened when the two players went for a 50-50 ball close to the halfway line but it was the unfortunate Kilmar-nock man who suffered a leg injury that will keep him out for some time.
However, the side from Rugby Park contributed much to the evening, with former Rangers man Ian Durrant by far their most creative player.
Kilmarnock, understandably in view of Celtic's recent good form at Parkhead, set out to contain the exuberance that is invariably the opening stanza of the Celtic home show and did it very well, even if they survived a couple of early scares.
Brattbakk and Larsson combined in the second minute and eventually the ball hit off Marshall's body before the danger was cleared with a bundle of players sprawled in the penalty area.
Then a cute Larsson flick let Moravcik hit a fierce volley that went only just past a post.
After that, however, the Ayrshire side settled down and began to grow in confidence, setting up a number of decent attacking moves themselves.
When Burke sent in a low cross from the left, Riseth missed the ball altogether, and McCoist might have done better than shoot straight at Gould.
The former Rangers man almost caught Celtic asleep when he turned on a quick Burke free kick and shot, but his effort went across the front of goal.
The crowd, getting perhaps too accustomed to seeing goals galore in recent weeks, became decidedly restive and were not helped when a Larsson free kick, after Moravcik had been downed by Reilly, came off the wall with protests on and off the field that it had hit a Killie hand.
By the time half an hour had gone by, Kilmarnock had established their presence and succeeded in frustrating not only the Parkhead players, but the crowd.
The result was as evenly balanced a contest as the places in the league table indicated.
That was confirmed when the sides had a couple of chances within a minute, one a fine long-range effort by Blinker which Marshall touched wide and the other the best opportunity of the night.
It fell to McCoist, of all people, as he was sent completely clear by a glorious Durrant pass after Killie broke out of defence.
McCoist took his time, whipped the ball past Gould, but saw it hit the inside of a post. He and all of his team-mates just could not believe it.
They nearly paid a severe penalty a few minutes late when a Moravcik cross went over the Killie defence and three Celtic players stood still, apparently believing they were offside, but no flag was raised and the chance was gone.
After all their sterling work in the first half, none the less, Killie had to concede the lead after four minutes of the second period. Two wickedly struck corners by Moravcik caused the bother.
His first from the left was headed at the near post by Reilly back along the goal line, and managed to evade everyone before going out for another corner. Moravcik then hit another good ball from the right, and up in the air rose Riseth to head firmly into the net.
Celtic were able to settle into a rhythm after that breakthrough but, stylish though their passing movements were, they found Kilmarnock hanging on to their defensive discipline, and the game was still intriguing enough to keep both sets of fans on edge.
It was the Kilmarnock lot who held their breath when a good ball from Blinker sent Brattbakk away, but he was not able to get past the ever alert Montgomerie.
That miss sent the home fans into anxious mood again but they were encouraged by another fine move that ended with a dangerous McKinlay cross that Marshall did well to grasp.
McKinlay was very unlucky when he smacked in a fine shot that beat everyone but hit the outside of a post and went past.
Killie, finding it hard now to get out of defence, tried a change in 70 minutes, bringing on Paul Wright for McCoist.
However, it was Brattbakk who scurried clear at the other end and forced Marshall into a good save.
Celtic should have settle matters when McNamara was sent clear by a Larsson header, but he finished poorly by shooting into the side net. Killie brought on Henry for Burke but the pattern remained much the same.
Tackle a sore point with Killie
The Herald 18/02/1999
KILMARNOCK's dressing room was full of angry young men last night after defender Gus MacPherson was carried off following a clash with Henrik Larsson near the end of a hard-fought Premier League game, which Celtic won thanks to a Vidar Riseth goal.
MacPherson needed seven stitches in a leg, but although the Rugby Park players felt the tackle by Larsson was unacceptable, Celtic head coach Dr Jo Venglos defended the Swede, saying: "He always plays fair and I am sure it was an accident."
In contrast, Bobby Williamson, the Kilmarnock manager, said: "A lot of our players are very angry and I wasn't too happy myself with the tackle."
Ally McCoist said: "It looked a debatable challenge. Gus has a big hole in his shin pad and leg, but these things happen in football and the referee saw it his way."
McCoist admitted that the chance he missed in the first half when his shot struck a post could have been vital in the end. "I thought it was in all the way, but at the last second it hit a post. You always feel if you miss like that, Celtic will score and sure enough they did soon after half-time.
"Even so, I thought we played as well as we have for some time, and although we're up against it as far as the championship is concerned, we still have a realistic target in a European place."
Dr Venglos praised Kilmarnock for what he described as providing very strong opposition.
"In the middle of the first half I thought they played a good passing game, but later we adapted and read the game better. The goal was a good goal and I thought in the second half we deserved to win. If we keep showing this quality we will always score goals. It is not in our hands entirely what happens in the championship."
The result means that Celtic go into second place, 10 points behind Rangers, but Williamson insisted that his team would still be giving their all for the rest of the season.
"If Ally's effort had gone in it might have been different, but these are the kind of breaks you need,
"I was pleased with the way we played at times but you don't get many chances here or at Ibrox. We are now two points behind Celtic and we will keep battling on."
Vidar Riseth said: "It was an important goal for me because we needed the three points. Kilmarnock are a good team and when they lose the ball, they go into defence quickly and that makes it difficult. I still believe we can win the league but we can only take one game at a time. Sunday is the next one for us."
- Manager Interview
“Henrik always works hard but he is a fair player. What happened was an accident.
“We played a strong and determined team and it wasn’t until the middle of the second half that we got our passing game going.
“Now our duty is to prepare ourselves from game to game and every game now will be important.
“It is vital to maintain the quality of our game that is even more important than the results because if we play with quality we will score goals and win games.
“I was thinking the player (Burley) was very close to playing and I had planned to use him at some stage.
“However the game was fast and his match condition was not so good – but he was close.
“Mark Viduka still needs practice to find the pace of the game and bring him up to speed.
“However he is now in full training and he will get much faster with more time.”
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