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2000-04-29: Motherwell 1-1 Celtic, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1999 - 2000 | 1999-2000 Pictures|
- Guus Hiddink, the front runner for the Head Coach’s position stated that he would not give an answer until his contract with Real Betis had expired. This would not be till the end of June. He said that the discussions that had been held with Celtic personnel during the previous week – these included Allan MacDonald, Jim Hone and Tommy Burns – had been done “….out of courtesy and nothing else”. The Scottish media scrum had created a climate where he felt unable to give his full capabilities to the job then in hand, which was keeping Real Betis from relegation. The likelihood was that Celtic would need a Plan B should Hiddink decline to take the position.
- Celtic were linked to Tranmere and Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Mahon.
- Mark Viduka gave a television interview during which he was less than emphatic about his presence at Celtic next season. It looked like he was for the off.
- Whilst playing for Bulgaria, Stan Petrov suffered a torn thigh muscle. This would keep him out for the remainder of the season. The list of injuries got longer. For this game the following players were out:- Boyd (back), Stubbs (knee), Larsson (leg break), Wieghorst (knee), Johnson (knee), Petrov (thigh), Blinker (calf muscle tear), Kharine (knee), Scheidt (knee), Mjallby (thigh strain).
ReviewAn error strewn, ill-tempered game with Billy Davies’ Motherwell as usual doing their very best to hack anything in geen and white off the park. Viduka missed a penalty in the first half. Jackie McNamara was stretchered off just before half time after a Don Goodman tackle and Burcill suffered a broken nose from Ged Brannan’s boot in the face. The second half was a tale of missed opportunities for Celtic to take all three points.
Woods, Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, Hammell, Goodman (Townsley 62), Harvey (Nevin 80), Brannan, Adams, McCulloch, Spencer (Nicholas 87).
Subs Not Used: Ramsey, Brown.
Goals: Brannan 45
Booked: Brannan, Goodman (Motherwell)
Kerr, Healy, Riseth, Tebily, Mahe, McNamara (Petta 42), Lambert, Berkovic (Lynch 75), Crainey, Viduka, Burchill.
Subs Not Used: Gould, Kennedy, Fotheringham.
Goals: Burchill 15.
Booked: McNamara (Celtic)
Referee: Jim McCluskey (Scotland).
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||7||5|
Wounded in every senseSunday Herald 30/04/2000
Michael Grant at Fir Park
MOTHERWELL 1 - 1 CELTIC
IT would tax the memory of a greying Celtic historian to recall a sorrier end to a season than this. Under Kenny Dalglish the club is without a win in four matches against Hearts, Dundee, Hibs and now Motherwell, and produced a performance yesterday which began brightly only to disintegrate once more.
Players fearful of their future will regard it as another match to be kept away from videotape in case Guus Hiddink discovers it this summer.
Jackie McNamara suffered ankle ligament damage after a first-half tackle from Don Goodman and, having been stretchered off, he will miss at least the rest of this season. Johan Mjallby was named in the Celtic team yesterday but never kicked a ball: he strained his thigh in the pre-match warm-up and had to be removed from the side. Mark Burchill came in from the start as his replacement only to suffer a broken nose when Ged Brannan accidentally kicked him in the face. Celtic are a wounded club in every sense.
In the context of a meaningless match it was difficult to whip up a drama over either McNamara's worrying injury, or Mjallby's strain, but if Dalglish deserves any sympathy it is only for the casualty list mounting at Parkhead: Alan Stubbs, Lubo Moravcik, Stilian Petrov, Morten Wieghorst, Tom Boyd, Tommy Johnson, Dmitiri Kharine, Rafael and Henrik Larsson were all unavailable to the caretaker manager.
Yesterday's team contained some players who cannot expect to prosper under Dalglish's successor. Bobby Petta was cheered on to the field by supporters - the Motherwell supporters.
Fir Park, 20 minutes from Glasgow, was the latest stop on a farewell tour which some Celtic fans lacked the stomach to attend. Hundreds of empty seats emphasised the apathy currently felt towards the death throes of Dalglish's reign. Provincial clubs are accused of exploiting the gravy train of Old Firm visits, but Fir Park contained over 5000 empty seats yesterday in an attendance which only just crept over 8000.
The result, and Hearts' victory, effectively ended Motherwell's prospect of finishing third and claiming a Uefa Cup place. They are now seven points behind Hearts with only nine available.
To come from behind and rally after a meek opening, however, entitled coach Billy Davies to feel more satisfaction than his counterpart. Motherwell have taken seven points off Celtic this season.
"They have to keep playing with the love for football they played today," said Davies of his players. "I thought it was a good match for the fans, great end to end stuff. But what do I know about football?"
Celtic's squad resembled a nursery. Stewart Kerr was in goal for his first start of the season, Colin Healy and Stephen Crainey were in the starting XI and John Kennedy, Simon Lynch and Mark Fotheringham on the bench.
"We don't have any choice," said Dalglish. "We have a team, and subs, out injured just now. It's a bit unfair on them [the youngsters] but we have to fulfil our obligations and put out the best team we can."
Burchill, unconvincing recently, made a little more of his opportunity yesterday. He can appear entirely one-footed and his finishing remains erratic, but when he scored the opening goal it embellished an already creditable record for the season. Often he has been brought on against already broken teams, yet he has scored nine times from seven league starts and 16 appearances from the bench.
Celtic, deserving their their opener, had looked the more purposeful side even before a careless Greg Strong pass-back put Stevie Woods under pressure. The goalkeeper's fluffed, hurried clearance was charged down by Burchill, who slid an angled shot into the net from eight yards. Strong and Benito Kemble are muscular defenders but initially both seemed terrified by the prospect of Burchill and Mark Viduka. The Australian, reported to have been touted to a London club for £8m by Celtic last week, shrugged off Kemble to fire a fierce shot across goal, and then gathered a lazy pass from the Dutchman and released Burchill to come close with a low drive which screwed across the face of goal.
Eyal Berkovic squandered another fine opening by firing over the crossbar when Viduka again held off Kemble and fired a shot which Woods parried into space in front of the Israeli. It took a Celtic penalty to stir Motherwell. Their sense of injustice when Jim McCluskey decided Kemble had pushed Viduka on the back - they felt the striker had dived - injected fervour into the Fir Park stands. Viduka took a short, languid stroll up and hit a lifeless penalty at Woods, who saved it and Stephen Crainey's headed rebound and then saw Viduka strike another shot off the post. Viduka has not scored for Celtic in seven weeks.
Motherwell were stung by the decision, which Davies considered "soft", and the fire they brought to their play was rewarded with an equaliser deep in first-half injury time. Olivier Tebily shoved John Spencer in the back 22 yards from goal for a free kick in Brannan territory. The former Manchester City midfielder curled a lovely, low right foot shot around the Celtic wall and into the unguarded left-hand side of Kerr's goal.
Kerr has a future to play for at Celtic and otherwise did not disappoint yesterday. He saved a low Derek Adams shot and reacted impressively to deny the same player minutes later with a dive to his left to touch a cleanly-struck volley past his left post.
Celtic had opportunities when Vidar Riseth waltzed through from midfield and sidestepped Woods only to thump a shot high over the crossbar, while Burchill was denied by Woods from another one-on-one chance. But Motherwell imposed themselves on the closing stages and might have snatched a last minute winner with a true collector's item: a Pat Nevin header. The ball looped just over the bar from Stephen Nicholas's cross.
Before the final whistle sounded Celtic fans could be seen streaming away from the stadium. The need to distance themselves from the source of their anguish - the team - had been overpowering. Rangers, now, could win the league by a 22-point margin.
PA Sport Match Report
Motherwell 1 Celtic 1
By Chris Roberts, PA Sport
Motherwell saw their UEFA Cup dream finally slip away as Celtic rediscovered some much needed fight, that has been missing for most of the season, to earn a draw at Fir Park.
The home side started the game five points behind third-placed Hearts with just four games remaining before the game but in truth Celtic should have had the match sewn up by the interval.
Mark Burchill, who only came into the side minutes before the kick-off after an injury in the warm up to Johan Mjallby, fired his side into the lead after a mistake from goalkeeper Stephen Woods.
But the Motherwell keeper made up for that blunder with a save from Mark Viduka's penalty and Ged Brannan's free-kick on the stroke of half-time gave them hope but Celtic hung on after the re-start for a point.
The visitors were playing for their pride and also for their futures with the arrival of a new head coach, whoever that may be, imminent and a summer clearout surely on the horizon at Parkhead.
The game started at a high tempo but the home team had the first opportunity of the game in the sixth minute when Paul Harvey played the ball through to John Spencer in the area and Kerr blocked the shot out for a corner.
Then Stephen Crainey's centre caused problems in the Motherwell box and the returning Benito Kemble was lucky to see his sliced clearance fly just past the post.
From the resulting corner Eyal Berkovic found Mark Viduka but his header looped just over the bar.
However, Celtic did take the lead in the 16th minute after Burchill capitalised on a bad mistake from Woods.
Motherwell defender Greg Strong played the ball back dangerously to Woods who seemed to dwell and made a hash of his clearance and Burchill slotted the ball into the empty net.
John Spencer then tried to put Motherwell on level terms with an optimistic curler from just outside the box but Kerr held comfortably.
The lively Burchill, who seemed inspired by his shock presence in the side, spun outside the area before firing a fierce drive on target that Woods saved low to his left.
Viduka then went agonisingly close to doubling Celtic's lead when he burst into the area before unleashing a fierce low drive that beat Woods but also slid past the post.
At this stage Celtic looked a team full of confidence with Motherwell letting frustration get the better of them and Brannan went into the book for a lunge on Stephane Mahe.
But the visitors should have gone further ahead in the 27th minute when Viduka held off the challenge of Kemble before Woods saved and somehow Berkovic fired over with the goalkeeper struggling to get to his feet.
Two minutes later and the home players and crowd were up in arms when Viduka went crashing to the ground, somewhat theatrically, under the challenge of Kemble and the referee surprisingly pointed to the spot but justice appeared to be done when Viduka stepped up casually and Woods made a great save from him and then from Crainey's follow-up before the Australian hit the outside of the post with Celtic's third bite of the cherry.
But Celtic suffered more injury heartbreak when Jackie McNamara was stretchered off in some pain in the 40th minute after an innocuous looking challenge on Don Goodman but Celtic were soon left to rue the whole host of missed chances.
On the strike of half-time Olivier Tebily brought down Spencer on the edge of the area and Brannan produced a great strike which curled round the Celtic wall and left Kerr rooted to the spot.
After the restart Celtic seemed to be affected by McNamara's injury and Brannan's goal and could not produce the flowing passes of the first 45 minutes.
Kerr saved his side in the 52nd minute when he made a superb save from Adams after Goodman had teed it up from eight yards out.
Celtic defender Vidar Riseth then became the latest player to be guilty of squandering a wonderful chance of putting the visitors in front in the 55th minute.
After playing a neat one-two with Viduka he took the ball round home keeper Woods but the Norwegian blasted high over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Kerr was again called into action in the 65th minute when Lee McCulloch squared the ball to Adams who fired on target from 25 yards but the keeper saved low to his left.
It was Viduka's turn again to let his side down in front of goal in the 75th minute when he was played through on goal by Burchill but the Australian again dragged his shot wide with just Woods to beat.
Then in the dying seconds substitute Pat Nevin saw his header from Stephen Nicholas' cross sail just over and the Motherwell fans walked away at the end knowing their European dream was over for another year.
Motherwell: Woods, Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, Hammell, Goodman (Townsley 62), Harvey (Nevin 80), Brannan, Adams, McCulloch, Spencer (Nicholas 87).
Subs Not Used: Ramsey, Brown.
Booked: Brannan, Goodman.
Goals: Brannan 45.
Celtic: Kerr, Healy, Riseth, Tebily, Mahe, McNamara (Petta 42), Lambert, Berkovic (Lynch 75), Crainey, Viduka, Burchill.
Subs Not Used: Gould, Kennedy, Fotheringhan. Booked: McNamara.
Goals: Burchill 15.
Ref: Jim McCluskey (Scotland).
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