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2000-07-25: Celtic 2-1 West Ham Utd, Friendly
|Match Pictures | Matches: 2000 - 2001 | 2000-2001 Pictures|
- Martin O’Neill made a comment to the press that appeared to say that he would have like to have brought Kenny Miller to the club but he missed the opportunity and the then young Hibs striker went to Ibrox.
- Lubo Moravcik leart from the SFA that he would be suspended for the opening match of the season.
- There was no further news on the targeted signings – Valgaeren, Thompson and Lennon – prior to this game though it was thought that Roda , Valgaeren’s club, had agreed to a £3.8million bid.
- Ex Celtic bhoy Brian Vaugh signed for Hamilton Accies for the season.
This game marked the return to Celtic Park of Paolo di Canio who had been a sublime talent for the club and a darling of the terraces but had left under a cloud of ignominy when he tried to force the club’s hand to win a better pay packet and, when that failed, he said he was not prepared to play. This led to extremely bad feeling between the fans and General Manager Jock Brown who engineered his ‘swap’ to Sheffield Wednesday in August 1997.
ReviewA Tuesday night Friendly saw Di Canio return and behave as if nothing had ever happened between him and the club. All in all, a decent game devoid of the defensive errors seen in the last friendly against Bordeaux, with Bobby Petta having quite a Bobby Dazzler of a game much to many peoples surprise.
Gould, Tebily, Boyd (Riseth, 58), Rafael (Stubbs, 58), McNamara, Petta, Moravcik, Lambert, Petrov (Berkovic, 58), Johnson (Fotheringham, 66), Larsson (Burchill, 58).
Non Used Subs: Kerr, Kennedy
Goals: Johnson (41), Petrov (51)
Bywater, Jorge (Forbes, 66), Winterburn (Keller, 58), Ruddock (Charles, 46), Stimac, Lomas, Sinclair (Newton, 72), Lampard, Kanoute (Defoe, 79), Di Canio, Carrick.
Non Used Subs: - O'Reilly, Cole
Goals: Di Canio (53)
Referee: S Dougal (Scotland)
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||5||3|
Celtic get Petta and better to outshine Di CanioThe Scotsman 26/07/2000
Tom Lappin at Celtic Park
Celtic 2 West Ham Utd 1
Johnson (43), Petrov (50) Di Canio (51)
A FEW faint shoots of optimism might be justified at Celtic Park. A close season dogged by uncertainty took a more positive aspect last night as Celtic emerged with a creditable victory in their last warm-up match before SPL business begins in earnest on Sunday.
Two well-made goals either side of half-time, from Tommy Johnson and Stilian Petrov, were enough to give them victory over a West Ham side who were skilful and adventurous enough to represent a real test. The visitors' goal, fittingly, was scored by the man with the greatest familiarity with this ground, Paolo Di Canio.
Celtic's much-criticised polyglot defence gelled a little more convincingly, although it still look troubled on occasion. Of more encouragement to Martin O'Neill would be the way his less illustrious squad members rose to the occasion. The butt of a thousand jokes, Bobby Petta, had the last laugh himself on this occasion, winning the man of the match award.
O'Neill, as promised, made several changes from the side defeated by Bordeaux on Saturday. Jonathan Gould, Jackie McNamara, Lubo Moravcik, Petta and Tommy Johnson came in. Berkovic started on the bench before facing his former team-mates in the second half.
For once though, the visitors' side had the star attraction. Di Canio's tempestuous departure from Celtic has been forgotten in his subsequent elevation to the status of the English Premiership's most entertaining villain, an Italian Cantona whose performances for West Ham last year won him the belated acclaim of his fellow professionals.
Di Canio led out his team to a mostly positive response, blowing kisses to the crowd, and getting into the familiar pattern of chips, leisurely passes, and languid swoops to the ground under the least challenge.
It was his strike partner Freddy Kanoute though, who proved the more immediate threat to Celtic's defence. Tall, strong and quick, with excellent control, Kanoute's twists and turns created plentiful openings. Within five minutes. he had created a shooting chance for himself, side-stepping a couple of challenges before sending his shot just wide.
West Ham started the more comfortably, looking confident in possession, passing the ball quickly and competently and probing for openings.
Without Rio Ferdinand, the constant subject of transfer speculation, their defence had an elderly look about it, with Nigel Winterburn joining Neil Ruddock in the back line, and not appearing to relish chasing Henrik Larsson, but Steve Lomas worked hard in front of the defence to minimise the Celtic threat.
Celtic's defensive uncertainties were recalled with a sloppy back-pass from Rafael which gave Kanoute a shooting chance. Jonathan Gould's excellent save reprieved the Brazilian.
Celtic fans would have looked enviously at the precocious ability of Michael Carrick in the West Ham midfield,another of Harry Redknapp's home-grown talents who looked composed and imaginative on the ball. He drove a shot just wide after Frank Lampard had set up the chance.
Celtic's best thrusts once more came through Larsson. His flicked pass behind the West Ham defence after nine minutes found everyone assuming Johnson was offside – Johnson included, judging by his half-hearted prod wide of the goal. Another athletic break from the back by the Swede culminated in a visionary pass out to the left for Moravcik, forcing a desperate intervention from Ruddock.
A weak shot from McNamara looked like being the sum of Celtic's attempts on goal, until, two minutes from the interval they came up with a goal.
Moravcik, whose invention was missed on Saturday,masterminded the chance. His pass from deep on the Celticl eft evaded the sluggish lungeof Ruddock, and found Larsson in space.
Larsson had the option of shooting from a tight angle, but preferred to square theball to the unmarked Johnson, who sidefooted past Steven Bywater to give Celtic the lead.
Confidence proved a precious quality and Celtic took enough of it into the second half to bring them a second goal within five minutes of the restart. Petrov made headway down the left and exchanged swift passes with Larsson. As the goalkeeper came out to meet him, Petrov slipped the ball between his legs and over the line.
The Celtic taunts of "so expletive easy" were building to a crescendo when Di Canio swiftly silenced them a minute later. His goal, as expected, was beautifully executed. Gary Charles' cross from the right was flicked into his path by Lampard, and Di Canio steered the ball wide of Gould and inside the far post. The Italian's popularity took a nosedive.
West Ham's spirits were revived, and O'Neill made a mass substitution, with four changes, one of which allowed Berkovic to renew acquaintances with his old "friends" from Upton Park. Mark Burchill gave Larsson a well-earned rest, while Vidar Riseth and Alan Stubbs also joined the fray.
Widespread changes tend to interrupt a team's rhythm, and the game suffered accordingly.
Moravcik went close, with a turn and shot, followed with a swift West Ham break where Trevor Sinclair might have equalised but for Gould's alertness.
Although West Ham rediscovered their passing fluency, although they lacked a little ruthlessness in and around the penalty area.
The home support were sufficiently chastened to be outsung by the visiting Cockney cadre, but Celtic held on for their win. Such diligence and willingness to take the few chances that came their way should allow a few tentative hopes of better things to come for O'Neill's Celtic.
PA Sport Match Report
- Manager Interview
"I won't read a million things into it but the players are pleased. It is better to win. It was also a good exercise to get fit. The first goal was brilliant and so was the second. We can create chances and that is one of the most important things in the game. But we still have a lot to do as far as the leaking of goals is concerned. I said I would judge players from scratch and I have encouraged Petta to go out and take men on. His confidence needs a boost and tonight will have helped."
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