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2000-08-13: Celtic 2-1 Kilmarnock, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 2000 - 2001 | 2000-2001 Pictures|
- Following Leicester decision to slap a £8million transfer fee on his head, Neil Lennon appeared to recognise that the club were not going to let him go and signed his name to a very lucrative new £30,000/week four year contract at Leicester.
- The financial figures were released with the club making a pre-tax loss of nearly £6million. Brian Quinn used this as an opportunity to announce that season ticket prices would rise for 2001-02 season. The overall effect of the figures was to drop the share price 6.5p to 212.5p. Rangers announced a £9.2million 6 month losses and their last annual figures had shown a £24million loss, but the Press chose to concentrate on the size of the Celtic debt.
- Allan MacDonald announced that he had again been in talks with continental clubs over the formation of a European Atlantic League. It would be a 16-team league, with promotion and relegation from the domestic leagues of the countries involved. The clubs would play each other twice throughout the season, home and away. The teams that would join the Atlantic League (II) pledged to financially compensate their national league teams so that they would be no worse off than before the departure of the top two earning clubs. He also gave a leading interview to the Sunday papers which revealed some interesting details over his own appointment, and the succession of Jo Venglos by Dalglish and Barnes and on Barnes sacking.
- With Neil Lennon unavailable reports emerged linking Celtic to a move for Hearts Colin Cameron.
- McNamara and Sutton were suspended following their reds against Motherwell; Healy, Riseth and Shields dropped out of the squad with Boyd and Petrov coming back and Stubbs recovered from injury.
ReviewA second half fight-back from being a goal down to win the match, this was a gutsy performance and an indication of better things to come.
Gould, Stubbs, Valgaeren, Boyd (Mjallby 46), Mahe, Lambert, Moravcik, Petrov, Petta, Larsson, Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Kerr, Berkovic, Burchill, Tebily.
Goals: Larsson 50, Johnson 72.
Yellows: Petrov, Petta, Stubbs, Lambert. (Celtic)
Marshall, MacPherson, Dindeleux, Hessey, Baker, Canero, Holt, Mahood (Cocard 85), Fowler (Vareille 40), McCoist (Wright 77), McLaren.
Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Hay.
Goals: McLaren 17.
Yellows: McLaren, Baker. (Kilmarnock)
Red Card: Baker (89). (Kilmarnock)
Referee: Kenny Clark (Scotland).
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||10||4|
All's will that ends well at ParkheadThe Scotsman 14/08/2000
Glenn Gibbons at Parkhead
Celtic 2 Kilmarnock 1
CELTIC have had to shed too much sweat in securing three single-goal victories in league matches so far to attract eulogies which include words such as scintillating or exhilarating, but they have demonstrated a refusal to submit to adversity which distinguishes them from the team who, last season, had "Spineless" as a middle name.
This latest performance was a tribute to their will, coming from behind with second-half goals from Henrik Larsson and Tommy Johnson after the reinvigorated Andy McLaren's wonderful strike had given Kilmarnock an advantage, which was entirely merited.
Even the much-needed resurgence of spirit and character in the Parkhead side - the most noticeable effects of Martin O'Neill's influence on a distressed team - seems insufficient, however, to stop the Rugby Park team from giving them a hard time, no matter the venue.
O'Neill himself wasted no time in admitting that his team needs significant improvement. "I'm utterly delighted with the victories we've had, but you can see yourself we've loads to do yet. We turned round a goal down and the crowd could have been edgy, but they stayed with us. I really thought they were magnificent."
During that period when the visitors took the lead, Celtic must have induced appalling memories in their supporters, as they bore a disconcerting resemblance to the team which spent most of last season causing anxiety and pain. While O'Neill was forced to alter the side which won their opening two games because of the suspensions of Chris Sutton and Jackie McNamara, it was not a hindrance that should account for the general lack of authority which marked their endeavours for much of the time.
In any case, playing Lubomir Moravcik in place of Eyal Berkovic - in this case for arbitrary, rather than physical, reasons - could hardly be regarded as a weakening gambit. What would upset the home fans during the unproductive period would be the inclusion of Bobby Petta wide on the left.
During that first half, reports of the Dutchman's improvement and readiness to establish himself as a hero seemed wildly exaggerated, until it was remembered that the recent praise in the media was based on a performance against Jeunesse of Luxembourg, an achievement that cannot exactly be likened to toppling giants. He did make progress after the interval, but not impressively enough to cause any damage.
But, perhaps in an attempt at deepening the player's self-belief, O'Neill said that Petta may be the man to provide the crosses from which Sutton, Larsson and Johnson could benefit. Much improvement is still required, however, if he is to be regarded as an important item.
There had been rather misleading judgments, too, about Larsson, perhaps occasioned by the sweetly-struck goal with which the Swede announced his return at Tannadice on the opening weekend. There has been no disputing the striker's typically energetic commitment to discomfiting opponents, but, for most of the 50 minutes that preceded his well-executed equaliser, it was clear that he is still short of the sharpness and finesse that have made his reputation.
By introducing Johan Mjallby for Tom Boyd at the start of the second half - the muscular Swede helped to bring physical presence to the midfield, with Stilian Petrov retreating to the right-back role - O'Neill demonstrated not only his eye for flaws in his team, but a willingness to act on them.
This was necessary, as Kilmarnock's performance in the first half brought them what they deserved, an advantage constructed almost solely by McLaren, a player whose renaissance seems more genuine than the one attributed to Petta.
Alan Mahood released the ball to McLaren in midfield and the former Dundee United forward carried it towards retreating defenders before carrying it wide to his right and sending a marvellously-controlled drive high to the right of Jonathan Gould from 20 yards.
This precision finishing was an embarrassment to Petrov, who, within a minute of the visitors taking the lead, committed what in many other jobs would be construed as a sackable offence, driving the ball wildly over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat after being freed by a neat one-two between Moravcik and Johnson.
Gould was required to rush from his goal to stop Mahood doubling Kilmarnock's lead after a Paul Lambert pass back had left the ball at the feet of the Killie midfielder. But soon after that Larsson showed his virtuosity, receiving Lambert's diagonal pass from the right, killing the ball instantly and slipping it beyond Marshall from eight yards with the inside of his right foot.
It was Larsson, too, who fed Johnson for the winner with a perfectly-weighted forward header, the former Aston Villa striker controlling the ball with his left foot before sliding it low to the left of Gordon Marshall.
The ordering-off of Martin Baker - for a second cautionable offence, this time for a foul on Moravcik - did seem severe, as referee Kenny Clark signalled full-time within a few seconds of the Killie full-back's dismissal. A straight-forward free-kick to Celtic and the final blow on the whistle the moment it was taken would have been more sensible than a judgment that so inflamed Baker that he chased after Moravcik to accuse him of diving and had to be restrained and led away by the referee.
Bobby Williamson, the Kilmarnock manager, shared these observations. "I didn't think it was an ordering-off," he said. "Baker did get some of the ball, which proves he wasn't going for the man. Anyway, with just seconds left, referees should show a little common-sense in these circumstances. That boy [Baker] is now suspended, out of the team, and his livelihood is affected."
PA Sport Match Report
- Manager Interview
PA SportCeltic 2 Kilmarnock 1 By Chris Roberts, PA Sport.
Tommy Johnson fired a reminder to manager Martin O'Neill to bag Celtic's winner at Parkhead to keep their 100% start to the new season intact.
The former Aston Villa striker had been forced to sit in the shadows following the £6million signing of Chris Sutton, who has formed an immediate understanding with Henrik Larsson in their first three games.
However, Johnson got the chance to impress with Sutton suspended ahead of transfer-listed youngster Mark Burchill and he showed O'Neill that he too could play in his Parkhead revolution.
However, Swedish international striker Larsson can make most strikers stand out and he rescued his side with the second-half equaliser after Kilmarnock had threatened to end their unbeaten run when they took the lead through a glorious Andy McLaren strike.
The home side were not at their best but Larsson was again involved to create Johnson's winner and give O'Neill his fourth win in as many games.
His side started with the confidence of a team that had won their two previous league games and blew away Luxembourg minnows Jeunesse Esch in midweek.
Their patient build-up play almost paid dividends in the eighth minute when Alan Stubbs, Larsson and Johnson combined to send a rejuvenated Bobby Petta down the left flank and Kilmarnock goalkeeper Gordon Marshall had to punch clear with Larsson looming with intent at the far post.
Moments later they should have again opened the scoring when Stubbs met Lubo Moravcik's corner, but James Fowler cleared off the line and Petta followed up to blaze erratically over.
Kilmarnock were struggling to impose themselves in the opposition's half early on but they gave Celtic a warning in the 16th minute when Alan Mahood flashed a speculative right-foot shot just past the post.
A minute later and Marshall saved low to deny Johnson just inside the box, but in the 18th minute Kilmarnock stunned the home crowd to take a shock lead when McLaren curled a brilliant right-foot shot from 25 yards into the top corner.
But Celtic could have cancelled that out just a minute later when Stilian Petrov was played clear through by Johnson inside the box but he shot high over the bar.
However, O'Neill's men could have fallen further behind on the half-hour when Jonathan Gould pulled off a wonderful acrobatic save to deny Peter Canero after he exchanged passes with Ally McCoist on the edge of the area.
Marshall was again called up to save his side in the 42nd minute when Larsson headed the ball through to Johnson but the goalkeeper raced off his line to clear into touch.
Celtic were riding their luck and just a minute into the second half they had Gould again to thank after defence hesitated to let Mahood clean through but the Scottish international saved bravely with his feet.
A minute later and he was again called upon to deny Gus MacPherson, who produced a powerful 25-yard effort on target.
However with Larsson in the side Celtic always have a chance of scoring goals when not at their best and he got the Hoops back on level terms in the 50th minute.
Moravcik found Paul Lambert on the right and the midfielder played the ball in to the Swede, who drew Marshall before sliding a right-footed passing shot past the keeper.
Celtic then produced their best move of the match in the 63rd minute when Petta sent Moravcik galloping down the left and he pulled the ball across the face of goal into the path of Larsson, but Marshall blocked to deny the dreadlocked hitman.
Larsson was causing the visiting defence all kinds of problems throughout and it was the Swede who created the winner in the 73rd minute when he played the ball through to Johnson, who beat the offside trap, and drew Marshall before casually slotting a right-foot shot into the corner.
Five minutes later and Celtic came within inches of extending their lead when the impressive Petta crossed for Moravcik to head just past the post.
Kilmarnock, who were unlucky to lose against Rangers last week, were again letting their frustrations affect them, but substitute Christophe Cocard missed a great chance with three minutes remaining when he fired McLaren's centre past the post.
However, Kilmarnock's misery increased in the very final minute when Martin Baker was dismissed for a foul on Moravcik and referee Kenny Clark had no hesitation in brandishing a second yellow card.
Teams: Celtic: Gould, Stubbs, Valgaeren, Boyd (Mjallby 46), Mahe, Lambert, Moravcik, Petrov, Petta, Larsson, Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Kerr, Berkovic, Burchill, Tebily.
Booked: Petrov, Petta, Stubbs, Lambert.
Goals: Larsson 50, Johnson 72.
Kilmarnock: Marshall, MacPherson, Dindeleux, Hessey, Baker, Canero, Holt, Mahood (Cocard 85), Fowler (Vareille 40), McCoist (Wright 77), McLaren.
Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Hay.
Sent Off: Baker (89).
Booked: McLaren, Baker.
Goals: McLaren 17.
Ref: Kenny Clark (Scotland).
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