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2000-09-06: Celtic 4-0 Raith Rovers, League Cup
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- Alan Thompson’s move took a step closer when he knocked back a move to Blackburn Rovers.
- Following the red card he received in the Demolition Derby, Barry Ferguson found out he’d been given a second red for aggressive behaviour towards Alan Stubbs after his first red card and for flicking vickies at the Celtic fans as he left the field.
- Vidar Riseth sought a meeting with Martin O’Neill having only started the two games against Jeunesse Esch this season. It looked like he would be leaving.
- John Hartson flew into Glasgow – for a medical with Rangers. Rangers chose not to sign him when he failed the medical.
- On 1/9/00 The club struck a double deal and signed Alan Thompson from Aston Villa for £2.75million and a 5 year contract, and Didier Agathe from Hibernian for a nominal fee of £50k and a 3 year contract. The deal to sign Thompson had been on the cards for a while. Agathe, who had only been signed by Hibs on a short term deal, rejected a renewed more lucrative contract from the Edinburgh side to sign for Celtic. His contract with Hibs had been due to expire on 2nd October. Thompson would be ineligible to play in Europe having played for Aston Villa in their Inter-Toto Cup run (and having been sent off in the game against Celta Vigo – which would also see him missing the first two European games next season). Agathe arrived with a hamstring injury which would keep him out for a month.
- A chance to recoup some damage emerged when Brazilian club Sao Paolo enquired after the availability of Rafael Scheidt.
- Martin O’Neill was voted Bank of Scotland Manager of the Month.
- On 3/9/00 Allan MacDonald resigned as Chief Executive quite suddenly and unexpectedly. This was thought to be in part due to the increasing hands-on role that principal shareholder Dermot Desmond was taking in the club.
- For the game Stubbs succumbed to his knee injury again, Lambert was out with a heavily bruised thigh from the Rangers game, Mjallby had a foot injury, Moravcik and Petrov were rested. Thompon made his debut, Healy came in, Johnson was recovered from injury and Tebily and Scheidt were added to the squad.
- Away from Celtic John Collins moved from Everton to Fulham.
ReviewA debut and a goal for new bhoy Alan Thompson who looked pretty good in his first game for the club. Tommy Johnson played in midfield behind Burchill and Sutton in the first half. The penalty was soft but a definite one. And Raith getting their captain sent off in the second half finished the game.
Kerr, Boyd, Mahe, McNamara, Valgaeren, Healy, Thompson, Petta (Tebily 1, Rafael 58), Johnson, Burchill, Sutton (Berkovic 46)
Subs Not Used: Gould, Larsson.
Goals: Sutton 41, Johnson 44 pen, 55, Thompson 68.
Booked: Valgaeren (Celtic)
Van De Kamp, McCulloch, Dennis, Andrews, Browne, Black, S. Tosh, McKinnon (Clark 79), Stein (Creaney 86), P. Tosh (I. Mballa 62), Burns.
Subs Not Used: Ellis, Coyle.
Booked: McCulloch, Burns, McKinnon, Browne, Black. (Raith Rovers)
Sent Off: Burns (46). (Raith Rovers)
Referee: Dougie MacDonald (Scotland).
- Match Reports - see below
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Martin O’Neill post match :"We played sketchily during the first half and so we were delighted to score these goals.
"Getting in front was helpful and we played much better in the second half.
"Even though we had many changes tonight, the boys are fighting for a place and should really have found their rhythm quicker than they did. However, I was very pleased with the result and with Thompson. He has the ability and all he needs is his confidence up again. Obviously, this game will have brought him on. We'll see how injuries are over the next two days."
"Bobby strained a thigh muscle in the warm-up and he went back on to the field to try to stretch it off, however, he didn't want to risk it, and by that time it was too late to change the team sheet. So, he was replaced by Tebily."
Celtic run Raith raggedThe Scotsman 06/09/2000
Celtic 4 Raith 0
ALTHOUGH new Celtic huffed and puffed more than of late - a natural consequence of their best players either being used sparingly or not at all - the Scottish Premier League challengers were still able to remove First Division Raith Rovers from the CIS Insurance Cup at Parkhead last night with the minimum of fuss.
Two goals from Tommy Johnson, a debut effort from Alan Thompson and another opportunist strike from Chris Sutton propelled Celtic into the quarter-finals of the competition on a night when the Glasgow side chose to squash the opposition rather than out-fox them.
Martin O'Neill, Celtic's manager, was able to give most of his squad members a run-out and still win the tie with something to spare.
Raith were undone by the loss of two goals in the closing minutes of the first half and the ordering-off of Alex Burns, their captain, at the beginning of the second.
For O'Neill, the positive aspect of the night's work was winning comfortably and giving more of his squad the opportunity to compete for places. "We played sketchily during the first half and so we were delighted to score these goals," he admitted.
"Getting in front was helpful and we played much better in the second half. I was very happy with Alan Thompson, who showed he's a good footballer. There's no doubt about Alan's ability."
It was as recently as 1994 that Raith defeated Celtic in the final of this competition, though it might as well have been 1894 for all the chance there was of history repeating itself. Celtic, of course, can still suffer freak results against modest opposition. Inverness Caledonian Thistle's success in last season's Scottish Cup tie at Parkhead was a prime example.
In general, however, the gap between the Old Firm and the rest of Scottish football has grown wider during the past six years than in the previous 60.
This was not to say, mind you, that Raith did not acquit themselves well. In the first half they played some neat football and were well organised at the back.
The First Division outfit made life harder for the home team than some Premier League outfits. Fresh from the 6-2 demolition of Rangers, there was no more chance of Celtic losing this tie than there was of Tina Turner being booked for the cabaret at the club's Christmas party.
Such was Celtic's advantage, they were able to make six changes from the team who sunk Rangers. In fact, before a ball was kicked, the number of alterations rose to seven after Bobby Petta pulled a hamstring during the warm-up and was replaced by Olivier Tebily.
Among the new faces was Thompson, signed from Aston Villa for £2.75 million. If this was another indication of a gulf in resources, it was frustrating for the home side's support that Celtic created so little that was clear-cut early on.
Johnson played in midfield behind the strikers, and his weighted pass to Jackie McNamara produced the first half-chance as the right-back pinpointed Sutton, who could not apply the finishing touch.
The home side were playing a genuine 3-5-2 formation, with both McNamara and Stephane Mahe pushed on into the midfield area rather than operating as extra defenders. Even so, this much-changed line-up lacked the fluency of the side who had scored 13 goals in the club's previous two games.
Raith were certainly competitive, with no fewer than three players - Greig McCulloch, Burns and Ray McKinnon - all shown the yellow card during the first half.
Raith grew in confidence the longer the half went on, but suffered from a loss of concentration during the closing minutes. Even without the subtle promptings of either Lubomir Moravcik or Henrik Larsson, there was a solidity about Celtic which earned a breakthrough goal from Sutton in the 40th minute.
Thompson supplied the cross from a corner kick, Joos Valgaeren delivered the header and Sutton scrambled the ball over the line at the back post.
Celtic effectively wrapped up the tie three minutes later after referee Dougie MacDonald gave a soft penalty for Kenny Black's challenge on Johnson.
The Englishman took the spot kick himself and swept the ball into the corner past Guido van de Kamp. It was hardly what Raith's efforts deserved, and a disconsolate Paul Browne was booked for dissent.
Raith cut their own throats a few seconds after the restart when Burns, who had already been booked, was ordered off for dissent. It was a foolish gesture, even if the Raith captain was entitled to feel aggrieved about the award of a foul to Celtic.
Eyal Berkovic came on for Sutton, and the contest became a workout for Celtic's reserve players.
Johnson added a third, the best goal of the game, with a swerving 20-yard shot in the 55th minute, and Thompson capped his debut with a goal from a backheel flick after good work by Mark Burchill in the 68th minute.
Celtic were now so far in front they were able to allow themselves the luxury of finishing with ten men after Johnson, who was injured, departed ten minutes before the end.
Celtic 4-0 Raith Rovers
Goals by Englishmen Chris Sutton and Tommy Johnson shortly before the break put holders Celtic on course for the fourth round of the CIS Insurance Cup. As if that had not already killed the tie as a contest, former Rangers midfielder Alex Burns was then sent off a minute after half-time for a second bookable offence. So there was to be no repeat of the Kirkcaldy club's giant-killing antics, having famously beaten Celtic in the 1975 League Cup final, with Johnson adding a second and new £2.75m signing Alan Thompson scoring late on in his debut. However, it took Sutton's eye for goal to quell the challenge of a first division side that were holding their own until the £6m man's opener after 41 minutes.
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill included his signing from Aston Villa, Thompson, for the first time as he made six changes to the team that maintained their 100% winning start to the new campaign with a 6-2 thrashing of Rangers last week. However, O'Neill was forced to make another change to his side, with the injured winger, Bobby Petta, replaced by defender Olivier Tebily. It was the visitors who provided the first chance of the game in the fifth minute, when midfielders Paul Tosh and Alex Burns linked up on the edge of the area before the latter hit a fierce right-footed effort over the bar. However, the home side sprung into life a minute later and they should have done better when Tommy Johnson fired a cross into the box, but young striker Mark Burchill failed to connect properly with his goal-bound volley. Side netting Both teams had players booked in the space of just two minutes when, first, Celtic's Colin Healy and then Greig McCulloch saw yellow for late fouls. After 12 minutes, Stephane Mahe cut the ball back to Jackie McNamara at the far post, but the Scottish internationalist headed into the side netting. Raith looked dangerous on the counter-attack, but their over exuberance looked like costing them dear as Burns and Ray McKinnon also went into the referee's notebook for late tackles in quick succession. However, the visitors were by no means being outplayed by the Premier League side and stretched Celtic's defence on a number of occasions. Even so, it was the home side who drew first blood, although they were rather fortunate to do so on the balance of play. Celtic had Sutton's poacher's instinct to thank once again. McNamara won a corner off Kenny Black and Thompson swung in a cross that Joos Valgaeren headed against the crossbar before Sutton popped up at the far post to bundle the ball home. It took just three minutes for Celtic to double their advantage when Kenny Black was adjudged to have fouled Johnson with an innocuous-looking challenge just inside the area and the flame-haired striker stepped up to fire home.
Eyal Berkovic replaced Sutton at the break, but the visiting side were left stunned just a minute into the second half when Burns was dismissed for remonstrating over a decision with the linesman and received his second yellow card. It was now just a matter of how many goals the home side could muste and Johnson blasted home a swerving long-range effort after 55 minutes. However, the home side's celebrations were somewhat tempered in the 58th minute when Tebily was worryingly carried from the field after a challenge in the box and he was replaced by Rafael. Thompson had made an impressive debut and, in the 69th minute, he grabbed his first goal for the club when Johnson's effort fell to him inside the six-yard box and he back-heeled into the net.
Celtic 4 Raith 0 By Chris Roberts, PA SportPA Sport Match Report Chris Sutton grabbed his sixth goal of his Celtic career as the holders crushed their First Division opponents to progress comfortably into the fourth round of the CIS Insurance Cup.
The £6million striker lifted a poor cup tie and made sure they avoided a repeat of last season's humiliating exit at the hands of Inverness Caledonian Thistle by firing home to open the floodgates at Parkhead.
Striker Tommy Johnson fired a reminder to manager Martin O'Neill and to the first-choice strike force of Sutton and Henrik Larsson that they must keep the goals flowing to make it two from the spot just before the break.
However, Raith's misery was compounded just after the break when Alex Burns was red-carded before Johnson grabbed his second of the night and £2.75million Alan Thompson scored to make it a memorable debut for Celtic.
However, the home side were on a high after seven consecutive victories and a 6-2 victory over Rangers in their last game and they are determined to hang on to the trophy that they won last season which gave them their only success of a disastrous season.
But Raith came with high hopes after making an impressive start to the new campaign and produced the first real opening in the fifth minute when Paul Tosh found Burns on the edge of the box and he blazed a right-footed effort just over the bar.
That fired the home side into life and a minute later Johnson crossed from the right for the unmarked Mark Burchill, who failed to connect properly with a right footed volley.
Celtic again pushed forward and in the 12th minute almost took the lead when Stephane Mahe cut the ball back to Jackie McNamara at the back post but the Scotland international headed into the side netting.
But Raith looked dangerous on the counter-attack and were causing the home defence a whole host of problems, but their over-exuberance was threatening to cost them dear.
Burns went into the referee's book after squaring up to Mahe and less than five minutes later Ray McKinnon also saw yellow for a bad tackle on Burchill.
Nevertheless, they were giving as good as they were getting and in the 36th minute Celtic's reserve keeper Stewart Kerr had to save low to his right from Tosh.
However, despite Raith's best efforts the home side drew first blood in the 39th minute rather fortunately on the balance of play and it was former Chelsea man Sutton who they had to thank again.
McNamara won a corner off Kenny Black and Thompson swung the ball into the right and Joos Valgaeren headed against the bar and Sutton popped up at the far post to bundle the ball home from close range.
That stunned the visitors and just three minutes later Celtic doubled their advantage when Black was adjudged to have fouled Johnson from behind, just inside the box and the striker sent Guido Van De Kamp the wrong way from the spot.
Sutton's night was complete at the break as he was replaced by Eyal Berkovic but the visitors were left stunned a minute into the second period when Burns was dismissed for remonstrating with the linesman over a decision.
It was now a matter of how many goals Celtic could score, and there was nothing Van De Kamp could do with Celtic's third as Johnson blasted home a swerving, long-range effort.
The home side's celebrations were somewhat tempered in the 58th minute when Olivier Tebily was carried from the field on a stretcher after an innocuous looking challenge in the box.
Young Scotland striker Burchill caught the eye and was looking to bag his fourth goal of the campaign when he hit a powerful first-time effort inside the box that Van De Kamp did well to push away.
But the final word belonged to Thompson and in the 69th minute he ensured that he would remember his Celtic debut when Johnson's effort fell to him in the box and he cheekily backheeled into the Raith goal for Celtic's fourth.
Celtic: Kerr, Boyd, Mahe, McNamara, Valgaeren, Healy, Thompson, Petta (Tebily 1), Johnson, Burchill, Sutton (Berkovic 46), Tebily (Rafael 58).
Subs Not Used: Gould, Larsson.
Goals: Sutton 41, Johnson 44 pen, 55, Thompson 68.
Raith: Van De Kamp, McCulloch, Dennis, Andrews, Browne, Black, S. Tosh, McKinnon (Clark 79), Stein (Creaney 86), P. Tosh (I. Mballa 62), Burns.
Subs Not Used: Ellis, Coyle.
Sent Off: Burns (46).
Booked: McCulloch, Burns, McKinnon, Browne, Black.
Ref: Douglas MacDonald (Scotland).
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