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2000-10-21: Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 2000 - 2001 | 2000-2001 Pictures|
- NTL, shirt sponsors of both Celtic and Rangers, announced that they were pulling out of a £38million deal to show English Premier League live games next season. Their bid was part of the £2billion 3 year package announced south of the border. It was an indication that things were not fully right at NTL which was posting very large debt figures for a media company. The company were also shirt sponsors of Newcastle Utd and Aston Villa.
- The condition of Morten Wieghorst, who was in hospital after being taken ill with Guillain-Barre syndrome, deteriorated suddenly and he had to be placed on a ventilator.
- In further developments on the putative Atlantic League, there seemed little chance of the moves taking off at the meeting to consider it’s future in December, when a spokesman for UEFA came out and said that the future of competition in the European game was through the national leagues.
- On the day of the game it was revealed that Eyal Berkovic had instructed his lawyer to write to Chief Executive Allan MacDonald demanding an enquiry as to why his client was being continually left on the sidelines. Berkovic had commented earlier that he would leave in the January transfer window in he continued to fail to start games.
ReviewAll the papers talked about how Dundee Utd had survived a hard week – Celtic just went onwards and upwards.
Gould, Boyd, Valgaeren, Mjallby, Agathe, Lambert, Petrov, Thompson, Petta (McNamara 84), Larsson, Sutton.
Subs Not Used: Douglas, Healy, Moravcik, Riseth.
Goals: Larsson 34, Thompson 62.
Combe, McQuillan, De Vos, Partridge, Buchan, Licina, Easton, Venetis (Leoni 71), Aljofree, Fuentes (Atangana 61), Thompson (Ramirez 86).
Subs Not Used: Onstad, Worrell.
Goals: Lambert 78 og.
Booked: Licina (Dundee Utd)
Referee: J Underhill (Scotland)
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||5||2|
Finger licken goodSunday Herald 22/10/2000
Celtic 2 Dundee United 1
OF all the harbingers of doom who accompanied Dundee United into Parkhead like vultures yesterday, not a single prophet had been heard to predict they may emerge with some sort of moral victory. There is life at United after Jim McLean, though. The club not only avoided the mauling most of us had expected for them yesterday, they even had the audacity to claim a first league goal away from home since April. Leaving Glasgow with dignity intact last night was the greatest feat they had achieved all season.
"I would say it's the first time we have played in an organised and controlled way since I came," said manager Alex Smith. "That's the first time we have been able to say that we came away from a game with a bit of pride and promise again."
Pride, promise, but no points. At the end of a week when one blow after another rained down on their supporters - ignited by McLean's alleged assault on a journalist - it was ironic that fans should feel grateful for facing opponents who lacked punch. Despite the abundant attacking ability of Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton, it is eight games since Martin O'Neill's men scored more than twice in a match. Instead, this side tramples on all the Celtic traditions: it doesn't score too often and it lacks flamboyance. It looks, mind you, as though it could go on to win the league. Rangers fans preferred the old Celtic.
Larsson and Alan Thompson claimed one in each half yesterday, but Celtic's victory, though clearly deserved, was again methodical against a nervous, but defiant United. While Celtic are now 12 points clear of (fourth-placed) Rangers, United remain on a measly two at the foot, without a win after 12 attempts. Their defending was so effective in breaking up Celtic's laboured attacking that it was one of their own men who almost put them behind. David Partridge smacked a firm header on to the face of his own crossbar and behind from a Thompson corner. The defender's embarrassment was missed only by referee John Underhill, who inexplicably awarded a goal kick.
A back three of Partridge, Jason De Vos and John Licina was buttressed by deep-lying wide players Hasney Aljofree and John McQuillan. With Jamie Buchan, Craig Easton and Anastasios Venetis also shuttling back to help out, Celtic's forwards were running into a mass of defenders.
O'Neill's team resorted to directness to discomfort United, either through Bobby Petta's bursts from the left wing or from high crosses to Larsson and Sutton. Larsson tumbled over after hitting the back post with a header from a right wing Thompson corner after half-an-hour.
United buckled at last when Stilian Petrov played a short corner to Petta, who swung over a cross which Larsson almost stooped to head home. It was the Swede's 16th goal in 15 games this season, his 49th in SPL history, and hit the back of the net a year to the day since his left leg was shattered in a Uefa Cup tie at Lyon.
Sutton couldn't quite reach a Petta pass across the face of goal, then saw a header saved by Alan Combe. Petta's trickery was most troublesome of all to United. He deserved a penalty after being bundled off the ball by De Vos at the edge of the area, and then brought a crisp save from Combe.
To hone his match fitness for Thursday's tie in Bordeaux, Jonathan Gould was preferred in goal to new signing Rab Douglas. His goal was never going to be peppered by shots from a team which had not scored an away goal in the league since April, but he was periodically called up yesterday. He was incensed when Licina went in late on him after a Venetis pass - the Frenchman was booked - then reacted sharply to save a low Buchan shot on the turn. Right on half-time, he was beaten by a looping Licina header from Aljofree's corner. Petta cleared it off the line, although United claimed the ball was over.
Thompson scored Celtic's second with a low right-foot volley from the edge of the area after a headed lay-off by Sutton from Johan Mjallby's long crossfield pass. If the goal did not kill the game, it certainly left it wounded. Joos Valgaeren almost reached a Thompson free-kick, but Celtic's play was as drab as it was dominant. There was a fright when Steven Thompson squandered an excellent chance by pulling a shot wide of the post after good build-up play by Venetis and Easton, but although Mvondo Atangana and Stephane Leoni were introduced, it took a lapse into the absurd to leave Celtic holding on in the final minutes.
From Aljofree's cross from the left, McQuillan had a half-chance, but was challenged by Petta. With United claiming their wing-back had been fouled, Lambert's attempted clearance saw the ball rocket off his boot and high into the net. "It would have been a hundred times worse if it had been 0-0 at the time," said Lambert later.
O'Neill was right to be pleased with the contributions of Petta and Didier Agathe, but using them both on the wings in a 3-5-2 verged on the cavalier. Don't expect the same side to reappear in Bordeaux.
"I thought we were comfortable until we gave the goal away," said O'Neill. "We can play much, much better than we did today."
Eyal Berkovic was not included, even on the bench. His lawyer, Yoel Goldburg, said yesterday Berkovic had asked him to write to Celtic demanding an explanation for his persistent exclusion from the team. "Well, good luck to him," said O'Neill.
PA Sport Match Report
- Manager Interview
"If Rangers and Hibs win their games in hand the gap will be back down to what it was before.
" I'm just glad we have done our bit and won the game against United.
"It was a comfortable, if not convincing, victory. It was a patchy performance and we can play much better."
Celtic 2 Dundee United 1 By Chris Roberts, PA SportMartin O'Neill's men increased their lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points with victory over crisis club United, who gave manager Alex Smith some hope for the future with a spirited late fightback.
Goals from Henrik Larsson and Alan Thompson put the home side in the driving seat, but a late own goal from Paul Lambert had the Hoops hanging on nervously in the closing stages.
The win puts Celtic five points clear of Hibernian while Old Firm rivals Rangers are now a massive 12 points adrift of them.
But while O'Neill's men continue to enhance their title credentials with 11 wins out of 12, their opponents' battling qualities gave Smith a glimmer of hope.
Still without a win and a chairman after Jim McLean sensationally quit last week after his alleged attack on a BBC reporter, the players dug deep for their under-pressure boss to give Celtic a scare near the end.
The home side, however, had the possession and chances to have wrapped up the game well inside the second period.
They should have taken the lead as early as the 10th minute when Bobby Petta left the United defenders in his wake before squaring across the face of goal. But Chris Sutton could not get the touch that would opened the scoring.
The visitors' defence looked in all kinds of problems from set-pieces and in the 22nd minute Celtic came within inches of opening the scoring courtesy of an embarrassing own goal from David Partridge.
Thompson's deep corner was headed backwards by the youngster but it deflected off the crossbar to spare his blushes.
Moments later, Thompson's corner had the United defence in trouble again but this time Larsson could not stretch enough to get his header on target.
But with 10 minutes until half-time, Celtic deservedly took the lead and it was no surprise that it came courtesy of a set-piece with the United defence in disarray.
And it was no shock to see the name which broke the deadlock as Larsson met Stilian Petrov's free-kick to head home emphatically past Alan Combe in the United goal for his 16th goal of the season.
United, however, were making under-fire boss Smith proud and in the 37th minute Jonathan Gould, who is under pressure after the arrival of £1million Robert Douglas, produced a save to prove he was also not going to be ousted as number one without a fight.
Gustavo Fuentes got to the byline and pulled the ball back to Jamie Buchan on the edge of the box and his volley was saved at full stretch by Gould, low to his right.
Petta's pace almost brought Celtic's second just three minutes before half-time when he controlled the ball on his thigh before bursting into the box and only a brave save from Combe denied him a wonder goal.
Joos Valgaeren came close to bagging his second goal in two games when his glancing header, from Thompson's corner, went just wide of the upright.
The home side were not having everything their own way, though, and in the dying moments of the half they suffered a scare when Steven Thompson was given room to get a header on target which Gould did well to save on his line.
Sutton could have doubled Celtic's advantage in the 53rd minute when Larsson played him through inside the box but the alertness of Combe, coming off his line, denied the English striker a shot on target.
Celtic, however, did increase their lead in the 62nd minute and it came after a well-worked move with Thompson the benefactor.
Johan Mjallby's floated cross-field pass was headed into the path of the former Aston Villa midfielder who fired low past the helpless Combe in the United goal.
Valgaeren was again looking for another goal in the 67th minute when he arrived late in the box and almost reached Thompson's dangerous free-kick.
United refused to lie down and kept plugging away giving manager Smith some hope for the future.
And they almost pulled themselves back in the game in the 71st minute as Craig Easton teed up Thompson in acres of room to pick his spot in the box but he pulled his effort wide of the upright.
Celtic, however, failed to learn from that warning and in the 78th minute the visitors grabbed a goal back in bizarre fashion with an own goal from Lambert.
Hasney Aljofree caused the uncertainty at the back with a dangerous cross into the box and John McQuillan looked set to fire on target before Lambert intervened with an uncharacteristic mistake to shoot past Gould.
That was the wake-up call O'Neill's men needed and in the 82nd minute only the heroics from Combe prevented Celtic from recovering their two-goal advantage.
Larsson met Petrov's cross, after a short corner with Thompson, and his header looked on its way into the corner of the net but Combe somehow pushed it over the crossbar.
That did not matter though and Celtic held on for the points to put Hibs and Rangers under some pressure even at this early stage in the season.
Celtic: Gould, Boyd, Valgaeren, Mjallby, Agathe, Lambert, Petrov, Thompson, Petta (McNamara 84), Larsson, Sutton.
Subs Not Used: Douglas, Healy, Moravcik, Riseth.
Goals: Larsson 34, Thompson 62.
Dundee Utd: Combe, McQuillan, De Vos, Partridge, Buchan, Licina, Easton, Venetis (Leoni 71), Aljofree, Fuentes (Atangana 61), Thompson (Ramirez 86).
Subs Not Used: Onstad, Worrell.
Goals: Lambert 78 og.
Ref: J Underhill (Scotland).
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