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2000-10-29: Motherwell 3-3 Celtic, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches: 2000 - 2001 | 2000-2001 Pictures|
- The pre-match Press Conference was handled by O’Neill and Alan Thompson. Thompson spoke about his frustration at not being eligible for the UEFA Cup games and thus missing out on the away game in Bordeaux. O’Neill emphasisied that the team were far from the finished article and that there was still much work to do. "We are a long way yet from the finished article . . . and I mean that, and I am also telling you the truth when I say that we don't have as strong a squad as Rangers. I know they have had injuries but we could not bring in players of the same quality as they did if we had the same number of injury problems. That is why I intend to strengthen the squad before the winter break. I know that if we get a situation where everybody is fit then we have no problem with selection. But that seldom happens and, when it does, it is usually only for a spell of three or four weeks."
- The game was played in fairly constant rain after a weekend of rain with the Fir Park water bowl holding up to its usual reputation with the standing water in the corner next to the away support.
- Elsewhere pre-release copies of ex-Celt Tony Cascarino’s autobiography "Full Time" hit the Press reviews. The book is an excellent warts-n-all football book in which Cascarino pulls no punches.
- Brian O’Neil, ex Celtic player, was being pressured by his coach Wolfgang Wolf of Wolfsburg to sign a new contract with the Bundesliga club.
ReviewThis Sunday night game saw Hugh Dallas doing what he did best which was denying Celtic anything. He denied Johan Mjallby a clear goal, seen by thousands in the televised game and the replays. The draw put Celtic three points ahead of second placed Hibernian and 9 ahead of Rangers.
Woods, Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, Hammell, Adams (Townsley 73), Brannan, McMillan (Leitch 66), Elliott, Spencer, McCulloch (Goodman 63).
Subs Not Used: Connolly, McClen.
Goals: Adams 22, McCulloch 53, Brannan 78 pen.
Booked: Strong, McCulloch, Corrigan (Motherwell)
Gould, Valgaeren, Mjallby (Stubbs 80), Boyd, McNamara, Lambert, Petrov, Thompson, Petta, Larsson, Agathe (Moravcik 83).
Subs Not Used: Johnson, Douglas, Healy.
Goals: Mjallby 13, Valgaeren 57, McNamara 71.
Referee: H Dallas (Scotland).
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||5||8|
Dallas is soap star again as Celtic slip upThe Scotsman 30/10/2000
Motherwell 3 Celtic 3
MENTION Dallas to a Celtic fan and the Kennedy assassination doesn't get a look-in. These days the word only conjures up a series of perceived injustices at the hands of Hugh, the referee who rarely has a quiet game involving the team in green and white.
Yesterday Dallas incurred further wrath by missing a second-half Johan Mjallby effort that clearly crossed the goal-line before being cleared. The decision turned out to be crucial, when Ged Brannan levelled the scores from the penalty spot 12 minutes from the end.
The opportunity to open up a five-point lead over their title rivals Hibernian (not to mention a 15-point chasm over fourth-placed Rangers) had been denied Celtic, although this was a game where Martin O'Neill's side rarely looked comfortable, and they weren't entirely unhappy with a point.
A scrambled opener from Mjallby had been quickly cancelled out by an opportunistic equaliser from Derek Adams, and Motherwell had an equal share of the first-half possession. They had the temerity to take the lead in the second half, before the leaders belatedly showed their superiority with two quick ripostes.
Brannan's equaliser was an unlikely end to a vivid, if unattractive, encounter. To say Motherwell deserved a point flies in the face of the evidence, although their attitude did demonstrate a general unwillingness to surrender timidly that is beginning to look widespread in the SPL this season.
Celtic were still without Chris Sutton, and O'Neill made one change from the team that started in Bordeaux, Alan Thompson coming in for Lubomir Moravcik, with Didier Agathe switched into attack after a resourceful performance as a wing-back in France.
Motherwell's attacking threat focused on the familiar figure of John Spencer, alongside Lee McCulloch, and Stuart Elliot, who had scored three goals in Motherwell's previous two games. Another factor might have been rich Lanarkshire mud, a weekend's worth of rain having softened up the surface.
In truth the conditions favoured economic, direct football, the sort of stuff Martin O'Neill has instilled in Celtic since July. Celtic's attacks are rarely breathtaking these days, more a case of applying concerted pressure until the cracks start to show.
Agathe and Paul Lambert had already had chances to score when Celtic made the breakthrough in the 12th minute. It was a prosaic sort of goal unlikely to stick in the memory. Henrik Larsson headed down Thompson's corner, the ball stuck in a flurry of boots for a couple of seconds until Mjallby's prodded it into the roof of the net.
The new and welcome spirit of resistance in the SPL this season, with little outposts of defiance to Glaswegian dominance flaring up in Perth, Kilmarnock and Edinburgh, has extended to Fir Park. Motherwell quickly showed they weren't going to be cowed, although it was a little surprising to see them level midway through the first half.
Spencer, typically, led the fightback. When his initial cross from the left of the Celtic area was blocked, he reacted quickly and sent in another via his head. Celtic's defence showed the same hesitancy that had allowed Christophe Dugarry to score at exactly the same time in the game in Bordeaux, and Adams was able to force the ball past Jonathan Gould for the equaliser.
Motherwell, understandably, took encouragement from the goal, and more than held their own for the rest of the first-half. Ten minutes before the interval, Spencer's drive from the right side of the area was well parried by Gould, and Adams found the rebound bounced too awkwardly and could only redirect it across the face of goal.
Seven minutes into the second half Motherwell's diligent midweek television viewing was rewarded with a second goal. Spencer's corner from the left was swung in towards the near post, where Lee McCulloch stole a yard on the defence to head firmly past Gould. It was Dugarry all over again (bar the greasy hair and stubble). That Celtic should concede it again should have stirred Advocaat levels of wrath in their manager.
Perhaps anticipating just such an occurrence, the Celtic players brought some urgency to their game. It took them five minutes to repair the damage. Again the goal was a straightforward affair. Thompson delivered a deep free-kick from the left, Larsson again demonstrated his prodigious leaping ability to meet it with a header down across the face of goal, where Joos Valgaeren swept it past Woods.
It was the referee's opportunity to take centre-stage. Mjallby once more prodded a loose ball from a corner over the line. Martyn Corrigan hooked it out, more out of instinct than anything else, and inexplicably the well-placed Dallas and his assistant failed to spot that the ball had crossed the line. Expect another week's worth of debate about all-seeing electronic eyes and similar gimmicks. More astute refereeing would be a start.
Dallas couldn't miss McNamara's goal in the 71st minute. As if abashed by the crude nature of their first two goals, Celtic put together a flowing move down the right. McNamara's swift interchange with Larsson on the edge of the area wrong-footed the defence, and McNamara's slightly mis-hit shot deceived Woods and rolled in at the near post.
The expected outcome seemed to have been reached, but the game still had plenty to offer - a pitch invasion by Superman for starters, familiarly clad in blue jumpsuit and red y-fronts. Fortunately the Fir Park stewards carry Kryptonite for such an eventuality and were able to suppress the superhero without too much trouble.
A Motherwell equaliser seemed equally unlikely, yet here it was, again a result of Celtic's apparent desire to make things difficult for themselves. Mjallby unnecessarily shoved Don Goodman and the home team were awarded a penalty. Brannan placed his kick firmly to Gould's right, and no doubt O'Neill's temple throbbed in further irritation.
Scott Leitch struck a mighty half-volley narrowly over Gould's bar in stoppage time. If it had gone in, Celtic's sense of injustice could have been doubled.
As it was, they could blame Dallas, in part at least, for the loss of two points, but their own lapses had made ample contributions.
PA Sport Match Report
- Manager Interview
“That was a great game for the fans and for Scottish football. We would loved to have taken all three points but these things happen in football.
"What I will say is that these people who say all the decisions go in our favour will have to think again."
Motherwell 3 Celtic 3 By Jon West, PA SportCeltic's charge towards the Scottish Premier League title was interrupted by a resilient Motherwell side and a debatable refereeing decision at Fir Park on Sunday.
In the end, Martin O'Neill's men were able to extend their lead by a single point following an entertaining six-goal thriller.
But they can legitimately claim that they should have had all three points after Johan Mjallby's shot was shown by television replays to have crossed the line, yet was not given as a goal by referee Hugh Dallas.
Who says all the bad luck is currently residing in the blue half of Glasgow?
The early stages suggested the match would reflect the two teams' respective league positions as Celtic poured forward.
An ankle injury prevented Chris Sutton from taking part but his absence hardly looked like being significant as the chances began to mount for the visitors.
Alan Thompson should have put his side ahead in the sixth minute but failed to finish a move he had started himself with a neat little shimmy turn in the centre of the park that fooled Ged Brannan completely.
It allowed him to send Henrik Larsson's new strike partner Didier Agathe in on goal and although goalkeeper Stephen Woods blocked his stabbed effort the ball rolled to Thompson in an inviting position.
But Thompson mis-kicked and all the visitors gained from the move was a corner as it deflected away harmlessly off a defender.
Larsson came close soon after with a header from a free-kick and Stilian Petrov suffered a similar fate to Thompson when his well-struck effort deflected wide.
But Woods exhibited his vulnerability once more by failing to collect a 14th-minute corner which Larsson immediately headed back into a crowded area where Johan Mjallby was waiting to blast in from unmissable range.
Yet Motherwell immediately showed their mettle by forcing an equaliser within 10 minutes.
Derek Adams had already hinted he might be a significant performer for his side in the opening minutes with a couple of charges into dangerous positions and so it proved when the Celtic backline faltered down their right flank.
Joos Valgaeren half cut out a through-ball, allowing John Spencer to put in a cross that Tom Boyd could only help up into the air and when it came down Adams beat Valgaeren and headed into the net.
Motherwell could have taken the lead before the break when John Spencer's piledriver was parried by Jonathan Gould and Adams was first to the loose ball. But on this occasion he was nowhere near locating the net.
It took Motherwell eight minutes after the restart to take the lead for the only time in the game.
Brannan was the architect with a superb pass that sent Stuart Elliott heading menacingly for goal and, although he ended up with only a corner, it was enough to supply Lee McCulloch for a headed finish.
McCulloch had been working hard all night but this was his first sniff of goal, although Celtic's marking from the set-piece had certainly let them down.
But that lead lasted just four minutes as Motherwell themselves failed to deal with a set-piece, a corner delivered by Thompson. Larsson nodded it down and there was Valgaeren to smash it in from close range.
Then came the frustration of Mjallby's disallowed goal, with replays showing it should have been allowed.
As if aggrieved, Celtic were the dominant force and took the lead in the 72nd minute through Jackie McNamara, who simply rolled the ball past Woods after Larsson had set him up.
Yet Motherwell were not to be denied and Mjallby's evening of mixed fortunes took another turn for the worse when he pushed substitute Don Goodman over and Brannan made no mistake from the spot to win a precious point for his side.
Motherwell: Woods, Corrigan, Kemble, Strong, Hammell, Adams (Townsley 73), Brannan, McMillan (Leitch 66), Elliott, Spencer, McCulloch (Goodman 63).Subs Not Used: Connolly, McClen.
Booked: Strong, McCulloch, Corrigan.
Goals: Adams 22, McCulloch 53, Brannan 78 pen.
Celtic: Gould, Valgaeren, Mjallby (Stubbs 80), Boyd, McNamara, Lambert, Petrov, Thompson, Petta, Larsson, Agathe (Moravcik 83).
Subs Not Used: Johnson, Douglas, Healy.
Goals: Mjallby 13, Valgaeren 57, McNamara 71.
Ref: H Dallas (Scotland).
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