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2001-09-25: Celtic 1-0 FC Porto, European Cup
| Match Pictures | Matches: 2001 - 2002 | 2001-02 Pictures | European Cup|
Douglas, Balde, Mjallby, Valgaeren, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert, Petrov (McNamara 89), Petta (Thompson 68), Sutton, Larsson.
Substitutes:- Kharine, Sylla, Hartson, Tebily, Moravcik.
Celtic scorer:- Larsson 36.
Ovchinnikov, Ibarra (Postiga 76), Jorge Costa, Carvallo, Mario (Junior 45), Paredes, Andrade, Costinho (Alenitchev 45), Deco, Capucho, Pena.
Substitutes:- Santos, Candido Costa, Clayton, Ricardo Silva.
Ref:- Dick Jol (Holland).
- Match Report (see below)
|5||Shots on goal||3|
|29' 17''||Ball. Poss. (time)||25' 11''|
|53%||Ball. Poss. (%)||47%|
SPORTING LIFEBy Chris Roberts, PA Sport
Martin O'Neill sat in the stand, but his players delivered the perfect response to last week's defeat in Turin with victory over Porto and their first Champions League points. The animated Irishman was banned from the touch-line following his angry outburst in last week's controversial reverse to Juventus in the Stadio delle Alpi. But his absence made the players' hearts grow stronger and they got the victory that puts them on level terms with Porto and one point behind Juventus in Group E. The truth is that they held on against a constant wave of Portuguese attacks in the second half and but for the Golden Foot of Henrik Larsson, would have had to settle for a point. The Swede thought he had hit the equaliser in Turin and it was no surprise that it was Mr Dependable who produced that all-important first-half goal. But his strike partner Chris Sutton might also have more reason to celebrate after an impressive display in front England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson who made the trip to Glasgow to watch him in action. Porto always looked dangerous on the break and Pena would have found a way through in the 15th minute, but for a tackle from Bobo Balde. Both defences looked nervous and Celtic almost capitalised on some hesitancy at the back in the 16th minute when Ricardo Carvalho headed Didier Agathe's cross to Larsson. The Swede's flick spun away and Bobby Petta's cross was cleared. Sutton had the chance to grab the glory two minutes later after a great interchange of passes with Larsson, but he snatched at his shot and blazed over from just inside the box. Celtic defender Johan Mjallby almost got himself into trouble in the 22nd minute when he over-elaborated on the edge of the box, but managed to recover and turn away from Pena before clearing. But Porto could have had a claims for a penalty a minute later, when Petta appeared to barge Hugo Ibarra just inside the area, but the incident went unpunished by the referee. The visitors looked to have taken the sting out of the game and the atmosphere at the half-hour mark. But Stilian Petrov, who had scored three goals in the last three games, tried to bring the fans to their feet in the 32nd minute when Petta teed him up, but his right-foot strike was saved at the second attempt by Sergei Ovchinnikov. The Portuguese found themselves on the back-foot in the 36th minute as Larsson sent away Joos Valgaeren down the left flank and his cross was cut out. From the resulting corner Petrov's cross came to Agathe at the back post, but Ibarra headed the ball out for another corner, which brought Celtic a goal. Petta swung the ball in and Larsson missed it, but the ball bounced off Sutton's arm and into the path of his Swedish team-mate who made no mistake to fire home from close range. Dutch winger Petta then went close following Paul Lambert's cross, but headed wide. Celtic looked like they were trying to kill the game off after the break and Larsson whistled a right-foot shot past the post from Sutton's knock-down. But the home side should have doubled their advantage in the 48th minute when Ovchinnikov failed to cut-out Agathe's cross and the ball flew past both Larsson and Petta, who did not expect the chance to come their way. Celtic, though, were giving the ball away too easily, which would have no doubt been sending O'Neill mad in the stand, and they almost paid four minutes later. Substitute Dmitri Alenitchev sent Deco free in the box, but his effort skidded off his boot and went into the side-netting. The home side were given a massive let-off in the 56th minute when Carvalho cut inside Valgaeren, but shot straight at Robert Douglas with the goal at his mercy. Celtic suffered an even bigger scare moments later when Ibarra played Capucho clear inside the box, but his effort came back off the upright and O'Neill's men were saved again. The home side, however, almost then doubled their lead on two occasions inside a minute. First Ovchinnikov got down well to his right to save Balde's header, but the Russian even bettered that with a save at full-stretch to deny Agathe after Lambert's free-kick. O'Neill would have been worried in the 85th minute to see Petrov carried off after a block tackle on the edge of the box, but he rejoined play soon after. Celtic breathed another sign of relief moments later when Jorge Andrade whistled a right-foot effort past the post. Petrov was forced to hobble off moments later and was replaced by Jackie McNamara in a nervous last few minutes of the game. Douglas pulled off a great save from Alenitchev and Carvalho's header went inches past the post. But Celtic hung on for grim life and O'Neill, who was off his seat in the director's box, leapt to his feet at the whistle. The whole stadium felt it too.
Sutton shines, but Larsson shows Swede who's boss
Michael Walker at Celtic Park
The Guardian, Wednesday 26 September 2001 02.43 BST
English eyes focusing on glamorous Swedes turning up at Celtic forgot that the Scottish champions already have one of their own. Thus the England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson found himself on the undercard last night as Henrik Larsson reminded the continent that he is still around and prospering.
After the perceived injustice of last week in Turin, Larsson's predatory strike eight minutes before half-time gave Celtic their first ever Champions League points.
Martin O'Neill, forced to the stands by Uefa for complaining in Italy, was stomping his feet in celebration this time. Eriksson was less moved by his compatriot's intervention but the England manager will have left with a good impression of his reason for being here: Chris Sutton. Sutton was controlled and athletic throughout.
O'Neill's statement pre-match that "We want to go flat-out for a win," was clearly demonstrated as the Celtic manager selected the more attacking figure of Bobby Petta ahead of Alan Thompson. Other than that there were no changes from Turin. Except O'Neill's absence from the touchline of course. The standing-up-beside-the-dugout-looking-agitated task went to John Robertson.
Petta, Sutton and then Larsson were hauled to the ground by some vigorous Portuguese challenges - all unpunished by referee Dick Jol. But Porto's obstinacy was more than just robust. Well-organised in defence the Portuguese also revealed early attacking possibilities. Capucho, the captain, was particularly prominent, so too the languid midfielder Parades.
It was the right-back Hugo Ibarra who was involved in the first significant piece of action in the 24th minute. Advanced about one yard into the Celtic area, Ibarra was barged to the turf by Petta. It was the sort of contact that would have sent a Juventus striker into the next galaxy, but nothing was given.
Celtic had produced nothing near as conclusive at that point. Larsson had scooped a difficult chance wide in the 16th minute and then a slick one-two between Larsson and Sutton resulted in another Larsson shot.
It did not amount to cohesive momentum, however. Then a 35th minute run down the left by Joos Valgaeren galvanised Celtic in the way a defender's charge can.
The volume soared. One corner was won and then another. From the first Didier Agathe had a header cleared by Parades, but from the second, from Petta, a scramble ensued with Sutton at its heart. The ball ran to Larsson who clipped it in from six yards. It was his ninth goal in 12 games this season.
The second half began promisingly for Celtic, in similar style. Sutton will have won a nod of approval from Eriksson for a skilful knockdown to Larsson, which Larsson drilled narrowly wide, and Sutton then outjumped his marker again to maintain Celtic's progress.
It was already a different, more open game. With Porto forced into a change of tempo, the midfield became extended and the Brazilian Deco became an influence for the first time.
Ricardo Carvalho surged forward 60 yards, evading two flimsy Celtic attempts at challenges along the way. Carvalho's shot was easily dealt with by Robert Douglas, but less than two minutes later the Celtic keeper could not manage even a fingertip to Capucho's low 20-yard drive.
Luckily for Douglas, the ball cracked back off his post. Porto missed another opportunity when Capuccho was set-up by Ibarra. Valgaeren it was who terminated this little spell of Porto pressure. The relative calm enabled Celtic to get forward themselves and Bobo Balde twice went close with headers.
Celtic (3-5-2): Douglas; Balde, Mjallby, Valgaeren; Agathe, Lennon, Lambert, Petrov (McNamara, 87), Petta (Thompson, 69); Larsson, Sutton
Porto (4-3-3): Ovchinnikov; Ibarra, Jorge Costa, Cavalho, Da Silva; Costinha (Alenitchev, 46), Andrade, Parades; Deco, Capucho, Pena
Referee: D Jol (Holland)
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