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2003-11-05: Celtic 3-1 Anderlecht, Champions league
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- Celtic 3-1 Anderlecht
ReviewCeltic got off to a wonderful start with goals from Henrik Larsson and Liam Miller inside 17 minutes. Chris Sutton added another goal before the half hour as the Belgians buckled under Celtic's pressure.
Didier Agathe, playing in a full-back role, linked with John Hartson and delivered a wonderful cross for the prolific Swede to nod home from six yards.
Within five minutes the Celtic had doubled their advantage when a long ball from Jackie McNamara was headed into the path of Miller by Hartson and the young Irishman hammered an angled shot into the net from 10 yards.
With 29 minutes gone the Anderlecht keeper was beaten again when Hartson flicked on Petrov's corner at the near post and Sutton flew in to head the ball home from a central position.
In th 75th minute, the speedy Aruna had his heels clipped by Bobo Balde in the penalty area. Magnus Hedman saved Ivica Mornar's weak spot kick and the Celtic keeper managed to block Christian Wilhelmsson's follow up but Aruna was on hand to lash the ball high into the net.
Hedman, Varga, Balde, McNamara, Agathe, Miller (Gray 75), Lennon, Sutton, Petrov, Hartson (Maloney 83, Sylla 89), Larsson.
Subs not used:- Douglas, Wallace, Mjallby, Kennedy.
Goals:- Larsson 11, Miller 15, Sutton 27.
Zitka, Zewlakow, Tihinen, Kompany, Deschacht, Wilhelmsson, Hendrikx (Kolar 82), Hasi, Baseggio, Dindane, Mornar.
Subs not used:- Peersman, Ilic, Vanderhaeghe, Zetterberg, MacDonald, Ngalula Mbuyi.
Goal:- Aruna Dindane
Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece)
- Match Report (see end of page below)
- Match Report (BBC)
MoN eyes tight finish (BBC)
MoN interview (BBC)
Celtic 3-1 AnderlechtLarsson lights Celtic fireworks Larsson 12; Miller 17; Sutton 29; Dindane 77 reddit this
Graham Clark at Parkhead The Guardian, Thursday 6 November 2003 13.35 GMT Article history
Martin O'Neill has often heaped undue praise on his players but last night, as he described Celtic's efforts in their 3-1 victory over Anderlecht, he almost ran out of superlatives and no one could blame him after this remarkable win. It was achieved in the first half-hour, in which time Celtic raced into a 3-0 lead over shell- shocked opponents whose late goal was little consolation.
"It was just wonderful," said O'Neill. "Never in my wildest expectations did I expect to be three goals ahead inside half an hour and it could actually have been 5-0 at half-time.I know I occasionally use superlatives but I felt the players were sensational.
They have been magnificent for me and this was a terrific performance." Indeed it was and in the tightest Champions League group of all Celtic have given themselves a real chance of progress. Indeed, if they beat Bayern Munich, who surprisingly lost at home to Lyon, next time out and the French win or draw against Anderlecht, then qualification is guaranteed.
Equally it could go to the last minute of the last match, away to Lyon, before anything is decided, and O'Neill said with a wry grin: "A couple of years ago we got nine points and didn't qualify. Now it looks as if we could get 10 and not get into the Uefa Cup." That is a slight exaggeration but it does illustrate what a competitive section his team are in. Anderlecht, however, appear to be the weakest of the four sides and, on the evidence of their first-half performance, it is astonishing they are comfortable leaders of the Belgian league.
The Brussels team had no answer to the pace, power and precision of a Celtic team still smarting from their defeat the first time the teams met and determined to make amends. A glancing header from Henrik Larsson after 12 minutes was followed five minutes later by a goal from Liam Miller and, when Chris Sutton dived in for the third after 29 minutes, humiliation was on the cards.
The fact that the Belgians did not buckle entirely under incessant pressure was eventually to their credit and they even got a late goal when Aruna Dindane forced the ball home after Magnus Hedman had saved an Ivica Mornar penalty and the rebound from Christian Wilhelmsson. Celtic, though, were never in serious danger of throwing it all away even if their second- half efforts failed to match those of the first half. "We still have a million miles to go," insisted the Irishman.
"But with two games to go it's in our own hands and it's a mouth-watering prospect." The Anderlecht coach Hugo Broos said: "When you lose two early goals the way we did, far too easily, it is like having your legs cut off.
And at 3-0 it could have gone on to be more. It was hard to believe. We have made so few mistakes before." They made up for that in this match and, without the suspended captain Glen de Boeck, sent off in the Brussels tie, they spent long spells in disarray at the back as Celtic came at them from all angles.
Didier Agathe, unexpectedly played at right-back, raced down that flank, Miller covered every blade of grass, Sutton probed and prodded and John Hartson, so often a scorer, became provider with a part in all three of Celtic's goals. These four players, playing out of position, just returning from injury or, in Miller's case, proving a point after being left out in Belgium, epitomised Celtic's determination.
The Belgians were neat at times and in Aruna have a quality striker but they were so outfought here that the towel would have been thrown in long before the end had it been a boxing contest. Just beyond the half-hour it looked in danger of becoming one with a rush of bookings.
None of this spoiled the night for the majority of the 59,057 crowd, and Celtic fans headed home savouring the prospect of the next match against Bayern Munich. On the evidence of last night's results Celtic will be looking forward to it much more than the Germans.
Earlier in the day Celtic's midfielder Paul Lambert, who is Scotland's captain, ruled himself out of the Euro 2004 play-offs with Holland on November 15 and 19 because of the ankle injury he picked up in September against Germany. Meanwhile, Lyon won 2-1 away to Bayern Munich in the other Group A game when the Brazilian Giovane Elber struck the winner 15 minutes from the end after Bayern's Roy Makaay had quickly cancelled out Juninho Pernambuco's early opener.
Celtic blow Anderlecht awayCeltic 3-1 Anderlecht
Celtic maintained their 100% home record in the Champions League as Anderlecht were demolished by a first half storm in Glasgow.
Martin O'Neill's side got off to a wonderful start with goals from Henrik Larsson and Liam Miller inside 17 minutes.
And Chris Sutton added another goal before the half hour as the Belgians buckled under the weight of Celtic's relentless pressure.
With the game over as a contest, the second half was rather disjointed and Aruna Dindane grabbed a goal for the visitors.
Celtic are now second in Group A with six points, a point behind Lyon, while Bayern Munich, who are the next visitors to Glasgow, have five - with Anderlecht bringing up the rear with four.
Celtic started at a whirlwind pace and opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Larsson grabbed his first goal of the group phase.
Didier Agathe, playing in an unaccustomed full-back role, linked with John Hartson and delivered a wonderful cross for the prolific Swede to nod home from six yards.
A magnificent performance by Celtic! Second stages here we come!
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Within five minutes the home side had doubled their advantage when a long ball from Jackie McNamara was headed into the path of Miller by Hartson and the young Irishman hammered an angled shot into the net from 10 yards.
Miller, 22, was at the heart of Celtic's most promising moves as he broke from midfield to get behind the Anderlecht defence time after time.
A deep cross from Miller had keeper Daniel Zitka beaten but the lunging Larsson could not turn the ball in at the back post.
And Zitka had to produce an acrobatic save to keep out a Stilian Petrov header after a chipped cut-back from the busy Miller.
With 29 minutes gone the Anderlecht keeper was beaten again when Hartson flicked on Petrov's corner at the near post and Sutton flew in to head the ball home from a central position.
Miller broke clear again in the 42nd minute and found Larsson with his back to goal inside the six yards but the striker's attempted back flick was blocked.
Liam Miller fires home the second goal of the night
Miller was free again a minute before the interval but held on to the ball too long and his cut-back was held by Zitka with Sutton and Petrov waiting to pounce.
The visitors briefly threatened to rally after the break and Aruna found himself in a good position to score but was crowded out by the Celtic defence.
The home team were still a threat and Hartson saw Zitka save his stinging shot from 18 yards after 55 minutes.
With 75 minutes remaining, the speedy Aruna had his heels clipped by Bobo Balde in the penalty area.
Magnus Hedman saved Ivica Mornar's weak spot kick and the Celtic keeper managed to block Christian Wilhelmsson's follow up but Aruna was on hand to lash the ball high into the net.
Celtic: Hedman, Varga, Balde, McNamara, Agathe, Miller, Lennon, Sutton, Petrov, Hartson, Larsson. Subs: Douglas, Gray, Sylla, Maloney, Wallace, Mjallby, Kennedy.
Anderlecht: Zitka, Zewlakow, Tihinen, Kompany, Deschacht, Wilhelmsson, Hendrikx, Hasi, Baseggio, Dindane, Mornar. Subs: Peersman, Ilic, Vanderhaeghe, Kolar, Zetterberg, MacDonald, Ngalula Mbuyi.
Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece)
O'Neill eyes tight finishBBC
Celtic face two very hard matches in Group A
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill was full of praise for his side after the 3-1 home win over Anderlecht in the Champions League.
But O'Neill says his players still have a "million miles to go" to qualify from a very tight group.
Lyon top Group A with seven points, with Celtic on six, Bayern Munich on five and Anderlecht on four.
"The last time we were involved in this competition we got nine points and didn't make it," said O'Neill.
"And it's going to go to the wire again this time round.
"We're pleased to be second in the group after four games but we're not even guaranteed a Uefa Cup spot.
"We've got six points but we still have a million miles to go."
Bayern Munich, who lost 2-1 at home to Lyon on matchday four, are the next visitors to Celtic Park in three weeks and the group ends with a visit to France.
"Bayern Munich will present us with all sorts of problems and they will be furious after losing tonight," O'Neill continued.
"We're in a good position, but having to play Bayern Munich and then go to Lyon is a tough proposition. "But it's something to look forward to.
"I think it's important to enjoy being in this wonderful competition."
Celtic certainly took great pleasure from a great first half display against Anderlecht, in which Henrik Larsson, Liam Miller and Chris Sutton scored.
"We knew beforehand that we simply had to win the match and the players were sensational," said O'Neill.
"That was a Champions League game against a very good side and we scored three - and it could have been five or six - in the first half.
"In the second half they came back at us but we kept the ball well and the crowd stayed with us.
"I knew our energy level would dip and Anderlecht were never completely out of it and when they scored they had us on the back foot for the final 10-15 minutes.
Chris Sutton crashed home Celtic's third goal
"I always think we can score goals with the players we have here, but it was a matter of being resolute as well."
Celtic lost to a 10-man Anderlecht side two weeks ago and O'Neill believed his team had a point to prove.
"My players have nothing to prove to me - I know what they are capable of - but they may have been smarting after the defeat and I think we surprised them with the quality of our play."
O'Neill went on to single out Miller and John Hartson for special praise.
"He was full of invention and energy and had a wonderful game," O'Neill said of 22-year-old Miller, who turned in a sensational first half display.
"The crowd have taken to him - we all have - but we have always known he was an emerging talent."
Hartson had a hand in all three goals and O'Neill was pleased for the striker, who is still building up his fitness after a lengthy summer lay-off with a back injury.
"We all know he's big and strong but there's a lot of subtlety to his game as well," O'Neill said about the Welshman.
"That's the best he's played for us this season."
Celtic 3 - 1 Anderlecht
Larsson 11, Miller 15, Sutton 27 | Aruna 76
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 5 November 2003 02.36 GMT
I'm late. The teams line up. Music. Handshakes. Blah-de-blah. Anderlecht in blue with white sleeves. Lots of pun potential on their teamsheet. Limited Kompany etc. Hendricks solo etc. Celtic in their usual hoops. Referee urges captains Baseggio and McNamara to "make it a good game."
1 min: Anderlecht kick off and, to a crescendo of booing from the Celtic hordes, move the ball all the way back to give Daniel Zitka, their goalkeeper, an early touch. This group is still anybody's, which is my way of saying that I haven't really looked at it and haven't a clue what'#s going on, either in the group or in general. However, I'm sure Celtic will be expecting to win this tonight, particularly after throwing away the three points in Belgium.
2 mins: Larsson and Sutton combine well on the right flank. The big Englishman attempts to cross into the on-rushing Petrov and wins a corner off Tihinen. Nowt comes of it. Goal kick for Anderlecht.
4 mins: Anderlecht win a free-kick deep in the Celtic half when Ivicia Mornar lollipops Stanislav Varga and is brought down. Nothing malicious - he was just too quick for him. The free-kick is taken and Celtic clear.
7 mins: Celtic win a free-kick just outside the Anderlecht D, after Larsson is wrasssled to to the ground. Hartson takes it too quickly, passes to Agathe who loses it and a great dead-ball scoring opportunity goes to waste. If some of these footballers had brains they'd be dangerous.
"I am GIDDY with excitement in anticipation of this game," writes Eric Smith, putting the word 'giddy' in upper-case letters in a quite disturbing manner. Still, it's nice that someone's excited about it.
10 mins: Celtic win a corner, Petrov swings it in and Anderlecht clear.
11 mins GOAL! Celtic 1 - 0 Anderlecht An absolute peach of a goal. Miller picked up the ball in midfield and passed it out to Agathe who was galloping down the wing from the right-back position. He played a perfect one-two with John Hartson, then whipped a perfect, early cross across the edge of the six-yard box, where a diminutive, shaven-headed Swedish man named Henrik Larsson was waiting at the near post to head past Daniel Zitka in the Anderlecht goal. Lovely.
15 mins GOAL! Celtic 2 - 0 Anderlecht The ball is played into John Hartson on the edge of the Anderlecht box. Liam Miller, rushing into the box in support, latches on to the Welshman's inevitable chest-down and buries the ball low and hard past the totally exposed Zitka.
18 mins: It's all Celtic. They're really turning the screw now. Scumbag Kev (it says here) writes, with regard to the complaints my report on Rangers 0 - 1 Manchester United elicited from the Ibrox press office a couple of weeks ago. "Have you had more complaints from the Huns today even though you were not commentating on their game last night?" he enquires. "Were you to blame for their soulless defeat last night or is it a mass papish conspiracy?"
Now, now Kev. Nobody likes a smartass. I can't stress enough that the views expressed on this match report are not necessarily those of the commentator. I'm just the messenger boy. Following orders etc. etc.
23 mins: Hartson releases Liam Miller down the right hand side, and the young man from Cork sends in a fantastic cross from the sideline that caresses the crossbar before dropping just out of reach of Henrik Larsson's desperate lunge. Could have been goal number three. Unlucky. Miller is playing a blinder in this, his first Champions League start.
27 mins GOAL Celtic 3 - 0 Anderlecht From an in-swinging corner, Sutton buries a header past the unfortunate Zitka, who was again left cruelly exposed by a defence for which the word "hapless" could well have been invented. The corner came from a brilliant Celtic move that saw Miller tee up Petrov with another beautiful cross, only to see his team-mate's bullet header tipped over the bar.
30 mins: Aruna and Sutton get involved in a spot of handbags on the halfway line. Celtic had put the ball out of play to enable a winded Henrik Larsson to get treated. Anderlecht took the throw straight away and didn't give the ball back. Boo! Hiss! Sutton gets booked.
32 mins: Anderlecht striker Aruna and Celtic goalkeeper Hedman go for a high, dropping ball. Aruna does a passable impersonation of Diego Maradonna circa 1986 and promptly gets booked for handball. Moments later, John Hartson gets booked for upending some hapless Anderlecht-ian.
35 mins: How did Celtic lose to this shower of no-hopers a fortnight ago? How? I saw the match and I still can't figure it out.
Apropos nothing, did anyone see 4 For Texas on Channel Four this afternoon? Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Ursula Andres, some other fit actress whose name escapes me at the moment, Charles Bronson, the Three Stooges ... a stellar cast for a Wednesday afternoon matinee on terrestrial TV. I'm not sure why I asked that. Just curious because I thought it made a pleasant change from Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote.
39 mins: Hartson splits the Anderlecht defence with a through-ball which Larsson runs on to. Peep! Offside.
41 mins: Stilian Petrov clatters Anderlecht's resident Swede, Christian Wilhelmsson, from behind. The referee awards a free to Wilhelmsson, who has a similar crusty-esque ponytail to David Beckham, but there the similarities between the pair end. Moments later, Larsson attempts to score with a cheeky back-heel from another perfect Liam Miller cross. The young Irish boy is, as they say, a bit special.
44 mins: Michal Zewlakow brings down Henrik Larsson right in front of the referee and gets a yellow card for his troubles. Stanislav Varga takes the free-kick from about 30 yards out, but doesn't score. Seconds later, a rebound drops his way and he has another crack. His low, hard pile-driver goes just wide of Zitka's right-hand post.
45 mins: For the Nth time, Liam Miller finds himself free on the right wing. He cuts inside, ambles towards the intersecion of the six-yard box and the goal-line and attempts to squeeze the ball past Zitka into either the goal or the on-rushing Petrov. Zitka gathers ... just about.
Film trivia: "That would be Anita Ekburg," writes Dave Douglas, who very kindly puts me out of my misery regarding that used-to-be-attractive hottie I couldn't remember from the movie 4 For Texas (35 mins). Thank you. The emails are poring in, by the way and as soon as I get some funny ones I'll be sure to put them up. Standards are slipping, and not just at my end ... if you'll pardon the expression.
Second half: Celtic kick off and immediately go on the offensive courtesy of a large Welsh man with a big gut. While attempting to clear, Tihinen hacks the ball straight into his unfortunate team-mate Zewlakow's knackers. The poor sod drops like a sack of spuds. That would bring tears to a glass eye. However, it's funny because it happened to somebody else.
48 mins: Anderlecht manage to hold on to the ball for more than 10 seconds and then win a free when ... eh, something happens. A long ball is floated in and Tihinen heads it goalwards. Wide.
50 mins: "Could you use the half-time interlude to explain the exact nature of your oft-mentioned relationship with your friend Duff?" enquires John Doyle. I would John, but I'm afraid the interlude is now over. I also need clarification: Do you mean my drinking buddy Ciaran Duffy (aka Duff) or his lesser-known namesake Damien, international footballer and £17 million man at large? If, as I suspect, it's the latter, I', afraid we're not that close. I interviewed him once for 20 minutes and while he was a nice bloke, he didn't have a huge amount to say for himself. If he did, I'm sure he'd speak highly of me as well.
Anderlecht attack, but Petrov intervenes and puts a stop to what passes for their gallop.
54 mins: Finally, a Celtic attack down the right flank is foiled. Miller and Agathe combine well, but the latter is eventually dispossessed by Olivier Deschacht. Anderlecht clear.
56 mins: John Hartson shoots from the edge of the box and stings the palms of Zitka in the Anderlecht goal. Once again, he's is having an outstanding match for Celtic.
57 mins: Celtic win a free-kick on the right wing, just outside the Anderlecht penalty area. Miller dinks it in, but Kompany heads clear. Limited Kompany. Limited.
59 mins: Celtic win a free-kick just outsaide the Anderlecht box, on the left. Larsson has a pop, but it's high wide and handsome. Or rebounded off the wall. Or perhaps hit a post or crossbar. To be honest, I wasn't watching because I was answering my mobile. Sorry.
61 mins: "Wouldn't it be cool if the Celts got through and the Huns went out?" writes Fergal O'Shea, seemingly oblivious to the fact that neither team has a snowball's chance in hell of winning the Champions League. We'll have no small-minded, sectarian parochialism on this website. Now, where did I leave my bowler hat?
63 mins: Stanislav Varga, concedes a free deep in Celtic territory and earns a yellow card in the process. Mornar swings it in from the right, but Balde heads clear.
"That would be Anita Ekberg, not Ekburg (Movie Trivia)," writes Hakan Hansson. "Just thought I'd let you know." Thanks Hakan.
67 mins: As one, 67,000 supporters sing: "Are you Rangers? Are you Rangers? Are you Rangers in disguise?" However, they shut up fairly abruptly when Anderlecht get behind the Celtic defence, deliver a decent ball into the box and Aruna almost scores. Bobo Balde rides to the rescue again.
72 mins: Hats off to Andrew Jackson who's sent me this excellent alternative guide to Glasgow. Most amusing and entertaining, but you're not allowed read it until this match is over.
74 mins: Liam Miller walks off with a tweaked hamstring and takes the long way around to the tunnel for maximum applause milkage. Sunderland loanee Mickey Gray takes to the field to make his Champions League debut. Himself and Stanislav Varga in the Champions League. The irony.
76 mins: Celtic 3- 1 Anderlecht Aruna scores from the melee that ensues after Hedman saves a Mornar penalty. Aruna appeared to dive on the edge of the box with Bobo Balde in close attendance to win the penalty. Hedman saved the spot-kick, then saved Wilhelmsson's follow-up and at the third attempt, Aruna buried it. Hedman was justifiably furious with his team-mates for leaving him exposed.
80 mins: John Hartson fails to connect properly with a Chris Sutton cross and his skews his volley wide, much to the frustration of Stilian Petrov, who had embarked on a lung-busting run the length of the pitch to sweep it home. Celtic substitution: Maloney for Hartson.
84 mins: "And it would be Ursula AndresS by the way," writes Fiona in France.
86 mins: My thanks for the smutty jokes, URLs, photos of Anita Ekberg and pictures of Celtic-fans-standing-near-Ian Paisley-on-a-bus that everyone keeps sending me, but please stop. I appreciate them all, but they're too distracting. I haven't so much as looked at the football since John Hartson went off. Oh, go on then. Keep them coming.
88 mins: Balde hoofs a clearance straight up in the air and the ball goes so high that it almost leaves the earth's atmosphere. Most comical, but a yarn that gets sadly lost in the telling, I'm afraid.
90 mins: Anderlecht win a free-kick out on the left wing, deep in Celtic territory. Maloney, who has picked up a knock, is brought off and replaced by Sylla. Hedman does well to punch Hasi's brilliant delivery off Aruna's head. A bit lower and he'd have knocked the striker's noggin clean off his shoulders.
90 + 3 mins: Anderlecht win a free-kick, but Baseggio's delivery cannons off Lennon and out for a throw. The referee blows for full-time and Celtic take the points. Elsewhere in the group, Lyon look set to beat Bayern Munich 1-0, which means Bayern will be coming to Celtic Park desperate for a win. Thanks for your time and your emails. All the best ....
Celtic: 21-Magnus Hedman; 17-Didier Agathe, 4-Jackie McNamara, 23-Stanislav Varga, 6-Bobo Balde, 43-Liam Miller, 18-Neil Lennon, 19-Stilian Petrov, 7-Henrik Larsson, 9-Chris Sutton, 10-John Hartson
Anderlecht: 1-Daniel Zitka; 3-Olivier Deschacht, 6-Michal Zewlakow, 27-Vincent Kompany, 30-Hannu Tihinen, 10-Walter Baseggio, 14-Marc Hendrikx, 15-Besnik Hasi, 17-Christian Wilhelmsson, 19-Ivica Mornar, 26-Aruna Dindane,
Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece)
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