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2007-10-07: Gretna 1-2 Celtic, Premier League
|Match Pictures | Matches:2007 - 2008 | 2007-2008 Pictures|
- Rangers lost the day before, so we go top of the table with Hibs second (who are unbeaten so far).
- WGS unhappy about the ball and the pitch (match was played at Motherwell's home ground)
- Hartley out with an injury.
ReviewAfter beating the European Champions (AC Milan) surely we would have no problems against the mouse that is Gretna? Err, no! We were mince, and nobody gets pass marks. In any case, we got a very undeserved win taking 2goals in the last 8mins to win. Rest now till the next game (v Rangers away).
Fleming, Barr, Innes, Cowan, Collin (Grainger 14), Horwood, Jenkins, Murray, Skelton, Yantorno (Paartalu 81), Grady (McMenamin 64).
Subs Not Used:- Caig, Graham, McGill, Hogg.
Booked:- Murray, Barr, Cowan.
Goal:- Yantorno 37.
Boruc, Hartley (Kennedy 18, O'Brien 75), Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Donati (Jarosik 80), McGeady, Killen, McDonald,
Subs Not Used:- Mark Brown, O'Dea, Sno, Riordan.
Goals:- Killen 86, McDonald 90.
Ref: B Winter
Clydesdale Bank Premier League
|Gretna Yantorno 37|| 1-2 |
| Celtic Killen 86 |
Shots on target
Shots off target
Gretna 1-2 CelticBy Colin Moffat
Celtic scored two late goals to snatch a win at Fir Park
McDonald is mobbed after scoring a last-minute winner
Late goals from Chris Killen and Scott McDonald ensured a return to the top of the SPL table for Celtic.
Fabian Yantorno curled in a sweet long range free-kick to give Gretna a deserved half time lead.
Evan Horwood made an amazing clearance to keep out a McDonald header as Celtic pressed for a way back.
But the home side's stubborn resistance was broken by a looping Killen header on 85 minutes and McDonald pounced to slide in a low winner in injury time.
Interview: Gretna manager Davie Irons
Interview: Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
It was the first meeting between the sides and Gretna will feel hard done by after leading for so long against the out-of-sorts champions.
A scrappy opening at Fir Park was notable only for two early injuries.
Gretna defender Aurelien Collin left on a stretcher after an awkward fall and was replaced by Daniel Grainger.
Celtic's Paul Hartley, playing in an unaccustomed right-back role, went off with a hamstring problem, with John Kennedy coming on.
Celtic appeared rather lethargic after their midweek victory in the Champions League and home keeper Greg Fleming was not troubled in the first half.
Yantorno was the liveliest player in the home ranks, trying his luck from distance on three occasions before finding his range on 37 minutes.
MY SPORT: DEBATE
Give your reaction to the result at Fir Park
The Uruguayan was tripped 25 yards from goal and dusted himself down to curl a delicious free-kick round the defensive wall and beyond the static Artur Boruc.
Gavin Skelton had a chance to double the advantage soon after but, having nipped in ahead of Gary Caldwell at the near post, his volley flew wide from 10 yards.
Celtic looked more purposeful after the interval and Massimo Donati sliced a shot wide before Killen looped a header on to the roof of the net from a promising position.
McDonald must have thought he had levelled the game on 66 minutes when Fleming missed a dropping cross, allowing Killen to head across goal to his strike partner.
The Australian had a free header from six yards but Horwood came racing back to divert the ball on to his own crossbar and away to safety.
Celtic appeared to have run out of steam but Killen took advantage of some poor defending to claim his first goal for the club.
The New Zealander sent a high header over Fleming after a period of head tennis in the penalty box.
And McDonald gathered an Aiden McGeady shot to turn and slip the ball under Fleming as bottom of the league Gretna were again punished for failing to clear their lines.
Gretna: Fleming, Barr, Innes, Cowan, Collin (Grainger 14), Horwood, Jenkins, Murray, Skelton, Yantorno (Paartalu 81), Grady (McMenamin 64). Subs Not Used: Caig, Graham, McGill, Hogg.
Booked: Murray, Barr, Cowan.
Goal: Yantorno 37.
Celtic: Boruc, Hartley (Kennedy 18), Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Donati (Jarosik 80), McGeady, Killen, McDonald, Kennedy (O'Brien 75). Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, O'Dea, Sno, Riordan.
Goals: Killen 86, McDonald 90.
Ref: B Winter
Strachan unhappy with match ballBBC
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Strachan was critical of the ball used at Fir Park
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan thought his side were hampered by a poor pitch and ball as they hit back to snatch a late win at bottom club Gretna.
"The ball was out of shape and it was a bumpy surface," he told BBC Sport after the dramatic 2-1 victory at Fir Park.
"We tried to play football and it was nearly impossible.
"When Scott McDonald's header was cleared I thought it was going to be one of those days but, thankfully, the boys had other ideas and kept going."
Interview: Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Gretna were ahead at half-time thanks to a Fabian Yantorno free-kick but McDonald hit the winner in stoppage time after Chris Killen's 85th minute header.
"Gretna worked really hard to close us down and that made it difficult for us to move the ball around on that surface," added Strachan.
"We had one of our best performances a few weeks ago at Easter Road and lost two amazing goals to come away with nothing.
Full credit to Gretna, but I guess the game is not over until it's over
"We didn't play so well today but that's football. It's a crazy game."
Paul Hartley left the field after 18 minutes and Strachan doubts the midfielder will recover in time for Scotland's clash with Ukraine next weekend.
"He felt his hamstring and I would imagine it could be a problem for two or three weeks," Strachan said.
Fellow Scotland international Gary Caldwell played the full 90 minutes but appeared to be struggling with an injury in the final stages of the game.
Match-winner McDonald knows Fir Park well from his Motherwell days and is enjoying a fine run of scoring form.
"This ground holds special memories for me," McDonald told BBC Sport.
"I love it here and I was thinking halfway through this wasn't going to be a happy return for me.
"But I'm delighted to get the goal again in the 90th minute. We're making some nice habits of that but hopefully we don't have to do that every game.
"They were in our faces, there were always two or three people around the ball every time you got it.
"Full credit to Gretna, but I guess the game is not over until it's over.
"Five minutes is a long time in football. Everyone was saying 'we are going to go on and win this'.
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