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2007-11-06: Celtic 1-0 Benfica, Champions League
|Match Pictures | Matches:2007 - 2008 | 2007-2008 Pictures|
- Champions League 2007-2008
- No Nakamura in squad (injured and knackered etc)
- Celtic continue with their fortress Celtic routine, winning again at home (although away record is still a joke).
- Again like last campaign, the aggregate v Benfica in scores is tied with again neither scoring away from home against each other (3-3 in 2006-07, 1-1 in 2007-08 campaigns).
- Benfica player (Binya) committed a horrendous tackle lucky not break Scott Brown's leg. Correctly sent off for it, and should get hammerred for it by the authorities.Edit: He has received a 6 game ban subject to appeal.
- Referee was well praised for not falling for diving antics and letting the game flow.
ReviewMany fans may have felt downhearted after the last game where we lost with 2mins to go and no Nakamura starting, but somehow we pulled off a great 1-0 win having been under the cosh badly in the first 17mins. McGeady played a blinder of a game, and for the first time that I can ever think of the whole Celtic support rose to applaud his performance. He didn't stop running and pestering the Benfica defence, and he scored a good goal (albeit with a bit of a deflection). Anyhow, the defence is still shakey, and its onto the Shakter game at home which is practically a cup tie sudden death for the both of us.
Also Benfica player sent off for what must rank as one of the worst unprovoked tackles/assaults on a player ever at Parkhead. Scott Brown was lucky not to have a broken leg.
Boruc, Caldwell, Kennedy, McManus, Naylor, Scott Brown (Sno 89), Hartley, Jarosik (Donati 66), McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Killen 66), McDonald.
Subs Not Used:- Mark Brown, Zurawski, Riordan, O'Dea.
Goal:- McGeady 45
Quim, Luis Felipe, Edcarlos, Luisao, Leo, Katsouranis, Rui Costa (Bergessio 77), Pereira (Di Maria 61), Binya, Rodriguez, Cardozo (Nuno Gomes 77).
Subs Not Used:- Butt, Zoro, Nuno Assis, Adu.
Sent Off:- Binya (85).
Ref: Martin Hansson (Sweden).
|7||Shots on goal||5|
|34' 49''||Ball. Poss. (time)||29' 38''|
|54%||Ball. Poss. (%)||46%|
McGeady strikes to revive qualification hope
CELTIC 1 BENFICA 0
By Lisa Gray
Celtic gave their Champions League aspirations a much-needed shot in the arm with a narrow win over Benfica at Parkhead last night. Aiden McGeady bagged the only goal to steer their ailing European campaign back on track as Celtic were in desperate need of a win to boost their Group D hopes. The Scottish champions suffered defeat when the two teams last met in Lisbon a fortnight ago, leaving them bottom of the section.
Both teams had chances to take the lead, with Scott McDonald coming close for the home side and Oscar Cardozo proving to be Benfica"s biggest threat. Instead it was Celtic who took the lead on the stroke of half-time through a superb shot from McGeady just outside the box, which took a deflection off Luisao and into the back of the net.
With the game still finely balanced, neither side took advantage of the break to make any changes. Benfica were clearly keen to haul themselves back into the game, but Artur Boruc comfortably smothered a Rui Costa effort shortly after the restart. A cross-shot from the right by Luis Felipe was also easily collected by the Celtic goalkeeper.
Celtic survived a scare when Lee Naylor hooked an Edcarlos header off the line, before passing up a great chance to all but put the game beyond Benfica. With only the keeper to beat, Brown saw his powerful shot parried before nodding over the crossbar from the rebound but in the 85th minute Benfica"s hopes ended when Augustin Binya was shown a straight red card for dangerous play.
International Herald Tribune (by Rob Hughes) :"Cowards do, alas, exist in soccer. Late in Glasgow Celtic's 1-0 home victory over Benfica, there was a foul of such ugly intent that it warranted more punishment than the referee could give. Augustin Binya, 23, from Cameroon, used his studs to stomp on the outstreched leg of Celtic's Scott Brown. The red card is not enough. We wait, probably in vain, for a club courageous enough to fire a player who perpetrates such violence. Brown has only bruising, but his career could have been broken. Benfica, with all its fine tradition, should ensure that Binya never gets a second chance to maim an opponent in its colors."
Celtic 1-0 BenficaBBC
By David Sharp
A solitary strike from Aiden McGeady sunk Benfica to keep alive Celtic's aspirations of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.
Oscar Cardozo was a constant threat for the visitors in an open first half, bringing out the best in Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Scott McDonald went closest for Celtic before McGeady's deflected shot on the stroke of half-time flew past Quim.
The Scottish Champions assumed control after the break as Benfica faded.
News conference: Gordon Strachan
Celtic v Benfica match report
And the hard-earned victory continued Celtic's impressive home record in Champions League competition with their unbeaten run stretching back to September 2004.
Benfica enjoyed most of the early possession and were moving the ball about with impressive fluency.
And the Portugese side forced Boruc into action after seven minutes when he denied Cardoza with a decent save from point-blank range after the striker was nicely teed up by Cristian Rodriguez.
The home side then spurned a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after the lively McGeady was hauled down by Rui Costa.
Paul Hartley sent a curling free-kick into the box only for John Kennedy to nod inches wide with Quim's goal at his mercy.
The action flowed from end to end and Cardozo was proving to be a handful for the Celtic defence.
The Argentinian pounced on a loose ball after 16 minutes and accelerated past Lee Naylor into the box before unleashing a rising volley that Boruc did well to turn over the bar.
At the other end Quim produced an impressive save of his own to push away a ferocious long-range drive from Scott Brown.
Despite Benfica's dominance in possession, Celtic created a flurry of great chances midway through the first half.
McDonald was denied twice in quick succession by Quim and Brown swiped at fresh air six yards out with the Benfica defence in disarray.
But just when the half looked set to peter out goalless McGeady jinked in from the left and struck a sweet right-foot shot which took a wicked deflection off Luisao to give Celtic the lead.
The home side started the second half brightly and their high tempo game was unsettling the visitors.
McGeady and McDonald continually tormented the Benfica back-line with their energetic movement as Celtic went in search of the decisive second goal.
With Celtic in the ascendancy Cardoza blew a gilt-edged opportunity to snatch an equaliser for Benfica after 62 minutes when he was picked out in the box by Leo's floated cross.
But the striker's attempted header came off his shoulder and flew just past Boruc's left-hand post.
With 20 minutes to go Brown burst through the heart of the Benfica defence but Quim did well to block his thunderous drive and the Celtic midfielder could only nod the rebound over the bar.
Benfica were reduced to ten men five minutes from the end when Augustin Binya was red-carded for a shocking challenge on Brown.
The Scottish Champions controlled the remainder of the game without creating any more clear-cut chances and held on comfortably in the end to pick up a vital three points and stay in the hunt in Group D.
Celtic: Boruc, Naylor, Caldwell, Kennedy, McManus, Scott Brown (Sno 89), Hartley, Jarosik (Donati 66), McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Killen 66), McDonald. Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Zurawski, Riordan, O'Dea.
Goals: McGeady 45.
Benfica: Quim, Luis Felipe, Edcarlos, Luisao, Leo, Katsouranis, Rui Costa (Bergessio 77), Pereira (Di Maria 61), Binya, Rodriguez, Cardozo (Nuno Gomes 77). Subs Not Used: Butt, Zoro, Nuno Assis, Adu.
Sent Off: Binya (85).
Ref: Martin Hansson (Sweden).
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