1 - 2
1 - 2
League (Premier League)
Steven Tweed (33)
John O'Neil (17)
David Zitelli (62)
1. Marco Roccati
2. Barry Smith
4. Marcello Marrocco
5. Marco De Marchi
6. Steven Tweed
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
18. Javier Artero
14. Gavin Rae
19. Patrizio Billio
11. Willie Falconer
33. Claudio Caniggia
Nick Colgan .1
Frank Sauzee .4
Paul Fenwick .14
Gary Smith .18
Stuart Lovell .7
Mathias Jack .21
John O'Nell .11
Russell Latapy .10
Ulrik Laursen .3
Mixu Paatelainen .9
David Zitelll .20
3. Jamie Langfield
25. Beto Carranza
21. Graham Bayne
15. Steven Milne
9. Juan Sara
Michael Franks .31
Lyndon Andrews .15
Ian Murray .26
Tam McManus .27
Dirk Lehmann .16
Juan Sara for Javier Artero (65)
|Dirk Lehmann for David Zitelll (75)
Marco De Marchi (21)
Giorgi Nemsadze (85)
Marcello Marrocco (86)
Douglas McDonald (Referee)
Dundee confirmed their fall from the SPL's top six at Dens Park last night, going down to a capital city side whose title challenge is looking less fanciful by the week.
Beaten 5-1 at Easter Road at the start of the season in a match that saw Fabian Caballero dismissed before half-time, the Dark Blues were always in contention in this return fixture.
They recovered from the loss of a self-inflicted wound of a goal in the first quarter to equalise through Steven Tweed but had no answer to the visitors' majestic second from David Zitelli.
"An absolutely fantastic winner," enthused Hibs manager Alex McLeish of the Frenchman's bicycle kick score. "The players showed a great mentality throughout but we needed that bit of magic from David."
"I have scored better but this was a nice goal, I think," said Zitelli modestly. "It makes me very happy because it gives us an important win against a very strong opponent."
A strong opponent maybe, but one which is out of form in terms of results with the defeat Dundee's third in a row.
Manager Ivano Bonetti had observed in his programme notes, "Certainly, we have been working hard to ensure that defensively we concentrate for the full 90 minutes" and he was far from happy with the loss of the 17th minute opener.
Patrizio Billio was the man at fault, the midfielder hitting a weak pass into no man's land between Tweed and keeper Marco Rocatti.
Into the midst of the confusion strode Mathias Jack. His fearless challenge did not see him win the ball but it was enough to squirt the ball out of Rocatti's clutches and into the path of John O'Neil.
Unmarked and with an open net to aim at, the former St Johnstone favourite made no mistake.
"We can't make these sort of mistakes and expect to win and it made me angry for we had been playing well up until then," said Bonetti.
"Now we have to go into the derby match with no points from our last three games. It is not good and we will have to do something for it can not go on."
Billio's error was not the first piece of slack play in the game, Rocattí having earlier allowed Ulrik Laursen's cross to go straight through his hands and out for a corner kick, and it certainly was not the last, with both sides looking enterprising going forward but decidedly creaky at the back.
In fairness to the defences, they were having to deal with some quality passing and movement with Claudio Caniggia prominent for the home side.
The Argentinian did not score his side's 33rd minute equaliser but he was the man who set up the opportunity, his clever control forcing Laursen into the foul that gave them a free kick in good position deep into the Hibs half.
Georgi Nemsadze's delivery from the set-piece gave Tweed the opportunity to attack the ball and he responded with an imperious header which beat Nick Colgan all ends up.
Having fought their way back into it, Dundee should have gone in at the interval in front with, first, Gavin Rae, then Willie Falconer spurning the chances set up for them by the guile of Caniggia, who it was revealed later needed a couple of injections after taking a knock to the ribs. They were to regret their profligacy with Hibs recapturing the lead in the second period thanks to a stunning 62nd minute score.
Russell Latapy's corner from the right looked to be going nowhere after it skimmed of the head off Falconer. Zitelli, the man McLeish brought in to fill the void left by the departure of Kenny Miller to Rangers, had other ideas, though.
With his back to goal and some eight or nine yards out with the angle, he threw himself in the air and sent a spectacular overhead volley beyond a stunned Roccati.
Juan Sara was introduced in place of Javier Artero midway through the second half in a bid to produce a second equaliser, a switch that would have paid off had it not been for an instinctive stop from Nick Colgan.
Cannigia, almost inevitably, was the provider, running on to Barry Smith's cross-field pass to send in a centre to his fellow-countryman. Sara got a great contact on the ball to lash a shot goalwards but Colgan somehow man aged to tip it over.
Dundee's De Marchi (foul on Zitelli) was booked, as were his teammates Nemsadze (foul on O'Neil) and Marcello Marrocco (foul on Latapy).
Match report written by The Courier
|Marco Roccati (GK)
|Marco De Marchi
|Juan Sara (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.
Unfortunately, the last two games have been all too similar, in so far as, not only did we lose them both, which was particularly upsetting, but we created sufficient chances to win them both!
Against Motherwell, our lack of concentration in the early stages was punished by the visitors scoring twice in the first five minutes.
In front of a very healthy-sized home crowd we had a bad ten minutes but, after that, went on to create a few chances, but lack of composure in front of goal meant we failed to score, which obviously makes it very difficult to win.
I was very pleased, however, for Claudio on his home debut because he scored a wonderful goal.
At Dunfermline last week, I was happy with the performance, but clearly, not with the eventual outcome.
If we played that game another 10 times then I am sure we wouldn't lose. Dunfermline had just that one effort on goal and scored!
Again, we had the opportunities to score. Claudio Caniggia could have scored in the first half and Gavin Rae had three efforts with which he might have scored, especially from the last of these. Barry Smith also came in with a header in the second half and was unlucky not to score.
Conversely, never at any time did we have anything to fear defensively, but if you don't score then you don't win.
I have nothing to criticise the players for because we have played well enough in the last two games, making enough chances to win them both, yet find ourselves haven taken no points from them.
As a result, our preparation for this evening's game with Hibs, has seen us concentrate on the problems which have afflicted us over the past two outings.
Certainly, we have been working. hard to ensure that defensively we concentrate for the full ninety minutes, while instilling a greater cutting edge up front is the other area in which we have been putting in a lot of effort on the training ground.
In Claudio Caniggia, we have an invaluable striking asset and we must ensure that this exploited more than has been possible so far.
The visit of Hibs promises to be a very exciting game given how well they have been playing and we will afford them every respect, but having said that we don't fear them.
As we have shown already this season, if we play to our full potential, we can match the best and that is what we intend doing this evening.