Dundee 1
Celtic 2
League (Premier League)

1 - 2

League (Premier League)
Sunday, December 10th, 2000
Dens Park
Attendance: 10,763
6:05 PM Kick-off

Tom Boyd (o.g.) (55)
Stilian Petrov (4)
Didier Agathe (90)

Team Managers
Ivano Bonetti
Martin O'Neil

Starting Eleven
1. Marco Roccati
5. Marco De Marchi
4. Marcello Marrocco
2. Barry Smith
6. Steven Tweed
18. Javier Artero
25. Beto Carranza
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
14. Gavin Rae
33. Claudio Caniggia
9. Juan Sara
Robert Douglas .20
Joos Valgaeren .5
Tom Boyd .2
Johan Mjallby .35
Didier Agathe .17
Neil Lennon .18
Stilian Petrov .19
Alan Thompson .8
Bobby Petta .15
Lubomir Moravcik .25
Henrik Larsson .7

3. Jamie Langfield
22. Chris Coyne
12. Shaun McSkimming
15. Steven Milne
16. Michael Yates
Johnathan Gould .1
Stephane Mahe .3
Jackie McNamara .4
Colin Healy .24
Tommy Johnson .12

Chris Coyne for Marco De Marchi (6)
Shaun McSkimming for Javier Artero (70)
Steven Milne for Beto Carranza (87)
Lubomir Moravcik for Tommy Johnson (46)
Jackie McNamara for Bobby Petta (65)

None. Tom Boyd (82)
Alan Thomson (89)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

John Underhill (Referee)
Roddy Cobb & Gordon Middleton (Assistants)
Garry Mitchell (Fourth Official)

Match Report

For the second time in eight days Dundee's hopes of making up ground in the race for a place in the top six when the SPL splits in half in March were cruelly sabotaged by the loss of a goal at the death.

Level at 1-1-the hapless Tom Boyd's header past his own keeper Robert Douglas having cancelled out Stilian Petrov's early opener-and ahead on points thanks to the sparkling contribution of Claudio Caníggia, the Dark Blues would have held the title favourites had they adequately managed to deal with Petrov's corner from their left.

But when substitute Chris Coyne's clearance crashed straight into team mate Steven Tweed and Celtic defender Johann Mjallby then rebounded crazily across the face of the goal Didier Agathe was the right place at the right time to head home his side's winner.

"I don't know what I can say, that was unbelievable," said a clearly shattered Dundee manager Ivano Bonetti.

"We played some wonderful football out there but once again we have failed to take the points and we need to be taking points.

"It probably says it all that at half time for probably the first time in my life I was not concerned to be losing a game.

"I told my players to go out and carry on doing what they were doing and they would get their reward. They did just that, got the goal we deserved but then we go and lose it all in the last minute. It is so hard to take."

Celtic manager Martin O'Neill was gracious in victory, conceding that a draw would not have been an unfair result.

"Dundee have some top quality players and they did really well out there, with Caniggia in particular absolutely excellent throughout," he said.

"To my mind it could have gone either way in the last 10 minutes.

"We kept plugging away and got the break. Some people will say we were fortunate but sometimes you have to make your own luck."

Although Bonetti was suspended, he took his place in the home dug-out having been asked, and been granted, special dispensation to do so by referee John Underhill.

Barely he had got there and his side were behind, Celtic capitalising on one of those fine sweeping moves in which they seem to specialise.

Agathe started it off by out-pacing Beto Carranza on the Dundee left. He found Henrik Larsson, who in turn switched the ball to Lubomir Moravcik on the other side of the pitch. Having weighed up his options, Moravcik decided the late run of Petrov into the box offered the best percentages and the Slovakian then rolled the ball into his teammate's path. Petrov gratefully accepted the gift by sidefooting a shot beyond Marco Roccati and into the top corner of the net.

It was precisely the start the Dark Blues had hoped to avoid. To make matters worse it came with an after shock-Marco de Marchi almost immediately raised his hand to indicate he was suffering from a recurrence of his hamstring problem and was replaced by Coyne.

To their great credit, Dundee took the setback in their stride and mounted a spirited fightback which should have seen them go in at the break no worse than on level terms.

Carranza shot just wide with a right-foot volley from just inside the box; Juan Sara was denied only by a sliding block from Petrov; Gavin Rae blasted a shot over the crossbar. And then, of course, there was Caniggia.

A man who had performed with distinction in a World Cup semi-final was always likely to relish the big stage this encounter provided and so it proved as the long-haired striker over-shadowed the performance of Celtic's debut man, the £6 million Neil Lennon.

His pace, control and guile gave Celtic problems throughout and a couple of his tricks in particular coming to a dead stop at full pace with the ball at his feet and a back heel which put Barry Smith in at the byline had the Dundee fans on their feet roaring with approval.

The Argentinian would have had a goal had it not been for the vigilance of Joos Valgaeren, who got his head in the way of a goalbound effort after Caniggia had dribbled the ball around former Dark Blues favourite Douglas.

In the 55th minute Caniggia got the next best thing with the assist on Boyd's spectacular own-goal. Clever play from Carranza gave his countryman space to run into wide on the left. When Caniggia sent in a teasing cross towards Sara-who had done well to get goalside of his mark er-the Scotland defender flung himself full length to meet the ball with his head, only to watch in agony as it flashed past his goalkeeper and into the net.

Another glorious move involving Georgi Nemsadze and Gavin Rae then sent in Caniggia in on goal once more. As before, he skipped past Douglas only to smash his shot into the side netting. It was to prove a crucial miss as the next real goal-scoring chance of note was Agathe's.

Boyd (foul on Carranza) and Alan Thompson (foul on Barry Smith) were the only bookings of the game, although Valgaeran was lucky to avoid a yellow card after crudely hauling back Caniggia with his arm.

Match report written by The Courier

Squad Statistics (as at December 10th, 2000)

2000-01 All Time
Marco Roccati (GK)25 7 - 7 -
Marco De Marchi - 15 - 15 -
Marcello Marrocco31 17 - 17 -
Barry Smith26 21 - 2001
Steven Tweed28 201704
Javier Artero25 202293
Beto Carranza28 7171
Giorgi Nemsadze28 201201
Gavin Rae23 1611209
Claudio Caniggia33 9595
Juan Sara24 187187
Chris Coyne (sub)21 5 - 5 -
Shaun McSkimming (sub)30 9 - 967
Steven Milne (sub)20 91111

League Table (as at December 10th, 2000)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Last weekend against St Johnstone, we drew a game which we really should have won and with it went our chance to leap-frog the Perth side.

As at Tynecastle the previous week, a late goal cost us dearly.

Having created plenty of chances, we only managed to score once, with myself among those blame for not finding the net again.

If you cannot win your matches when you are playing well, it's going to be very difficult to do so. when you play badly.

Although it is nice to hear people praise your team for playing good football, the bottom line is we need the points.

And whilst I have been generally happy with the performances in the last two games, the same cannot be said about the results which have damaged our chances of getting into the top six.

I have no complaints about the attitude that players are showing, but our finishing is letting us down.

There is no doubt that we really must be more clinical in front of goal.

Being less selfish up front would also help, because there have been occasions when playing a simple pass would bring greater dividends rather than players. over-elaborating on their own.

That is very much an area on which we have been concentrating on in preparation for the visit of Celtic.

Tonight's game is a huge one, not just because the visitors are at the top of the table, but in our case to ensure that we get back into the top half of the league.

Whilst we respect Celtic, we will not fear them, because in the first meeting this season at Celtic Park, we showed that we can more than compete with them.

Tactically, it was a very close game and we never allowed them the space or freedom, restricting them to just one or two chances.

Unfortunately, they did manage to take one of these, but that was all that separated the two teams.

This evening, hopefully, we can repeat that performance, but add the cutting edge in attack that has been missing recently and record what would be a very important victory.