Celtic 2
Dundee 1
League (Premier League)


Celtic 

2 - 1

Dundee


League (Premier League)
Wednesday, April 4th, 2001
Celtic Park
Attendance: 59,562
7:45 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
Tommy Johnson (5)
Johan Mjällby (85)
Juan Sara (68)

Team Managers
Martin O'Neil Ivano Bonetti

Starting Eleven
20. Rab Douglas
2. Johan Mjällby
5. Joos Valgaeren
36. Ramon Vega
8. Alan Thompson
14. Paul Lambert
17. Didier Agathe
18. Neil Lennon
25. Lubomir Moravcik
7. Henrik Larsson
12. Tommy Johnson
Jamie Langfield .3
Steven Tweed .6
Chris Coyne .22
Barry Smith .2
Marcello Marrocco .4
Giorgi Nemsadze .10
Javier Artero .18
Gavin Rae .14
Beto Garrido .36
Claudio Caniggia .33
Juan Sara .9

Bench
1. Jonathan Gould
2. Tommy Boyd
4. Jackie McNamara
40. Stephen Crainey
24. Colin Healy
Walter Del Rio .26
Zurab Khizanishvili .30
Umberto Fatello
Beto Carranza .25
Fabian Caballero .7

Substitutions
Jackie McNamara for Tommy Johnson (62)
Tommy Boyd for Lubomir Moravcik (72)
Fabian Caballero for Claudio Caniggia (46)
Beto Carranza for Beto Garrido (58)
Zurab Khizanishvili for Juan Sara (83)

Cautions
Neil Lennon (74) Steven Tweed (58)
Javier Artero (88)
Marcello Marrocco (88)

Red Cards
None. Barry Smith (81)

Match Officials

D. McDonald (Referee)



Match Report


Dundee will head into the final weekend of the regular season needing a victory over Aberdeen to be in with a chance of securing a place in the post-split top six. Three points behind Dunfermline but with a superior goal difference, the Dark Blues must win at Pittodrie on Saturday and hope Kilmarnock beat the Pars at Rugby Park.

On the evidence of their desperately unlucky defeat at Celtic Park last night that is a possibility which should not be discounted.

Robbed of the services of their keeper Marco Roccati, who was injured in the warm-up, Dundee fought back from the loss of a goal in the opening minutes to push Celtic to the very limit of their resolve.

It was only in the 85th minute, with Ivano Bonetti's side reduced to 10 men after skipper Barry Smith was red-carded, that their defence was breached by the hosts' less-heralded Swede Johan Mjallby. "We still have hope because

"Kilmarnock are a very strong team," said manager Bonetti.

"Also, I believe that if we play some of the football which we managed tonight then we can go and pick up all three points in Aberdeen.

"I have said all along that the important thing this season was to change things, to show that Dundee can challenge at grounds like this.

"Even if we don't make the top six I think we will have achieved that. Of course, we want to win more often than we have but the quality of our football has pleased me."

His view was given support by his opposite number Martin O'Neill. "Dundee played exceptionally well in the second half and it's my view that if they can become more consistent then they could challenge because they have some fantastic talent in their squad," he said.

Bonetti repaid the compliment by congratulating Celtic on the title they will now be odds-on to clinch against St Mirren at Paisley on Saturday.

"They have done so well and I think the difference is their mentality. I would like to see my players adopt some of that attitude and perhaps have more trust in themselves," said the Dark Blues' player-boss.

"This is perhaps not the night to speak of this because they have put so much effort in, and from a personal point I thought it was wonderful to see Fabian (Caballero) who has been out for seven months play 45 minutes.

"He is a great player, someone who people will all be talking about once he is fit again."

The evening got off to the worst start imaginable when Roccati fell heavily while going through his warm-up and had to be stretchered off. And Dundee fans feared the worst when Jamie Langfield, his young replacement, was beaten only five minutes into the contest.

Alan Thompson's clever ball down the left sprang Henrik Larsson in behind the defence and when he sent a ball in to the near post Tommy Johnson was first man there to sidefoot it into the corner of the net.

It was a blow for the former Scotland under-21 internationalist-not least because he had eased himself in with a good stop at Larsson's feet.

His luck turned some 120 seconds later, though, when Lubo Moravcik lost track of the ball in the penalty box when gifted a great chance by Marcello Marocco's slackness in allowing himself to be dispossessed by Didier Agathe.

That break helped Dundee rally and they forced successive corners on the left which allowed Claudio Caniggia to test the concentration of first Paul Lambert then keeper Robert Douglas.

It lifted the band of travelling fans, who showed that the near-deafening noise from the Celtic legions had not dulled their sense of humour when they greeted a wild free-kick from Larsson with the chant-"You are not very good."

Another Dundee corner saw Beto Garrido head wide while Javier Artero's bold run down the wing promoted Ramon Vega to steal in front of his keeper and boot the Spaniard's cross to safety.

Having shocked late-comers by starting the first half with Langfield in goal, the Dark Blues further surprised watchers by returning for the second half without Caniggia.

Any disappointment at his non appearance was tempered, however, by the pedigree of his replacement former Arsenal forward Fabian Caballero.

Heavier than he would like to be and not yet 100% match fit, the Argentinian soon showed he had lost none of his skills, linking up well with Garrido in a move which saw the latter force a late save out of Douglas. And in the 68th minute Dundee's ambition paid dividends in the form of an excellent equaliser.

The Georgian Giorgi Nemsadze picked up the ball in midfield, drifted out left and floated a beautiful chip over the Celtic defence. Juan Sara, ever the predator, read it perfectly and nipped in to poke the ball past Douglas from close range.

It set up a grandstand finish, with Celtic throwing everything forward in search of the win they needed to keep alive their hopes of tying up the title on Saturday.

Their cause was greatly boosted eight minutes from time when Smith was dismissed for pulling Mjallby back as he tried to race into the penalty box. And the towering Swede himself took advantage five minutes from time when he prodded home after Alan Thompson's corner had found its way to the back post.

The cheers from the home fans threatened to take the roof off but it was scant reward for the efforts of Langfield and his teammates with the keeper, who had spoken out about his need for first-team football, particularly to be commended for a great stop from Thompson's free-kick.

In addition to Smith's sending-off Steven Tweed (foul on Lambert) and Artero (foul on Thompson) were both booked.

Langfield's performance brought praise from his manager.

"He is a young lad with a great future ahead of him," said Bonetti. "

He did a really good job for us tonight and I would have no worries about playing him at Aberdeen."

The Italian revealed that Caniggia had been substituted at half-time in order to safeguard him for the Pittodrie clash and added the extent of Rocatti's problem was not yet clear.

And Bonetti had a special message of thanks to the travelling support "What can I say? They were magnificent once again. Celtic had almost 60,000 supporters in the ground and I still heard our fans cheering the team on. They have been the largest travelling support outside the Old Firm all season....we are very proud of them."

Match report written by The Courier



Squad Statistics (as at April 4th, 2001)


2000-01 All Time
Age
Jamie Langfield (GK)21 3 - 8 -
Barry Smith27 38 - 2171
Chris Coyne22 19 - 19 -
Steven Tweed28 351854
Marcello Marrocco31 28 - 28 -
Gavin Rae23 32413612
Javier Artero25 363454
Giorgi Nemsadze28 361361
Beto Garrido - 5 - 5 -
Juan Sara24 32163216
Claudio Caniggia34 248248
Zurab Khizanishvili (sub)19 1 - 1 -
Beto Carranza (sub)28 212212
Fabian Caballero (sub)23 115115






League Table (as at April 4th, 2001)


No league table has been added for this season.