Dundee 0
Celtic 1
League (Premier League)

0 - 1

League (Premier League)
Saturday, September 13th, 2003
Dens Park
Attendance: 10,647
12:30 PM Kick-off

None. Bobo Baldé (8)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Martin O'Neil

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
6. Lee Wilkie
16. Jonay Hernández
2. Barry Smith
19. Lee Mair
3. David Mackay
8. Gavin Rae
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
17. Nacho Novo
25. Steve Lovell
7. Fabian Caballero
Magnus Hedman .21
Stanislav Varga .23
Bobo Balde .6
Stephen Crainey .40
Jackie McNamara .4
Neil Lennon .18
Stilian Petrov .19
Alan Thompson .8
Didier Agathe .17
Henrik Larsson .7
John Hartson .10

12. Jamie Langfield
4. Tom Hutchinson
26. Garry Brady
30. Mark Fotheringham
9. Juan Sara
Robert Douglas .20
John Kennedy.41
Momo Sylla .3
Shaun Maloney .29
Liam Miller .43

Juan Sara for David Mackay (61)
Mark Fotheringham for Steve Lovell (77)
Garry Brady for Barry Smith (81)
Liam Miller for Stephen Crainey (25)
Momo Sylla for John Hartson (53)
Shaun Maloney for Stilian Petrov (78)

Giorgi Nemsadze (66)
Steve Lovell (72)
Alan Thompson (56)

Red Cards
None. Didier Agathe (25)
Match Officials

Dougie McDonald (Referee)
Stuart Macaulay & Neil Brand (Assistants)
Ian Fricklaton (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee turned in possibly their worst performance since Jim Duffy returned as they went down to a ten man Celtic on Live TV at Dens. The Hoops numbers had been reduced by Didier Agathe's 25th minute challenge on Nacho Novo which looked innocuous.

That red card had a big effect on the game as Celtic sat in tight and stopped Dundee playing - a task that the Glasgow side fulfilled with some ease. Henrik Larsson was excellent in midfield and their central defence held firm, but apart from the keepers, who had little to do, few others gained any credit from a contest that wasn't exactly the best advert for the game.

Celtic's winner came via an unstoppable Bobo Balde header on seven minutes at a time when Dundee were on top, yet despite the one-man advantage they enjoyed for most of the game they were never in control of the match again The Dees never looked capable of opening up the Celts' defence in an awful showing. They were particularly poor in a second period virtually bereft of chances.

Dundee had started brightly though and Novo should perhaps have gone for a first time shot in the second minute when some fine skill from Caballero made a half chance for the wee Spaniard. The Dees continued to press and, with the early stages being played at a frantic pace, they looked in the mood to cause Celtic problems.

An obvious set back to those plans was the concession of a goal in eight minutes from Celtic's first foray into the Dundee box, a long free- kick from the left taken by Crainey found the head of Balde, and he bulleted in an un-saveable header from 12-yards off the underside. It was a fine example of his aerial prowess, but the Dees defence will be disappointed that they didn't get in a more effective challenge.

The home side continued to press. but there were no takers for a couple of inviting crosses from Mackay and their best opportunity came in 25 minutes as they hit Celtic with a quick counter attack. Steve Lovell picked up the ball in the right back position and hit a wonderful ball into Novo's path, as the Spaniard raced in on goal Didier Agathe was in hot pursuit and overtook the striker at lightning pace, he didn't need to pull back Novo, but was adjudged to have, and received a straight red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Celtic reorganised immediately and showed that they are a very stuffy and effective team when they need to be. Dundee though seemed to have no idea how to break down the Hoops, Novo's low shot three minutes after the sending off was pretty much all Marcus Hedman had to deal with apart from crosses. Having said that Lovell should have done better when he got on the end of Novo's cross in 36 minutes, but could only loop his header over the bar.

Right on half time, Celtic should have gone two up as Thomson's comer from the right was met by Varga at the near post, the central defender had time and space to pick his spot but directed his effort wide of the target.

The second half lacked even these moments of excitement as Celtic choked the life out of Dundee's efforts.

Nemsadze, all too often, was trying to take on the whole defence and it was no surprise when he received the latest in a worrying run of yellow cards, after downing Petrov as the Bulgarian raced away after robbing Georgi for the third time in a short period of play. Steve Lovell too saw yellow and his booking was also typical, a rash challenge on a player going nowhere. The striker was red hot in pre-season, but like another couple of his team-mates, appears to have lost confidence at the moment. In truth, only Lee Mair played really well.

There was a debut for Mark Fotheringham with thirteen minutes to go and the youngster looked busy without ever getting the chance to hurt his former employees, fellow sub Garry Brady did come reasonably close late on with a twenty-yarder which flew just over the bar.

By then Lee Wilkie had been pushed up front in a bid to snatch a point, but it never looked likely on a day to forget.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at September 13th, 2003)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 7 - 74 -
Lee Wilkie23 71974
David Mackay22 5 - 662
Lee Mair22 7 - 411
Barry Smith29 713173
Jonay Hernández24 6 - 431
Giorgi Nemsadze31 7 - 905
Gavin Rae25 7223425
Fabian Caballero25 5 - 10325
Steve Lovell22 714216
Nacho Novo24 765015
Mark Fotheringham (sub)19 1 - 1 -
Garry Brady (sub)27 6 - 391
Juan Sara (sub)26 519635

League Table (as at September 13th, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

After all the excitement at our progression to the first round proper of the UEFA Cup, it was back to SPL business at Rugby Park where we faced a very difficult game and had to be satisfied with a point.

It was always going to be a hard game, and even although we weren't quite at our best, we still got our noses in front and Nacho's goal looked as though it would be enough to give us victory.

So it was disappointing that the match ended up as a draw albeit that Killie's equaliser was a fabulous goal.

Having said that, looking back over the 90 minutes, I suppose a draw was a fair enough result.

Certainly, our performance was more workmanlike, than fluent, and we know that if we are to take anything from this afternoon's match with Celtic, then we will require both these qualities, and in abundance.

Both of Celtic's visits to Dens Park last season were good closely fought contests and hopefully, this first one of the new season will fall into the same category.

As everyone knows, Celtic have quality and strength in almost every department and will make it very difficult for us.

However, that doesn't mean we should be in awe of them. If we can keep it tight and at the same time be positive, then it is not beyond our capabilities of prising points from them.

We managed that last time they were here, even after going behind, and very nearly won the game in the end.

So if we can replicate that performance, then I'll be more than happy.

Celtic's visit is only the start of a very busy and exciting period at Dens Park with several games against opposition of similar quality just around the corner, so getting a result today would stand us in good stead for the undoubtedly testing time that lies ahead.