Celtic 3
Dundee 2
League (Premier League)


Celtic 

3 - 2

Dundee


League (Premier League)
Saturday, December 13th, 2003
Celtic Park
Attendance: 57,573
3:00 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
Henrik Larsson (15)
Bobo Balde (69)
John Kennedy (87)
Mark Fotheringham (20)
Lee Mair (90)

Team Managers
Martin O'Neil Jim Duffy

Starting Eleven
20. Robert Douglas
35. Johan Mjallby
6. Bobo Balde
23. Stanislav Varga
43. Liam Miller
18. Neil Lennon
19. Stilian Petrov
8. Alan Thompson
29. Shaun Maloney
7. Henrik Larsson
9. Chris Sutton
Julian Speroni .1
Jonay Hernández .16
Brent Sancho .18
David Mackay .3
Lee Wilkie .6
Barry Smith .2
Lee Mair .19
Garry Brady .26
Mark Fotheringham .30
Gavin Rae .8
Nacho Novo .17

Bench
22. David Marshall
14. Paul Lambert
33. Ross Wallace
39. Jamie Smith
41. John Kennedy
John McCafferty .35
Callum MacDonald .27
Tom Hutchinson .4
Dougie Cameron .34
Bobby Linn .33

Substitutions
Jamie Smith for Shaun Maloney (55)
John Kennedy for Johan Mjällby (63)
Bobby Linn for Gavin Rae (81)
Tom Hutchinson for Garry Brady (88)

Cautions
Alan Thomson (90) Mark Fotheringham (52)
David Mackay (61)
Lee Wilkie (76)
Lee Mair (77)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Kenny Clark (Referee)



Match Report


It's quite a while since the days when Dundee used to got to Parkhead expecting a hammering, but an afternoon where a post half time blitz had the hoops 6-1 up with nearly half an hour left to play remains in the consciousness as a chilling reminder of what can happen to visiting teams when the Old Firm go on the rampage.

That was back in the early days of Dundee's return to the top flight but there were a few fans who feared for the Dees as they headed west with little travelling followers and a squad which is by necessity down to the bare bones.

Celtic were coming into the game on the back of their Champions League exit and a backlash was expected, the question was could Dundee achieve more than damage limitation as they took on the league leaders? Particularly as a few reports in the press had stated that 'Dundee have had the heart ripped out of their club with their current worries'

This display by the Dees showed once again that nothing could be further from the truth, if anything the team have displayed greater heart than previously and while results may be harder to come by they are still willing and able to play top class football against the big boys.

Back on the shores of the Tay those who would normally have been on the Parkhead slopes singing the praises of their team were instead trying to stay up to date via SKY TV and BBC Radio Scotland, while raising funds to keep the club alive, indeed all over the world fans were trying to keep the 'heart' beating.

Jim Duffy had a difficult job in picking his team, only Nacho Novo, of the strikers available, had any experience of this kind of task and the manager decided that he would start alone up front. The tactical move which almost brought Dundee at least a deserved share of the points, however, was to play two attacking midfielders in Rae and Fotheringham with instructions to get up and support Nacho at every opportunity.

In the first half in particular that pair did so in a manner which had Celtic's defence in disarray at times. Nacho's quick movement and clever runs gave Fotheringham's passing ability the chance to shine and the little Spaniard should have scored as early as the first minute, racing in on goal but firing his shot off the legs of the advancing Douglas.

Nacho would be in on goal another couple of times in the half but that was his best opportunity.

Celtic looked very much as if they had a European hangover and only the clever play of Thomson wide on the left caused Dundee any real worries. It was from his boot that the chance for the opener came in fifteen minutes. His low cross was dummied by Sutton and Larsson made his only significant contribution to the match by clipping a clever shot high into the net. Dundee were not for rolling over though and five minutes later Mark Fotheringham picked up a loose ball in the centre circle, strode forward and lashed an unstoppable drive off the bar and into the net. It was a magnificent effort from the player who has blossomed into a real star of this new look Dundee and had the Celtic support shaking their heads at the decision to allow him to leave Parkhead earlier this season.

As half time approached Julian Speroni had to make saves from Maloney. Larsson and Thomson but none of the efforts really worried the Argentinian stopper.

A visit to Celtic Park wouldn't be complete without the hall time anticipation of a home team blitz in the early stages of the second half, when Dundee won here in 2001 Jamie Langfield performed heroically in the ten minutes following the break, but with an hour on the clock on this occasion that barrage had failed to materialise. Indeed Novo might have scored from close range but the ball just wouldn't fall nicely for the striker.

It was to be a costly miss as midway through the half Celtic took the lead, Thomson curled in a cross and Sutton headed back across the face of the goal for Balde to dive full length to net. The big defender had had an awful week but he ended it with only his second goal of the season, his other- the winner at Dens.

Still Dundee refused to crumble and Dave Mackay just couldn't get power on his shot from ten yards following Brady's free kick on the left.

Duffy threw on Bobby Linn in place of Rae with ten minutes remaining and the youngster didn't look overawed, racing down the left on a couple of occasions straight away but it was to be at the other end that a goal would materialise.

Thomson again was involved, his corner from the right was left by Larsson and young John Kennedy stooped to net his first top team goal and apparently seal victory for the home side.

Jim Duffy had other ideas though and sent out Tom Hutchinson for Sancho, and putting Lee Wilkie up front. The Dees pressed and gained a corner deep into the three minutes of injury time. Rab' Douglas had been impressive throughout but he made a meal of clutching Brady's comer and Bobby Linn returned the ball along the edge of the six yard box for Mair to lash home.

Time had run out for the Dark Blues though and with Larsson taking the ball to the corners Celtic played out the remaining seconds - they'd won the points and again shown that they are the most resilient of teams domestically. but it was Dundee who'd played the more entertaining stuff and shown that they still have plenty of 'heart'.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme



Squad Statistics (as at December 13th, 2003)


2003-04 All Time
Age
Julian Speroni (GK)24 22 - 89 -
Lee Wilkie23 2231126
David Mackay22 20 - 812
Brent Sancho26 6 - 6 -
Jonay Hernández24 16 - 531
Lee Mair23 211552
Barry Smith29 2213323
Garry Brady27 19 - 521
Gavin Rae26 18324526
Mark Fotheringham19 8282
Nacho Novo24 22146523
Tom Hutchinson (sub)21 7 - 20 -
Bobby Linn (sub)18 9191






League Table (as at December 13th, 2003)


No league table has been added for this season.