Dundee 1
Celtic 2
League (Premier League)

1 - 2

League (Premier League)
Wednesday, March 17th, 2004
Dens Park
Attendance: 8,592
7:45 PM Kick-off

Sebastian Kneissl (90)
Stilian Petrov (38)
Henrik Larsson (68)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Martin O'Neil

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
19. Lee Mair
16. Jonay Hernández
3. David Mackay
18. Brent Sancho
26. Garry Brady
21. Steven Robb
30. Mark Fotheringham
24. Neil Barrett
15. Steven Milne
17. Nacho Novo
David Marshall .22
Jackie McNamara .4
Bobo Balde .6
Stanislav Varga .23
Stephen Pearson .11
Stilian Petrov .19
Neil Lennon .18
Alan Thompson .8
Momo Sylla .3
Didier Agathe .17
Henrik Larsson .7

22. Derek Soutar
5. Sebastian Kneissl
34. Dougie Cameron
33. Bobby Linn
24. Neil Jablonski
Robert Douglas .20
Paul Lambert .14
Craig Beattie .37
Jamie Smith .39
John Kennedy .41

Sebastian Kneissl for Steven Milne (72)
Bobby Linn for Steven Milne (72)
Dougie Cameron for Mark Fotheringham (79)
Craig Beattie for
Jamie Smith for
John Kennedy for

Mark Fotheringham (56)
Neil Barrett (71)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Willie Young (Referee)
Gordon Middleton & Martin Doran (Assistants)
Calum Murray (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Despite a late goal from Sebastian Kneissl, his first in Dark Blue, Dundee went down to runaway league leaders Celtic in a game which had a fair amount of good football, but little penetration from either side.

Dundee started with the same eleven who had faced Aberdeen as Celtic came to town for the live BBC TV match, but Celtic fielded a much stronger side than the one which had dropped two points to Motherwell.

Henrik Larsson was restored to the league leaders' attack and Alan Thomson, Neil Lennon and Bobo Balde were other first choice Celts to return to their line up.

The match was preceded by an immaculately observed minute of silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the Madrid bombings the previous week. Early on, Dundee more than held their own and in ten minutes the first chance of the match came the way of top scorer Nacho Novo.

Garry Brady skipped down the right and lotted a lovely ball into the little Spaniard, Nacho should probably have put in a headed attempt. Instead, he tried to bring the ball down, but was crowded out. Celtic's first real effort came seven

minutes later when Thompson sent in a

trademark low drive, which appeared

destined for the bottom corner of the net

until Speroni snaked out a hand to tip it

wide of the target.

Thompson again tested the Dens keeper in 25 minutes with a right foot curler which Speroni dived to palm away. Just after the half hour there was real anticipation as Dundee were awarded a free kick in almost exactly the same position as they had scored from in Saturday's match against Aberdeen. Again Mark Fotheringham was the taker, but although he put the same pace and curl on it, he wasn't quite as accurate so Marshall got across to save.

The young Celtic keeper was again excelling, as he had to do after 40 minutes when Barrett's snap-shot threatened to dip under his bar, but Marshall brilliantly tipped it away.

That had been the closest effort so far, but from threatening the opposition goal, Dundee were about to be suckered on the counter.

From the resultant corner Pearson picked the ball up and surged forward before threading a great ball to Petrov, who cut inside and slid a low shot under the advancing Speroni to give Celtic the lead.

The Dark Blues came close to levelling before the interval as a great Fotheringham pass picked out Novo down the right, his low cross saw Robb arrive a fraction of a second too late to capitalise.

Thirteen minutes into the second half Fotheringham was the first to pick up a yellow card from ref Willie Young when he was penalised for downing Petrov. Petrov came close to being the fall guy again in 65 minutes when Robb's free kick glanced off his head and narrowly wide of his own goal, but Dundee were about to be victims of Henrik Larsson. The Swede had previously been invisible, but that's when he's most dangerous and he picked up a knock-down from Kennedy following a free kick on the right to get a shot on target. Speroni blocked it, but as the ball zipped back to the striker he showed great awareness and balance to clip home the second.

Jim Duffy had Bobby Linn ready to come on before that goal and when the substitution was finally made, in 73 minutes, the young Dundonian was joined by German Sebastian Kneissl, the pair replacing Milne and Robb.

Dundee tried to push forward and two minutes after the changes, Novo fired in a volley from fifteen yards, only for it to be blocked. With ten minutes to go Duffy threw on Cameron for Barrett, who'd been the second player booked of the evening, and at the same time Celtic withdrew Larsson.

As the game petered out. Dundee kept trying to press and came close through a 90th minute Novo bobbling shot which the impressive young Celtic keeper scrambled round the post.

A minute into injury time they snatched a consolation goal and it was a finish of real quality. Bobby Linn's ball in from the left found Kneissl who skipped past a challenge and rammed a 12 yard shot into the roof of the net.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at March 17th, 2004)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 37 - 104 -
Jonay Hernández25 30 - 671
Lee Mair23 351692
Brent Sancho27 15 - 15 -
David Mackay22 35 - 962
Neil Barrett22 8181
Mark Fotheringham20 224224
Steven Robb22 111231
Garry Brady27 34 - 671
Nacho Novo24 36217930
Steven Milne23 12210719
Dougie Cameron (sub)21 5 - 5 -
Sebastian Kneissl (sub) - 5151
Bobby Linn (sub)18 141141

League Table (as at March 17th, 2004)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Last Saturday's game against Aberdeen was always going to be a difficult one, because with four players missing, our squad was stretched to the limit.

It didn't help that Steve Lovell, Tom Hutchinson and Barry Smith are three of our more experienced men.

However, Mark Fotheringham scored a fantastic opening goal, but thereafter our play was a bit patchy, although at times we did play some really good football.

Towards half time Aberdeen started to get a grip of the game, then for 25 minutes of the second half they controlled it, and we just had to dig in and work hard. Part of that was down to us being short on experience, so elementary errors were made, but many of these were rectified by sheer endeavour.

Therefore, I can't fault their effort, because they chased, worked, tackled and threw bodies in front of opponents, so their attitude was first class and we ended up with a very young side on the pitch, but encouragingly still earned a point. By the last ten minutes, I think we'd settled down a little bit and maybe could have snatched it towards the end when the keeper made a great save from Nacho.

Overall, I'm not that unhappy with a point, but we've got to make sure we keep learning, learning that if it's not going our way just to relax and keep the ball a little bit better, then we'll improve as a team.

Of course, prior to the game, the talk amongst the fans inevitably centred on the proposed groundsharing, fuelling much heated debate,

However, all that detracts from what is happening on the field and against a side of Celtic's quality whom we face this evening, we require the whole-hearted backing from our supporters.

If our young players make a mistake, as they inevitably will, we need everyone to encourage them on, but not by criticising them. Through these troubled times, it is important that we keep focused on events on the pitch.

The financial support that the club has received has been vital, but your vocal support is equally important during matches and I am sure that we can count on that tonight for what is one of the most attractive, as well as difficult fixtures in the calendar.