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Men Against Bhoys
2002-11-14: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Celtic, UEFA Cup

2002-11-14: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Celtic, UEFA Cup1

"Men against Boys" it was said after the end of the first leg by arch-Hun Souness. This time though there was no doubt that it was "The Bhoys" who were on top, and Celtic stormed through easily with two cracking goals, first one from Larsson and then a sublime headed goal from Sutton from a corner. We could have won by more!!!

Blackburn & Souness left with their tails between their legs!

Celtic put their unconvincing first-leg display behind them with a well-deserved second-leg victory to move into the third round. Henrik Larsson did the initial damage with an early goal that knocked Blackburn out of their stride.

The home side never reproduced the sharp passing football they showed at Celtic Park and created few clear-cut chances. Chris Sutton capped a superb performance against his former club with a great header to settle the tie. The opening minutes were tentative, but Rab Douglas came to Celtic's rescue in the seventh minute.

John Curtis opened up the Celtic defence with an incisive pass to Andy Cole, but Douglas was quickly off his line to deny him a shot on goal. Douglas got down well to hold a Damien Duff effort in 14 minutes as the home side began to take control. But a minute later Celtic were ahead. Larsson latched onto a Sutton pass as Craig Short slipped and clipped the ball over Brad Friedel to put Celtic in the driving seat. David Thompson rifled in a powerful free kick after Neil Lennon was harshly penalised, but the ball shaved the bar, with Douglas getting a fingertip to the shot. Douglas again did well in 37 minutes, this time to cope with a deflection from David Dunn's shot, changing direction to clutch the ball safely. Stilian Petrov sent a long-range free kick wide, but Celtic were well in control by this stage, with Blackburn unable to put any moves of real quality together.

Larsson wasted no time in threatening the Blackburn goal at the beginning of the second half, firing just wide from outside the box. Hartson should have put the game beyond Blackburn within three minutes of the restart, but he ****** his shot with the goal gaping after Larsson's cutback was knocked into his path by Sutton. Sutton then came close himself, heading into the sidenetting from Steve Guppy's corner.

Cole looked to have finally beaten Douglas in 55 minutes with a cute lob, but the frontman was ruled offside, with Ulrik Laursen clearing off the line for good measure. Substitute Keith Gillespie shot wide before Cole tested Douglas with an angled drive that the keeper held at the second attempt. But Sutton ended the tie midway through the second half with a fantastic glancing header from Petrov's corner that Friedel could only palm into the roof of the net.

Douglas did well to tip Short's header round the post and then Celtic were lucky to avoid conceding a penalty as Gillespie was fouled by Alan Thompson on the edge of the box, only for a free kick to be given. Dunn should have pulled one back but he shot well over from a good position with five minutes left. Laursen did brilliantly to clear Thompson's cross away from goal as Cole prepared to pounce, ensuring that Celtic's clean sheet remained intact.

Posted by voc1967 on Friday 09 August 2019 - 16:03:45 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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