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Celtic finish with a flourish

Published: Thursday 11 December 2008, 0.49CET
Celtic FC 2-0 Villarreal CF
First-half efforts from Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady earned the Scottish side a first win and consigned Villarreal to second place in Group E.
by Barry Johnston
from Celtic Park
Celtic finish with a flourish
Shaun Maloney celebrates scoring Celtic's first goal ©Getty Images

Match statistics

CelticVillarreal

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
3
Attempts off target4
 
6
Corners4
 
4
Offsides6
 
3
Fouls committed14
 
12
Yellow cards2
 
4
Red cards0
1

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:22 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 11 December 2008, 0.49CET

Celtic finish with a flourish

Celtic FC 2-0 Villarreal CF
First-half efforts from Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady earned the Scottish side a first win and consigned Villarreal to second place in Group E.

Celtic FC finished a disappointing UEFA Champions League campaign on a high note as first-half strikes from Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady earned victory against ten-man Villarreal CF, denying the Spanish side first place in Group E in the process.

Mixed fortunes
Celtic's first five fixtures had brought just two points and ensured they would end the campaign bottom of the section, yet Gordon Strachan's side were on top from the outset in Glasgow and took an early lead when Maloney nodded in. Villarreal's hopes were further dented by Guille Franco's red card just past the half-hour, and McGeady effectively ended their challenge with a fine second in the final seconds of the first period – although it is the Yellow Submarine who will take their place in the first knockout round draw on 19 December.

Lively start
Celtic started brightly and tested Villarreal goalkeeper Sebastián Viera, in for first-choice Diego López, after just two minutes when Maloney's 20-metre shot was well saved. The visitors launched their first attack moments later as Cani slipped a clever pass to Franco, but the alert Artur Boruc blocked the striker's close-range effort in what proved to be one of the Spanish side's few real openings. Instead Celtic continued to press and broke through in the 13th minute, Scott Brown threading a pass through to Mark Wilson on the left. Viera failed to gather the full-back's high cross and Maloney took full advantage, nodding in from close range.

First-half drama
Villarreal strove in vain for a way back into the contest, yet their one-goal deficit also became a numerical disadvantage ten minutes before half-time when Franco was shown a straight red card following an altercation with Gary Caldwell. The Scottish champions made the most of the extra man and, with Villarreal retreating ever deeper, doubled their lead through McGeady almost on the stroke of the interval. The Republic of Ireland international collacted Andreas Hinkel's pass and advanced to within 25 metres of the Villarreal goal before unleashing an unstoppable low drive that found the bottom corner of the net.

All or nothing
Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini was forced to shuffle his lineup at the interval and chose to withdraw captain Marcos Senna in favour of Turkey international striker Nihat Kahveci. That adventurous change almost paid off within eleven minutes when the substitute volleyed a fraction wide from a Cani corner kick, and Santi Cazorla was next to be summoned from the bench as Villarreal searched for a response. Celtic, however, remained in control and only a sprightly Viera stop prevented Georgios Samaras flicking in Andreas Hinkel's cross.

Outstanding block

The chance Villarreal had been waiting for arrived in the 69th minute, Nihat springing the Celtic defence and bearing down on the exposed Boruc, yet again the Celtic goalkeeper was equal to the task, producing an outstanding block to preserve the two-goal cushion. Duly warned, Celtic appeared happy to protect their advantage and rarely threatened in the closing phase of the match. However, while the result may have done much to restore the Scottish champions' wounded pride, it is Manuel Pellegrini's Villarreal who advance to the last 16.

Last updated: 10/12/08 23.56CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302770/postmatch/report/index.html#celtic+finish+with+flourish

Lineups

celtic

Celtic

villarreal

Villarreal

1
BorucArtur Boruc (GK)
1
VieraSebastián Viera (GK)
2
HinkelAndreas Hinkel
2
Gonzalo RodríguezGonzalo Rodríguez
4
McManusStephen McManus (C)
3
EdmílsonEdmílson
Yellow Card36
5
G. CaldwellGary Caldwell
Yellow Card63
9
FrancoGuillermo Franco
Red Card35
8
BrownScott Brown
10
CaniCani
9
SamarasGiorgios Samaras
Substitution82
11
IbagazaAriel Ibagaza
Yellow Card58
Substitution61
11
HartleyPaul Hartley
14
FernándezMatías Fernández
12
M. WilsonMark Wilson
Substitution82
18
Ángel LópezÁngel López
Yellow Card50
13
MaloneyShaun Maloney
Goal14
19
SennaMarcos Senna (C)
Yellow Card41
Substitution46
25
NakamuraShunsuke Nakamura
20
Fabricio FuentesFabricio Fuentes
46
McGeadyAiden McGeady
Goal45+2
Substitution76
21
Bruno SorianoBruno Soriano

Substitutes

21
BrownMark Brown (GK)
13
Diego LópezDiego López (GK)
7
McDonaldScott McDonald
Substitution82
6
EgurenSebastián Eguren
22
LoovensGlenn Loovens
7
PirèsRobert Pirès
29
MizunoKoki Mizuno
8
Santi CazorlaSanti Cazorla
Substitution61
48
O'DeaDarren O'Dea
Substitution82
12
CyganPascal Cygan
52
CaddisPaul Caddis
15
Nihat KahveciNihat Kahveci
Substitution46
55
McGowanPaul McGowan
Substitution76
Yellow Card77

Coach

Gordon Strachan (SCO) Manuel Pellegrini (CHI)

Referee

Claudio Circhetta (SUI)

Assistant referees

Manuel Navarro (SUI), Beat Hidber (SUI)

Fourth official

Daniel Wermelinger (SUI)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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