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Celtic end Liverpool's hopes

Published: Thursday 20 March 2003, 23.30CET
Liverpool FC 0-2 Celtic FC (Agg: 1-3) Celtic take the glory as they knock out the 2001 winners.

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Published: Thursday 20 March 2003, 23.30CET

Celtic end Liverpool's hopes

Liverpool FC 0-2 Celtic FC (Agg: 1-3) Celtic take the glory as they knock out the 2001 winners.

Celtic FC sparked another night of celebration in Glasgow while at the same time crushing the hopes Liverpool FC had of winning the UEFA Cup for a second time in three seasons, by claiming a magnificent victory in the Anfield quarter-final second leg to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

Scottish joy
Goals from an Englishman, Alan Thompson, and a Welshman, John Hartson, brought untold joy for the Scottish club who also put out another Premiership side, Blackburn Rovers FC, earlier in the competition. This was a better achievement because Liverpool had recently found a vein of winning form. And Celtic might have been at a low ebb having lost in the Scottish League Cup final to their great rivals Rangers FC on Sunday.

Hartson makes amends
Hartson missed a penalty in the dying minutes of that game. Tonight he gave a masterclass in centre-forward play, holding the ball up well and competing for everything. Then, eight minutes from time, he produced a magnificent finish to make the game safe after executing a one-two with Henrik Larsson.

'Extraordinary' result
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill described it as an "extraordinary" result. "It was hard for us early on, I just said to the players 'hang on'. They deserve all the credit in the world. Certainly we have a chance of going through to win the competition but all the sides left in are capable of beating us."

Back four 'superb'
Hartson was quick to share the plaudits afterwards, saying: "We limited them to very few chances and I thought the back four were superb again. I was devastated for the fans [after missing the penalty]. Tonight it was one of those that as I hit it, I knew it was in. You probably get one or two of them in your career."

Long range
Liverpool, slight favourites after the first leg ended 1-1, gave it their all and contributed fully to the fast and furious tempo. They threatened mostly from long range and only on one occasion after falling behind did they seriously question Celtic's initial advantage.

Poor defending
That had come from a free-kick in the final minute of the first half. Thompson struck it hard, low and true but he received valuable assistance by the readiness of the Liverpool defensive wall to jump off the ground, the ball passing beneath them and out of the reach of a static Jerzy Dudek.

End to end
Earlier, the Liverpool goalkeeper had gone full length to punch away Larsson's curling free-kick. Liverpool countered – it was that sort of game for an hour, first one end and then the other – and following Michael Owen's splendid run Emile Heskey could do no more than skew the ball well wide.

Gerrard close
Steven Gerrard sent a couple of scorching drives towards goal as Liverpool kept up the pressure. One flew close, as did a similar salvo from Dietmar Hamann, while Robert Douglas tipped another from Gerrard over the top. Just before Hartson settled the issue Dudek was forced into an acrobatic stop when Larsson got his shoulder to a corner.

Douglas prepared
Liverpool almost found a way back into the tie in the 53rd minute when the tireless Gerrard for once got ahead of the ball and was well found by Owen. Fortunately for Celtic, Douglas had spotted the danger early, moved off his line in anticipation, and pulled off a crucial block. 

Houllier 'hurt'
Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier said he was "hurt" by the result. "It could have gone either way in the first half and their first goal was a turning point in the game," he said.

Last updated: 21/03/03 0.33CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2002/matches/round=1630/match=70960/postmatch/report/index.html#celtic+liverpools+hopes

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

celtic

Celtic

1
DudekJerzy Dudek
20
DouglasRobert Douglas
Yellow Card71
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä (C)
3
SyllaMohamed Sylla
Yellow Card31
Substitution86
7
ŠmicerVladimír Šmicer
Substitution56
5
ValgaerenJoos Valgaeren
8
HeskeyEmile Heskey
6
BaldéBobo Baldé
10
OwenMichael Owen
7
LarssonHenrik Larsson
13
MurphyDanny Murphy
8
ThompsonAlan Thompson
Goal45
16
HamannDietmar Hamann
10
HartsonJohn Hartson
Goal82
17
GerrardSteven Gerrard
14
LambertPaul Lambert (C)
Substitution73
18
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
18
LennonNeil Lennon
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
19
St.PetrovStiliyan Petrov
30
TraoréDjimi Traoré
35
MjällbyJohan Mjällby

Substitutes

19
ArphexadPegguy Arphexad
22
MarshallDavid Marshall
5
BarošMilan Baroš
Substitution56
4
McNamaraJackie McNamara
Substitution73
15
BergerPatrik Berger
16
LaursenUlrik Laursen
21
DiaoSalif Diao
29
MaloneyShaun Maloney
25
BišćanIgor Bišćan
30
GuppySteve Guppy
28
CheyrouBruno Cheyrou
39
James SmithJames Smith
Substitution86
33
MellorNeil Mellor
40
CraineyStephen Crainey

Coach

Gérard Houllier (FRA)

Referee

Markus Merk (GER)

Assistant referees

Heiner Müller (GER), Carsten Kadach (GER)

Fourth official

Peter Sippel (GER)

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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