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Larsson denies Villarreal victory

Published: Friday 9 April 2004
Celtic FC 1-1 Villarreal CF Henrik Larsson cancels out Josico's opener to preserve unbeaten home record.

Match statistics

CelticVillarreal

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target1
 
1
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Friday 9 April 2004

Larsson denies Villarreal victory

Celtic FC 1-1 Villarreal CF Henrik Larsson cancels out Josico's opener to preserve unbeaten home record.

By Alex O'Henley at Celtic Park

Villarreal CF secured an impressive draw at Celtic FC to keep alive their dreams of adding to their UEFA Intertoto Cup victory with a UEFA Cup triumph.

Psychological edge
A first-half headed goal by Josico had even given the visitors the lead, and although Henrik Larsson equalised for Celtic midway through the second half, the Spanish side held on to give themselves the psychological edge going into next Wednesday's second leg.

Lennon recall
Both sides showed changes from their league games at the weekend. Neil Lennon and Stilian Petrov came back into the Celtic midfield, while Josico and Javier Venta started for Villarreal, the latter replacing Pedro Marti on the right side of defence.

Early chance
The Primera División outfit knew they would face early pressure against a Celtic team who had not lost at home since August 2001 and within a minute they could have fallen behind. Sergio Ballesteros misjudged a long ball from Stanislav Varga allowing Larsson a clear run at goal, but for once the Swedish striker's control let him down.

Villarreal ahead
Having weathered the predicted early storm, Villarreal promptly opened the scoring with their first serious attack. A corner from Juan Riquelme was cleared only as far as Roger García on the left-hand side and his deep cross eluded the Celtic defenders, allowing Josico to nip in and glance a header past David Marshall.

Anderson effort
The visitors threatened again on 14 minutes. Didier Agathe conceded possession to Riquelme and his pass found Sonny Anderson running through on goal, but the Brazilian's shot drifted beyond the post.

Reina save
Villarreal's goal had stunned the home crowd but Celtic soon pressed for an equaliser, which almost came on 30 minutes. A good passing movement found Petrov racing into the box and his right-foot shot looked to be going in until José Reina intervened to divert it to safety via his near post.

Visitors go close
Villarreal were proving dangerous on the break and six minutes before half-time they could have doubled their lead. Again Riquelme was the creator, finding José Mari with a clever through-ball, but with the goal at his mercy the midfield player shot over.

Balde intervention
There were chances at both ends within minutes of the restart. Battaglia and Anderson combined well on the edge of the penalty area and but for Bobo Balde's intervention the Brazilian would have had an easy scoring opportunity. Play then broke to the other end where Fabricio Coloccini misjudged an Alan Thompson cross; Larsson made to shoot but the Argentinian defender recovered well to block his drive.

Disallowed goal
Celtic looked to have equalised minutes later when Rodolfo Arruabarrena passed back to Reina only for the goalkeeper's clearance to hit Larsson and loop into the goal. However, the ball had struck Larsson's arm and the goal was ruled out. But by this stage the pressure from the home side was incessant and Larsson deservedly equalised on 64 minutes. Stephen Pearson fed Agathe wide on the right and Larsson climbed highest to head his cross into the net.

Visitors hold on
Celtic now pushed on looking for a winner and within minutes of putting his side on level terms Larsson passed up a great opportunity for his second after fine work from Pearson. Agathe then almost stole it for Celtic with seven minutes left but Reina did well to turn his shot wide for a corner to leave Villarreal in a strong position in the tie - but the Glasgow side's proud home record intact.

Last updated: 09/04/04 11.51CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1722/match=75054/postmatch/report/index.html#larsson+denies+villarreal+victory

Lineups

celtic

Celtic

villarreal

Villarreal

22
MarshallDavid Marshall (GK)
25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
4
McNamaraJackie McNamara (C)
3
ArruabarrenaRodolfo Arruabarrena (C)
6
BaldéBobo Baldé
5
ColocciniFabricio Coloccini
7
LarssonHenrik Larsson
Goal64
Yellow Card69
6
JosicoJosico
Goal9
Substitution79
8
ThompsonAlan Thompson
Yellow Card82
8
RiquelmeJuan Riquelme
9
SuttonChris Sutton
9
AndersonSonny Anderson
11
PearsonStephen Pearson
Yellow Card30
Substitution79
17
Javi VentaJavi Venta
17
AgatheDidier Agathe
18
BallesterosSergio Ballesteros
18
LennonNeil Lennon
20
Roger GarcíaRoger García
Yellow Card67
19
St.PetrovStiliyan Petrov
21
BattagliaSebastián Battaglia
23
VargaStanislav Varga
23
José MaríJosé Marí

Substitutes

20
DouglasRobert Douglas (GK)
1
VallejoJavier Vallejo (GK)
43
MillerLiam Miller
Substitution79
4
MartíPedro Martí
Substitution79
5
ValgaerenJoos Valgaeren
10
VíctorFernández Víctor
14
LambertPaul Lambert
16
Q. ÁlvarezQuique Álvarez
35
MjällbyJohan Mjällby
22
CallejaJavier Calleja
37
BeattieCraig Beattie
26
ArzoCésar Arzo
39
James SmithJames Smith
27
VerzaVerza

Coach

Martin O'Neill (NIR) Francisco García Gómez (ESP)

Referee

Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

Assistant referees

Simeon Tsolakidis (GRE), Panos Mavropoulos (GRE)

Fourth official

Athanassios Briakos (GRE)

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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