London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 16 Oct 2004 Celtic 3 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sunday Mail ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Mark Guidi auth-> Kenny Clark
[H Camara 41] ;[J Giroldo) 56] ;[J Hartson 82]
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CELTIC ............3 HEARTS ..........0
Juninho kills off Jambos with his first goal for Celts

Mark Guidi At Parkhead

JUNINHO broke his scoring duck as Celtic notched up a convincing victory ahead of a vital week in Europe.

The Brazilian missed a sitter against Dundee United in his last league match and was relieved to finally get on the scoresheet.

John Hartson also looked extremely happy to hit the net with the third goal after Henri Camara opened the scoring after 41 minutes.

Martin O'Neill's side deserved to win even if they had to battle hard against a Hearts side that were not scared to get wired in.

And the free-scoring form should give the Hoops a confidence boost as they prepare to travel to the Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in their crucial Champions League clash.

But Craig Levein's side, also in Euro action this week, looked disappointing going forward.

On this evidence it's no wonder they've only scored five league goals in nine outings this season.

Jackie McNamara made his first-team comeback after recovering from an ankle injury suffered against Barcelona on September 14th.

He slotted in on the left-hand side of a back four. With Bobo Balde injured, Chris Sutton joined Stan Varga in the heart of the defence with Didier Agathe on the right.

Hearts had Steven Pressley back after the virus that forced him out of Scotland's squad for the World Cup double header against Norway and Moldova.

Levein set out to stretch Celtic in wide areas. He put little Graham Weir through the middle and pushed up Jamie McAllister - who put himself about physically - and Phil Stamp to pressurise the Parkhead full-backs.

The wide players also had a defensive shift in them when it mattered and that resulted in Celtic having few chances in the first half hour.

The Hoops did have a goal disallowed in 19 minutes when Camara headed home a Stilian Petrov free-kick.

The standside linesman flagged for offside and appeared to call it right.

However, he was put under the microscope by Levein and the Jambos technical staff who were angered by decisions that went against their side.

Paul Hartley tested David Marshall in 22 minutes with a low right-foot shot from the edge of the box that the keeper pushed behind for a corner.

There was also a penalty claim waved away by ref Kenny Clark after Weir tumbled in a challenge by Sutton.

Hearts put a few challenges in and one or two personal feuds developed.

Neil Lennon and Alan Maybury, in particular, let it be known they'll never be best of mates.

Along with Pressley and Robbie Neilson, Maybury was booked in the first half.

Scotland keeper Craig Gordon pulled off a decent save to deny Hartson after a low cross from Agathe.

But moments later, just four minutes before the interval, the opening goal came for Celtic - and there was more controversy involving the stand linesman.

He didn't flag as Hartson - despite a nudge in the back from Pressley - got on the end of an excellent chip into the box from Sutton.

The Hearts defence stood static and waited for the flag - but rightly, it didn't come.

The ball sat up in the air for Camara who made no mistake - battering home with a right-foot shot on the volley into Gordon's top-left corner.

Hearts just couldn't get to grips and surrendered possession too easily.

Michael Stewart was anonymous and it's about time he started contributing more. He can't go on living off having Manchester United on his CV.

Levein had to dash at half-time to catch a flight to Amsterdam to take in Feyenoord's lunchtime kick-off against Roda today.

But as he listened on the radio on his way to the airport he would have been angry to hear his side going 2-0 down after 56 minutes.

Stewart wasted possession in Celtic's half and the ball was fed way out to Juninho on the right.

The Brazilian was looking in fine form as he danced his way down the touchline and it looked as though something positive might happen.

He played a one-two with Hartson and ended up just inside the Jambos penalty box. He kept his composure and shot past Gordon for a fine finish.

The World Cup winner claimed before the game he was feeling the pressure since his summer move from Middlesbrough.

His first goal for Celts was the perfect way for him to relax and enjoy his football again.

Dennis Wyness replaced Stewart 10 minutes later. He joined Kevin McKenna - who had come on for Weir - up front for the Jambos.

In 69 minutes Hearts were awarded a controversial penalty after McNamara handled the ball.

Ref Clark didn't seem to see it but the standside linesman signalled for the spot-kick.

Pressley - top scorer for the Jambos this season on two goals - stepped up but blasted against a post and the ball bounced away for a goal-kick.

The incident gave Celtic a fright - and they responded.

A lovely cross from Lennon found Hartson who bulleted a header downwards that produced a great save from Gordon.

Hartson deserved a goal as he put in an excellent shift and made life difficult for Pressley and Andy Webster.

And the Welshman got his reward with nine minutes left.

Ross Wallace crossed to the back post and Hartson was up there to power home a header past the helpless Gordon from eight yards.

Big John was subbed right after and looked a happy man to get his seventh goal of the season.

It was the opposite for Hearts and they head for their game in Holland on Thursday night knowing that an almighty improvement is required.


KENNY CLARK had a few tough decisions but appeared to call them right, if at times he was acting on the advice of his linesmen. A few tough tackles flew in and many whistlers would have stopped play but Clark skillfully allowed the action to flow. Rating: 7/10

Taken from the Sunday Mail

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