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Friday, October 22, 1999 Published at 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK

Sport: Football

Larsson suffers horrific injury

Henrik Larsson suffered the injury early in the game

Lyon 1-0 Celtic

Star striker Henrik Larsson will almost certainly miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious broken leg as Celtic went down to a narrow Uefa Cup defeat in France.

Alison Walker reports: "The injury to Larsson has overshadowed the result"
The Swede was stretchered off in agony in the 12th minute of the game, after he attempted to challenge Lyon's Serge Blanc.

His left leg was limp at the base, and the concern among his fellow players was immediately obvious.

After the match it was revealed to be a suspected double fracture, reminiscent of the career-ending injury suffered by Coventry's David Busst in 1996.

[ image: Burchill breaks clear but he was denied a penalty]
Burchill breaks clear but he was denied a penalty
To add insult to an horrific injury, Blanc - innocent of any wrongdoing in the incident - scored the winner in the 63rd minute.

The result leaves Celtic with a good chance of overturning the deficit in Glasgow in a fortnight.

But more importantly Larsson's injury could leave them without their best player for the rest of the season.

"It was a sickening moment and put a dampener on the whole game," said coach John Barnes afterwards.

"We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery."

Team-mate Marc Reiper gave his reaction while analysing the game for BBC Scotland.

"It makes you sick just to look at it," he said.

"Henrik is very strong mentally and is a tough character, but that kind of injury would be a massive blow to anyone."

Fifty goal star

The Swede has been a revelation since joining Celtic from Feyenoord two years ago for just £600,000.

Saturday's 7-0 win over Aberdeen saw him pass 50 league goals for the club, while there have been rumours of £10m bids for the dreadlocked striker.

There was a four minute delay while he was treated on the pitch and stretchered away to be replaced by Mark Burchill as the match struggled to regain its early momentum.

The French side, who are second in their domestic league, could have taken the lead before the incident.

Brazilian Sonny Anderson, the £11m summer signing from Barcelona, sent a mid-air back flick wide.

[ image: Viduka: Created chances for Burchill]
Viduka: Created chances for Burchill
Celtic had a strong penalty claim rejected midway through the first half as Burchill raced onto a through ball from Mark Viduka and went round goalkeeper Gregory Coupet.

Dutch referee Rene Temmink booked the young Scotland striker for diving - a strange decision since Burchill still looked to be in control of the ball with an open goal before him.

Anderson and Burchill both had further first half chances, while Lubomir Moravcik's swerving free kick was saved.

After the break Celtic's excellent team display continued, with 19-year-old Burchill snatching a shot wide from a promising position on 55 minutes.

The visitors looked resilient at the back - and it needed a stunning goal to beat them.

The impressive Vikash Dhorasoo held the ball up inside the area before playing in Blanc to his left.

And the midfielder rifled an astonishing first-time shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Barnes introduced Bobby Petta, who fired one chance wide, while Anderson was denied by Jonathan Gould after the Brazilian had embarrassed Oliver Tebily.


Lyon: Coupet, Carteron, Laigle, Bak, Violeau, Anderson, Dhorasoo, Vairelles, Blanc, Delmotte, Brechet. Subs: Devaux, Govou, Caveglia, Malbranque, Linares, Uras, Hugues.

Celtic: Gould, McNamara, Stubbs, Tebily, Riseth, Burley, Lambert, Mjallby, Larsson, Moravcik, Viduka. Subs: Kharine, Blinker, Petta, Wieghorst, Brattbakk, Burchill, Petrov.

Referee: R Temmink (Holland)

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