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The BBC's Roddy Forsyth
"They've been humiliated by a club put together to make up the numbers"
 real 28k

Inverness manager Steve Patersson
"The fact is the best team won on the night"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 8 February, 2000, 23:03 GMT
Caley's minnows slay Celtic

Paul Sheerin puts the tie beyond doubt

Celtic 1-3 Inverness

Celtic's season is in ruins following their shock defeat to tiny Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the third round of the Scottish Cup.

Other Scottish Cup results
Aberdeen 2-0 St Mirren
Brechin 0-0 Greenock Morton (3-4 pens)
Ayr v Dundee postponed
Motherwell v Arbroath postponed
Humiliation by the First Division part-timers is almost certain to lead to calls for coach John Barnes' head in a week that also saw the Bhoys slip 10 points behind Premier League rivals Rangers.

Inverness thoroughly deserved what is without question one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition, but the ease with which the Glasgow giants crumbled will surely set alarm bells ringing.

The man who appointed Barnes, director of football operations Kenny Dalglish, is unlikely to escape the repercussions as his promise of brighter times ahead was shown to be false.

I think this is the moment Inverness arrived in Scottish football
Steve Paterson, Caley manager
It took just 16 minutes for Barry Wilson to put the visitors ahead with a well-taken header from Paul Sheerin's cross.

Mark Burchill scored a minute later to restore equilibrium, only for team-mate Lubomir Moravcik to gift Caley the lead on 24 minutes by deflecting Bobby Mann's header past his own keeper.

Sheerin then put the tie beyond doubt 10 minutes into the second half by calmly slotting a penalty.

Celtic lacked Paul Lambert and Alan Stubbs through injury, although Ivory Coast star Olivier Tebily returned to the starting lineup.

But even the absence of key players and the dreadful sleet-drenched conditions cannot explain the scale of the disaster that unfolded.

Celtic's celebrations were short-lived
Celtic started well enough, with Moravcik going close, only to be immediately stifled by Inverness's first meaningful foray into the attack.

Sheerin's swinging cross from far on the left found Wilson who nodded it into the roof of the net to send the travelling Caley support- estimated at 4,000-strong - completely wild.

In reply, the home side cut deep into the Inverness half, where Burchill tried to feed Mark Viduka. Instead the ball broke back to him and he drilled it low into the corner of the net.

The enthusiasm of the Caley fans did not subside, however, and their players were not about to disappoint them as they claimed the lead again on 24 minutes with Moravcik's own goal.

From then on, Celtic looked persistently fragile at the back and Inverness exploited the weakness with quick adventurous breaks that stymied the Parkhead side's creativity to the point where it vanished altogether.

Stephane Mahe hit the post in the 38th minute, but it was the closest Celtic were to come for the rest of the match.

Barnes took leading scorer Viduka off at half time and brought on former England international Ian Wright to partner Burchill.

It was a good time to catch Celtic
Charlie Christie, Caley striker
It made little impact and the home side's fate was sealed on 57 minutes when Regi Blinker shoved Wilson in the area, earning Caley a penalty, which Sheerin converted by sending Jonathan Gould to the wrong corner.

Celtic's highly paid stars ran out of ideas and as the final minutes counted down they were treated to the ignominy of the visiting fans chanting "We want four" while their own supporters walked out.

After the match, Caley boss Steve Paterson insisted: "This was no fluke."

"The players were magnificent. The players deserved to win on the night - there is no question about that.

"It was an unbelievable occasion and a magnificent day for the club. I think this is the moment Inverness arrived in Scottish football."

Striker Charlie Christie added: "It was a good time to catch Celtic. They had some good players out, and we played out of our skins on the night. We knew we could always score goals but we had to defend well."

Aberdeen 2-0 St Mirren

Hicham Zerouali scored his fourth goal in five starts to set Aberdeen on the way to the fourth round.

He capped a sustained spell of Dons pressure at the start of the second period by touching Arild Stavrum's header over the line.

He created the second in injury time for Paul Bernard to tuck home.

St Mirren gave a battling performance and Barry Lavety headed against the post for them in the first half.

Brechin 0-0 Greenock Morton (3-4 pens)

Morton substitute Stephen Aitken scored the decisive penalty to take his side through to a meeting with Rangers.

Brechin, one off the bottom of the Scottish League, had a number of chances during open play.

The best chance fell to John Anderson, but Robert Geddes saved well.

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See also:
09 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Celtic coach faces quit calls
09 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Inverness does Highland fling
09 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Celtic: Your views
01 Feb 00 |  Football
Caley fan plans refund fight
29 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Weather blow to fans' hopes
04 Feb 00 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic desperate for win
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.