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  Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Celtic battle to beat Basel
Stilian Petrov earns Celtic an early penalty
Stilian Petrov earns Celtic an early penalty
Celtic 3-1 Basel

Celtic gave themselves an excellent chance of progressing to the group stages of the Champions League with a hard-fought victory over Basel.

The Swiss team gave the Scottish champions a real fright when they went ahead after 90 seconds through Christian Gimenez.

But a Henrik Larsson penalty two minutes later drew Celtic level.

In an excellent second half Celtic added two more goals, through Chris Sutton and Momo Sylla.

But the Swiss came close on a number of occasions and might have scored more themselves.

Celtic got off to a disastrous start when Gimenez got on the end of a through ball and held off two Celtic defenders to slide the ball past Rab Douglas and into the net.

  Key incidents
2 mins: Christian Gimenez puts Basel ahead
4 mins: Henrik Larsson equalises from the spot
52 mins: Chris Sutton's back-heel puts Celtic ahead
62 mins: Larsson misses a penalty
88 mins: Momo Sylla puts Celtic 3-1 up with a great volley
Celtic needed to strike back quickly and they duly did - Larsson played Petrov in on goal and he was taken down by Marco Zwyssig.

The referee had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick and Larsson tucked the penalty past Pascal Zuberbuhler in the Basel goal.

A fantastic passing move by the Swiss almost put them in front again after 28 minutes, but Hakan Yakin's volley went narrowly wide.

Basel's neat passing was causing the Celtic defence all sorts of problems and Gimenez came within inches of getting his second goal just before half-time with a shot on the turn.

This tie is not over by a long way yet
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill

The Swiss threatened again at the beginning of the second half, and only two good blocks by Bobo Balde prevented Douglas having to make a save.

Celtic's first chance of the half came when Sylla found Sutton in the box but the big striker saw his shot on the turn saved by the keeper.

Moments later Celtic were ahead when Lennon hit a low drive and Sutton flicked the ball between his legs to send the keeper the wrong way.

Larsson celebrates his equaliser
Henrik Larsson drew Celtic level
Yakin brought a magnificent save out of Douglas in 56 minutes with a dipping left-foot shot as Basel searched for an equaliser.

Celtic should have gone further ahead in 62 minutes when they were awarded a second penalty after Murat Yakin was adjudged to have handled a Sylla cross, but Larsson's effort was saved by the foot of Zuberbuhler.

The home side then came close twice through Sutton and Petrov, the latter direct from a corner.

The game was getting stretched and Douglas came to Celtic's rescue twice in the space of a couple of minutes with two fine stops.

At the other end, Basel cleared off the line from a Larsson header.

Celtic finally got the third goal they wanted and it was a beauty - Sylla placing a volley well beyond the keeper's reach.

Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby, Balde, Valgaeren, Sylla, Lennon, Lambert (McNamara 77), Petrov, Petta (Guppy 57), Sutton, Larsson.
Subs Not Used: Hedman, Hartson, Fernandez, Maloney, Crainey.
Booked: Lambert.

Basle: Zuberbuhler, Barberis, Murat Yakin, Zwyssig (Quennoz 44), Duruz, Ergic (Vila Varela 60), Thimothee Atouba, Esposito, Hakan Yakin, Juilio Rossi (Tum 68), Gimenez.
Subs Not Used: Rapo, Koumantarakis, Degn, Timothee Atouba.
Booked: Thimothee Atouba, Vila Varela.

Attendance: 58,520

Referee: M Gonzalez (Spain).

BBC Five Live's Roddy Forsyth
"Celtic never looked completely assured"
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"We fought back magnificently"
Basel manager Christian Gross
"I'm confident we can still do it, but it will be hard"

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Second leg

First-leg reports



Links to more Champions League stories are at the foot of the page.

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