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  Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 21:48 GMT 22:48 UK
O'Neill happy with two-goal lead
Stilian Petrov and Hakan Yakin
Petrov loses out to the impressive Hakan Yakin
Martin O'Neill insisted he had been vindicated in treating Basel with the utmost respect after watching his Celtic side pushed all the way in a 3-1 victory.

The Swiss champions could consider themselves a little unlucky to have been beaten by two goals despite widespread predictions beforehand of a comfortable Celtic win.

O'Neill said he was happy with the performance of his team, but stressed that the tie was far from over.

"They're a quality side, very comfortable on the ball - as I knew they would be having seen them play - and they caught us cold," said O'Neill.

"The tie's in the balance and we'll have to give everything we've got in the second leg.

"We're pleased with tonight, though, pleased with the entertainment on show."

Rossi and Gimenez celebrate the early goal
Rossi and Gimenez celebrate the early goal
Basel boss Christian Gross was understandably disappointed with the outcome of the match, but he too considered the tie to still be there for the taking.

"We had an excellent start and the first half was good," he said.

"With the loss of two experienced players, we lost a bit of control in midfield, but the approach was the right one for this game.

"Mentally, we have been ready to play Celtic in front of their home crowd, and also tactically, we played a good game.

"It's a heavy result, but it still gives us a chance. We have two goals to recover and I'm confident we can do it, but it will be very, very hard for us."

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 ON THIS STORY
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"
Celtic keeper Rab Douglas
"We came back really well"

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