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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 20:08 GMT 21:08 UK
Celtic stroll to victory
Henrik Larsson scored his 31st European goal for Celtic
MTK Hungaria 0-4 Celtic

Henrik Larsson established a new British scoring record to help Celtic ease past MTK Hungaria in the first leg of the third and final qualifying round of the Champions League.

A first half strike from the prolific Swede took his European tally for Celtic to 31 - one more than Ian Rush and Peter Lorimer for Liverpool and Leeds respectively.

Didier Agathe, Stilian Petrov and Chris Sutton were also on the scoresheet in Budapest as the Glasgow side took a massive stride towards the lucrative group stage of the tournament.

The strong running of Agathe and Petrov were highlights in what was an accomplished performance from Martin O'Neill's men.

Celtic made a bright start against sluggish opponents and Petrov tried his luck with two useful shots from distance.

With 17 minutes gone, the MTK defence misjudged a long hopeful punt forward from Paul Lambert on the edge of their penalty box, allowing the ball to bounce on to Larsson, who deftly steered the ball over home goalkeeper Zoltan Vegh with an impeccable first touch.

Sutton returned to the side in place of Shaun Maloney and the striker made his muscular presence felt to create the second goal in the 36th minute.

He bundled a couple of defenders off the ball before releasing an angled strike, which struck the outstretched leg of Vegh and fell to Agathe, who had a simple task to score from the rebound.

A minute later, Larsson slid in at the back post to connect with an Alan Thompson cross but could only hit the side-netting.

Didier Agathe was on target for Celtic
MTK midfielder Zavadszky tested Celtc keeper Rab Douglas just after the interval, while Petrov dragged a shot wide of the mark from a good position.

Petrov then curled a dangerous cross into the box but Varga's powerful header was narrowly wide.

There was a bizarre hold-up for four minutes when a sprinkler went off in the middle of the pitch but unscheduled shower could not dampen the spirits of the visitors.

There was a scare for Celtic in the 68th minute when Douglas was caught off his line and substitute Sandor Torghelle's looping header hit the crossbar.

But immediately afterwards Celtic increased their advantage when Petrov was on hand to score after Vegh had blocked a fierce shot from Thompson.

Sutton completed the scoring in the dying minutes, when he dived low to connect with a smart Larsson cross and smahed home an impressive header.


MTK Hungaria: Vegh, Molnar, Juhasz, Pusztai, Suzi, Zavadszky, Halmai, Jezdimirovics, Rednic, W Silva, Illes. Subs: Kovacs, Pisont, Zabos, Czvitkovics, Torghelle, Szabo, Pandur.

Celtic: Douglas, Valgaeren, Balde, Varga, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert, Petrov, Thompson, Sutton, Larsson. Subs: Hedman, Sylla, McNamara, Maloney, Smith, Crainey, Miller.

Referee: Kim Nielsen (Denmark)






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Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"We've got a great chance now, obviously"



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