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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 22:03 GMT
Liverpool hold Celtic
Michael Owen (left) and Emile Heskey celebrate Liverpool's equaliser
Heskey struck on 17 minutes
Celtic 1-1 Liverpool

Liverpool earned the slight edge in the Uefa Cup's Battle of Britain after drawing with Celtic at Parkhead.

Henrik Larsson bagged his 25th European goal to give Celtic the perfect start but Emile Heskey hit back for Liverpool.

There were precious few opportunities for further goals in a match that was high on sweat and endeavour but lacked quality.

A whirlwind start gave way to a rather limp finish as the visitors successfully absorbed Celtic's attacking thrusts and the home team ran out of ideas.

It took Larsson just 100 seconds to make his presence felt.

Hartson knocked the ball across the Liverpool goalmouth and it was driven back hard and low by Alan Thompson for Larsson to stick out a knee and divert it into the net.

Diouf should not have responded the way he did
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
Either side of the opener, Hartson hit the bar with a dipping strike and blasted a fierce shot narrowly over the top as the Liverpool wobbled.

But after weathering the early Celtic storm, Liverpool pulled level.

John Arne Riise surged towards the heart of the Celtic defence and stabbed a pass into the path of Heskey, allowing the striker to slide a low angled shot home.

Larsson and Lennon celebrate the Celtic goal
Henrik Larsson fired Celtic into an early lead

From the moment Gerry Marsden lead the 60,000 crowd in a rousing version of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', the decibel level at Celtic Park reached a deafening intensity, matched by the frenzied action on the pitch.

Play fizzed from one end to the other at a bewildering rate of knots, while thunderous challenges clattered in from every angle.

Owen, who was an isolated figure in the first half, made a threatening run into the Celtic penalty area early in the second period, but the England striker was well blocked by Bobo Balde.

We are still in the tie
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill

With 53 minutes gone, Larsson found room behind the Liverpool defence but goalkeeper Jerzey Dudek was quickly off his line to block at the striker's feet.

Heskey burst into the Celtic box in search of a second goal but he had to stretch to make contact with El-Hadji Diouf's cross and sent his shot wide.

Both sides appeared to run out of steam midway through the second half.

But Owen had a chance to win the leg, when he found room at Celtic's back post before snatching his shot wide..

The closing stages were marred by Diouf spitting into the crowd.


Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby, Balde, Valgaeren, Smith, Lennon, Petrov, Sutton, Thompson (Guppy 26), Larsson (Lambert 76), Hartson.
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Sylla, McNamara, Maloney, Crainey. Booked: Petrov, Guppy.

Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Riise, Murphy, Gerrard, Hamann, Diouf (Biscan 90), Owen, Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Arphexad, Baros, Smicer, Diao, Cheyrou, Mellor.

Attendance: 59,759
Referee: Terje Hauge (Norway).





WATCH AND LISTEN
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"No need for disappointment, we're still in the tie"


Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"This was a great Uefa Cup tie"



CELTIC

LIVERPOOL

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