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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Celtic 3-0 Benfica
By Clive Lindsay

Kenny Miller celebrates against Benfica
Kenny Miller scored Celtic's first two goals
Two-goal Kenny Miller inspired Celtic to a fine victory over Benfica in the Champions League in Glasgow.

Benfica goalkeeper Quim had to pull out a superb save to prevent Shaun Maloney scoring with an overhead kick early on.

But Miller poked the opener home from six yards and then fired past Quim after a swift counter-attack.

And Miller set up Shunsuke Nakamura for a stinging drive pushed out by Quim but finished off by sub Stephen Pearson to give Celtic a thoroughly deserved win.

Miller had been on the bench on Saturday against Dundee United, but Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's failed fitness test ensured the Scot's starting place.

Maciej Zurawski came in as his striking partner, with Maloney dropping into midfield at the expense of Jiri Jarosik.

Teenager Evander Sno was given his Champions League debut in the continued absence of Aiden McGeady and Thomas Gravesen.

Have Your Say on 606: Give your thoughts on the match

And Celtic began confidently, with great tempo, almost taking the lead in their first attack against a Benfica side without the influential Rui Costa along with Paulo Jorge and Georgios Karagounis.

A Paul Telfer throw-in was flicked on by Zurawski and Maloney's acrobatic overhead kick was turned over the crossbar by goalkeeper Quim.

With Maloney, Miller and Nakamura probing, Benfica were on the back foot and defending desperately.

But the visitors started to look more dangerous on the break.

Stephen Pearson enjoys his moment with Kenny Miller
Stephen Pearson added Celtic's third goal

And, when Fabrizio Miccoli beat the offside trap, Artur Boruc was just quick enough off his line to intercept just inside his penalty box.

Leo played in a superb cross to the back post and Konstantinos Katsouranis ought to have done better than head over the crossbar from eight yards out.

Benfica made the better start to the second half and Simao sent a free-kick a couple of feet wide from 18 yards.

But, just as the visitors appeared to have doused Celtic's fire, the Glasgow side took the lead after 55 minutes.

Nakamura's attempt to steer a Lee Naylor cross towards goal was going wide until Miller stretched out to poke the ball home from eight yards.

Benfica responded immediately and a Nuno Assis drive from 25 yards crashed off the crossbar.

But Celtic made sure of the three points with an incisive break, started and finished by Miller.

He played the ball to Maloney and, after pulling wide of his marker, collected the inch-perfect return before deftly curling the ball past Quim from 16 yards.

Leo flashed a drive just wide of the Celtic post before Pearson ended Benfica's hopes after a move appropriately set-up by a lovely back-heel from man-of-the-match Miller.

Celtic: Boruc, Telfer, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Lennon, Sno (Pearson 87), Maloney, Zurawski (Jarosik 84), Miller.
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Balde, Thompson, Riordan, O'Dea.

Booked: Sno.

Goals: Miller 56, 66, Pearson 90.

Benfica: Quim, Alcides, Luisao, Ricardo Rocha, Leo, Katsouranis (Nelson 72), Nuno Assis, Petit, Simao, Miccoli, Nuno Gomes (Fonseca 78).
Subs Not Used: Moreira, Anderson, Miguelito, Beto, Karyaka.

Booked: Katsouranis.

Att: 58,313

Ref: Eric Braamhaar (Netherlands)

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