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Celtic   0 - 2   Arsenal

A William Gallas goal gave Arsenal the lead at Celtic Park
Gallas (left) inadvertently gave Arsenal the lead at Celtic Park

By Colin Moffat

Arsenal enjoyed the rub of the green as they established a commanding Champions League play-off lead against Celtic.

A Cesc Fabregas free-kick on the stroke of half-time flew into the net off the back of William Gallas as the defender crouched to avoid the ball.

And midway through the second half Celtic skipper Gary Caldwell diverted a Gael Clichy cross into his own net.

The manner of the goals were harsh on the hosts, who faded after an energetic first half and posed little threat.

Celtic worked hard to contain Arsene Wenger's side but it was a largely comfortable evening for the Gunners back four.

And the win ensures they become the first English side in nearly 26 years to beat Celtic on their own ground. The last team to do so was Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal, unchanged from the side that demolished Everton at the weekend, failed to find any passing rhythm early on as Celtic, starting with five across midfield, chased down every cause.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

But once the visitors had gone in front the result seldom looked in doubt and Celtic's challenge rather fizzled out.

After a scrappy opening, Andrey Arshavin popped the ball into the net following a rare flowing move on 11 minutes but the Russian forward had strayed offside.

A promising Celtic break was thwarted by Thomas Vermaelen, with the new Gunners defender showing great pace and awareness to get back and force Scott Brown to skew wide after Aiden McGeady had picked out his team-mate rushing into the penalty area.

Robin van Persie was inches away from gathering a lofted pass over the top from Arsenal skipper Fabregas and the scurrying Arshavin had the sting taken out of his shot by defender Glenn Loovens, allowing Artur Boruc to make a simple save.

Celtic continued to press and a drilled effort from Brown was smothered by Manuel Almunia as it skidded through the legs of lone striker Georgios Samaras, who was blocking the Arsenal keeper's field of vision.

Just as a whirlwind first half looked destined to end goalless, the visitors took the lead thanks to a large slice of fortune.

Celtic's Aiden McGeady gets away from Alexandre Song
Aiden McGeady looked lively for Celtic in the first half

Fabregas rifled in a free-kick from 25 yards and the ball deflected off the back of Gallas and spun into the bottom corner of the net, with Boruc wrong-footed.

With Celtic jittery in defence, Arsenal made a strong start to the second half and Denilson curled a shot narrowly wide before the visitors enjoyed another lucky break.

Shaun Maloney's free-kick into the penalty area was diverted on to the arm of Nicklas Bendtner but referee Massimo Busacca waved play on, much to the anguish of the vociferous home support.

Celtic introduced strikers Scott McDonald and Marc-Antoine Fortune for the final half hour and an important sliding block from Gallas prevented the substitutes from combining in front of goal.

With 20 minutes remaining, Arsenal stretched their lead and again it was unfortunate on the home side as Caldwell's outstretched leg diverted a low Clichy cross beyond Boruc.

It may have been an ugly finish but the sweet passing move involving substitute Abou Diaby and the galloping French full-back put the Celtic captain under pressure, with Bendtner waiting to pounce.

Boruc later made an unorthodox block to keep out a venomous strike from Fabregas as Arsenal found more room to exploit and played out the closing stages comfortably.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Champs League Q'fying

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Celtic 0-2 Arsenal FT
(HT 0-1)
    • Gallas 43
    • Caldwell (og) 71

    Celtic

    • 01 Boruc
    • 02 Hinkel
    • 05 Caldwell
    • 11 Fox yellow card
    • 22 Loovens yellow card
    • 06 N'Guemo yellow card (McCourt 76)
    • 08 Brown
    • 18 Donati (McDonald 56)
    • 46 McGeady
    • 09 Samaras (Fortune 56)
    • 13 Maloney

    Substitutes

    • 24 Zaluska,
    • 03 Naylor,
    • 48 O'Dea,
    • 16 Flood,
    • 07 McDonald,
    • 10 Fortune,
    • 20 McCourt

    Arsenal

    Substitutes

    Ref: BusaccaAtt: 58,000
    CELTIC
    ARSENAL

    Possession

    • Celtic 53%
    • Arsenal 47%

    Attempts on target

    • Celtic 1
    • Arsenal 3

    Attempts off target

    • Celtic 1
    • Arsenal 6

    Corners

    • Celtic 3
    • Arsenal 2

    Fouls

    • Celtic 14
    • Arsenal 7
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:08 The referee blows for the end of the match.
    • 90:00+1:07 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexandre Song Billong by Gary Caldwell. Francesc Fabregas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 85:34 Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 85:34 Booking Glenn Loovens shown a yellow card.
    • 85:26 Glenn Loovens challenges Neves Denilson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 83:57 Shaun Maloney crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Thomas Vermaelen.
    • 83:57 Booking Gael Clichy receives a yellow card.
    • 83:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Gael Clichy.
    • 80:30 Inswinging corner taken by Francesc Fabregas from the left by-line, save by Artur Boruc.
    • 80:14 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Save by Artur Boruc.
    • 78:59 Bacary Sagna takes a shot. Save made by Artur Boruc.
    • 75:22 Substitution Patrick McCourt comes on in place of Landry N'Guemo.
    • 70:13 GOAL - Gary CaldwellCeltic 0 - 2 Arsenal Gary Caldwell scores an own goal from 6 yards. Celtic 0-2 Arsenal.
    • 68:47 Substitution Andrey Arshavin goes off and Vassiriki Diaby comes on.
    • 68:18 Robin van Persie is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Artur Boruc restarts play with the free kick.
    • 67:22 Foul by Landry N'Guemo on Robin van Persie, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 66:26 Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Fox.
    • 64:35 Francesc Fabregas fouled by Glenn Loovens, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by William Gallas.
    • 64:01 Unfair challenge on Landry N'Guemo by Robin van Persie results in a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.
    • 63:15 Nicklas Bendtner fouled by Daniel Fox, the ref awards a free kick. Bacary Sagna restarts play with the free kick.
    • 61:58 Scott McDonald produces a cross.
    • 61:01 Unfair challenge on Neves Denilson by Marc-Antoine Fortune results in a free kick. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.
    • 60:01 Andrey Arshavin takes a inswinging corner to the near post.
    • 58:57 Nicklas Bendtner has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses left.
    • 57:27 Free kick taken by Robin van Persie.
    • 57:27 Booking The referee cautions Landry N'Guemo for unsporting behaviour.
    • 57:16 Francesc Fabregas fouled by Landry N'Guemo, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 55:30 Substitution Scott McDonald replaces Massimo Donati.
    • 55:17 Substitution Marc-Antoine Fortune joins the action as a substitute, replacing Georgios Samaras.
    • 53:24 Robin van Persie produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
    • 51:33 Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 51:33 Booking Booking for Daniel Fox for unsporting behaviour.
    • 51:25 Daniel Fox challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 50:30 Foul by Alexandre Song Billong on Shaun Maloney, free kick awarded. Shaun Maloney crosses the ball in from the free kick.
    • 47:32 Neves Denilson has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
    • 46:45 The referee blows for offside. Artur Boruc takes the free kick.
    • 45:48 Effort from inside the area by Robin van Persie misses to the right of the goal.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:20 The players leave the pitch at half time.
    • 43:00 GOAL - William GallasCeltic 0 - 1 Arsenal William Gallas gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 0-1 Arsenal.
    • 41:31 Gary Caldwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Francesc Fabregas. Francesc Fabregas produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 40:51 Scott Brown takes a shot. Save by Manuel Almunia.
    • 39:50 Andrey Arshavin takes a shot. Artur Boruc makes a save.
    • 36:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Neves Denilson on Landry N'Guemo. Free kick taken by Landry N'Guemo.
    • 35:35 Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Fox from the right by-line, save by Manuel Almunia.
    • 34:08 Gary Caldwell challenges Alexandre Song Billong unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 33:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on William Gallas by Scott Brown. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 32:17 Foul by Thomas Vermaelen on Landry N'Guemo, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
    • 31:34 Unfair challenge on Gael Clichy by Andreas Hinkel results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Francesc Fabregas, clearance made by Georgios Samaras.
    • 29:55 Georgios Samaras is caught offside. Manuel Almunia takes the direct free kick.
    • 24:33 Foul by Georgios Samaras on Alexandre Song Billong, free kick awarded. William Gallas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 23:17 Handball decision goes against Alexandre Song Billong. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
    • 18:35 Aiden McGeady sends in a cross, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.
    • 17:01 Unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by Massimo Donati results in a free kick. Robin van Persie crosses the ball in from the free kick.
    • 13:20 Unfair challenge on Massimo Donati by Neves Denilson results in a free kick. Artur Boruc restarts play with the free kick.
    • 11:26 Andrey Arshavin is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Artur Boruc.
    • 9:42 Corner from the right by-line taken by Daniel Fox, Gary Caldwell has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
    • 1:20 Andrey Arshavin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
    • 0:16 The assistant referee flags for offside against Aiden McGeady. Thomas Vermaelen takes the direct free kick.
    • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Champs League Q'fying results

    18 Aug 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Celtic 0-2 Arsenal R
    FC Copenhagen 1-0 Apoel Nicosia R
    Tiraspol 0-2 Olympiacos R
    Timisoara 0-2 VfB Stuttgart R
    Sporting 2-2 Fiorentina R



    see also
    Mowbray eyes early goal in London
    19 Aug 09 |  Celtic
    Eduardo defended over dive claims
    27 Aug 09 |  Europe
    Wenger happy to win 'fierce battle'
    18 Aug 09 |  Arsenal
    Tuesday football as it happened
    18 Aug 09 |  Football
    Tuesday football photos
    18 Aug 09 |  Premier League


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