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Kilmarnock boss Bobby Williamson
"I'm quite happy about the game apart from their goal"
 real 14k

Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"I thought we deserved to win in the end"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's John Murray
"It's two win out of two for the champions"
 real 14k

Saturday, 4 August, 2001, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Larsson leaves Killie for dead
Sutton and Larsson celebrate the winning goal
Sutton and Larsson celebrate the winning goal
Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic

A Henrik Larsson goal 14 minutes from time showed exactly why Celtic are favourites to capture the SPL title for a second consecutive season.

Larsson's first league goal of the campaign came on virtually the only occasion Celtic had managed to get behind the stout Kilmarnock defence.

The Swede's deadliness was the difference between the teams, though Celtic also enjoyed the bulk of the possession.

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill admitted it had been a battle to come away with all three points.

"It was end-to-end and I thought Kilmarnock were excellent," he said.

John Hartson made his Celtic debut
John Hartson made his Celtic debut
"But in the end I thought we deserved to win."

Killie certainly played their part and the pace of Michel Ngonge troubled the Celtic defence on more than one occasion.

Manager Bobby Williamson said he felt his side had done themselves proud, adding that similar performances against other teams would bring results.

"We caused them problems at times, but we didn't really get through to their keeper," he added.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between for either side and both goalkeepers dealt well with what shots did hit the target.

Gordon Marshall was left with no chance for the Celtic goal, however.

A ball over the top of the Killie defence found Larsson in space, with Freddie Dindeleux playing the striker onside.

Larsson scores the crucial goal
Larsson scores the crucial goal
With typical composure, Larsson took a couple of touches before blasting the ball low past the helpless Marshall.

Celtic debutant John Hartson might have scored more than once and, indeed, might have been sent off for a particularly clumsy challenge on Chris Innes if Stuart Dougal had been in less lenient mood.

Hartson came closest to opening his account with 20 minutes remaining after he was played in by Sutton.

The Welshman's shot was powerful and on target but Marshall was well positioned to parry the effort away.

Kilmarnock's best chance came early in the second half when a quick throw-in caught the Celtic defence off-guard.

Cristophe Cocard bore down on goal but his left-foot shot was well saved by Rab Douglas.

Belgian-born Ngonge caused trouble for the Celtic back three as well and with a little more back-up on occasions, he might have produced the break-through for the home side.

Kilmarnock: Marshall, Canero, Dindeleux, Innes, Hay, Cocard, Sanjuan, Mitchell, Mahood, Ngonge, Hessey.

Subs: Meldrum, McLaren, Calderon, Fowler, Di Giacomo.

Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby, Tebily, Valgaeren, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert, Thompson, Petta, Sutton, Larsson.

Subs: Kharine, McNamara, Hartson, Crainey, Maloney.

Referee: Stuart Dougal

See also:

04 Aug 01 |  Scot Prem
F-T: Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic
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