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Livingston boss Jim Leishman
"We tried to make it difficult for Celtic"
 real 14k

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"Overall I thought Livingston certainly deserved to draw"
 real 14k

Saturday, 18 August, 2001, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Livvy hold firm against Celtic
Chris Sutton tangles with Livingston's Barry Wilson
Chris Sutton tangles with Livingston's Barry Wilson
Livingston 0-0 Celtic

Leishman's Lions completed an Old Firm double by holding out for a well-deserved point after Celtic's first-ever visit to Almondvale Stadium.

Martin O'Neill's men managed just one shot on target and that came from the penalty spot, Javier Sanchez Broto saving from Henrik Larsson after Gary Bollan was sent off.

Newly-promoted Livingston out-passed, out-fought and out-thought the Scottish champions for much of the game.

It was only once Livvy were reduced to 10 men that Celtic looked like improving on Rangers' goal-less draw with Jim Leishman's side last weekend.

O'Neill handed full debuts to new signings Momo Sylla and Steve Guppy as he looked to maintain his side's 100% start to the new season.

Guppy came in for the injured Bobby Petta, while Sylla, Jackie McNamara and Tom Boyd replaced Didier Agathe, Lubo Moravcik and Olivier Tebily.

Chris Sutton was again being employed as a defender, with John Hartson continuing to partner Larsson up front.

Henrik Larsson cannot believe his miss
Henrik Larsson cannot believe his miss
Livingston made just one change from last week's defeat at Dundee, with Michael Hart coming in for the injured Philippe Brinquin.

Davide Xausa caught Johan Mjallby as the Livvy striker chased a through ball.

The Swedish defender carried on but was forced to leave the field after 20 minutes to be replaced by Tebily.

Livvy quickly took advantage to create the first real opening of the match.

Fernandez raced on to a David Bingham through ball, but the Spaniard's low drive from 16 yards flew just wide of the far post.

The home side again took the game to Celtic after the break and created the first chance of the second period.

After some neat build-up play, Barry Wilson swung in a cross that found Bingham 12 yards out.

But the forward could only direct his header a few yards over.

Celtic at last created an opening when Sylla's low cross was directed towards goal by the head of Larsson.

The ball deflected off a defender but was held by goalkeeper Sanchez Broto on the line.

Marvin Andrews rises above Momo Sylla
Marvin Andrews rises above Momo Sylla
But it was Livingston who were out-passing the champions.

Another long period of Livvy possession ended with a Stuart Lovell drive from 25 yards flying into the welcoming arms of Robert Douglas.

There were plenty of hard tackles being made and the game boiled over after 74 minutes.

Livingston defender Bollan cleared the ball inside his box, but the linesman ruled that he had followed through on McNamara.

Bollan was sent off and Celtic awarded a penalty.

But Sanchez Broto out-psyched Larsson by pointing to the corner.

Larsson fired the ball down the middle and the goalkeeper cleared over the bar with his foot.

Celtic piled on the pressure, but Livvy's brave 10 men held on for the draw with some desperate lunges.

Livingston: Broto, Hart, Bollan, Rubio, Andrews, Wilson, Fernandez, Bingham, Quino, Xausa, Lovell.

Subs: Tosh, Lowndes, McEwan, Anderson, Caputo.

Celtic: Douglas, Boyd, Sylla, McNamara, Larsson, Sutton, Hartson, Lambert, Lennon, Guppy, Mjallby.

Subs: Kharine, Thompson, Tebily, Maloney, Crainey.

Referee: H Dallas.

See also:

17 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Petta sidelined for six weeks
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