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BBC Sport's Ian Turner
"A failure to defend and a host of petulant fouls cost Dundee dear"
 real 14k

Saturday, 15 September, 2001, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
Larsson double dumps Dundee
Henrik Larsson heads home his first goal at Dens Park
Henrik Larsson heads home his first goal at Dens Park
Dundee 0-4 Celtic

Two goals from Henrik Larsson sent Celtic on their way to victory at Dens Park.

Dundee dominated long periods of the first half but were denied by some excellent saves from Robert Douglas and found themselves behind at the break thanks to the Swedish striker.

An early second half goal from Larsson took the sting out of the home side and a wonderful strike from Stilian Petrov extended Celtic's advantage.

Shaun Maloney wrapped up the scoring in the closing stages.

The Parkhead side now have a seven point lead at the top of the SPL table with second placed Rangers in action on Sunday.

Celtic manager Martin O'Neill chose to field his strongest team at Dens Park despite Tuesday's Champions' League Group E opener with Juventus in Turin.

He made three changes from the team who brushed aside the challenge of Dunfermline last week with Dimitri Kharine, Stilian Petrov and Olivier Tebily dropping out for Douglas, Paul Lambert and Johan Mjallby.

Dundee made one change, with Mark Robertson replacing Fabian Caballero, who was on the bench with a slight injury.

Chris Sutton
Chris Sutton keeps his eyes on the ball
The home side made the brightest opening and their slick passing had Celtic pinned back.

Douglas denied his old team an early goal with a fabulous save from a flashing Giorgi Nemsadze free kick.

With 19 minutes gone, Alessandro Romano skewed a shot wide of the mark from 20 yards when a poor headed clearance from Joos Valgaeren landed at his feet.

Four minutes later, Celtic carved open a great chance when a Didider Agathe cross found Larsson inside the six yard box but the normally deadly Swede volleyed awkwardly and the ball bounced to safety.

On the half hour, a wonderful pass from Nemsadze released Robertson and Douglas was again the Celtic hero with a good block.

A sweeping move from the home side five minutes before half time saw Douglas stop a cute flick from Stephen Milne and Bobo Balde was on hand to clear as Robertson threw himself at the rebound.

Moments later, Balde made another vital interception as Nemsadze caused more consternation in the Celtic penalty box with a splendid pass to Robertson.

On the stroke of half time Celtic stole in front when Larsson rose highest to divert home a Lubo Moravcik free kick.

Seven minutes after the re-start, Nemsadze tried his luck from distance but his shot fizzed over the crossbar.

Larsson was on target for a second time in the 58th minute when once again he got above the Dundee defence to nod powerfully past Jamie Langfield. This time from an Alan Thompson corner.

With 20 minutes remaining, substitute Petrov ensured the points would be going back to Glasgow with a screamer from 25 yards.

Larsson rolled a free kick into the Bulgarian's path and the ball flew into the top corner of the Dundee net at bewildering speed.

Ivano Bonetti's side were reduced to ten men for the final 15 minutes when Walter Del Rio received his second yellow card.

Substitute John Hartson almost increased Celtic's lead in the 84th minute but his long-distance lob was tipped over by Langfield.

Another sub, Maloney, poked the ball through Langfield's legs to seal a comfortable victory.


Dundee: Langfield, Smith, Marrocco, Romano, Del Rio, Khizanishvili, Nemsadze, Rae, Robertson, Garrido, Milne.

Subs: Mathers, Bolan, Caballero, Robb, Coyne.

Celtic: Douglas, Valgaeren, Balde, Mjallby, Agathe, Lennon, Moravcik, Lambert, Thompson, Sutton, Larsson.

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

Referee: A Freeland

Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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