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Friday, 11 January, 2002, 16:55 GMT
Stubborn Killie fail to stop Celtic
Stilian Petrov earns Celtic a penalty
Petrov is felled by Canero in the Kilmarnock area
Kilmarnock 0-2 Celtic

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Two goals in 10 second-half minutes put paid to Kilmarnock's brave challenge against the SPL's runaway leaders.

Killie edged the first half but failed to take their chances and were made to pay for it after the break.

John Hartson put Celtic ahead from the spot after Peter Canero had needlessly pushed Stilian Petrov.

Paul Lambert put the game beyond Killie with an exquisite goal shortly afterwards, to restore Celtic's 13-point lead at the top of the league.

Celtic should have gone ahead in the first minute when a good passing move involving Lambert, McNamara and Lennon, but when Lambert squared the ball, Larsson somehow chipped the ball wide of goal with only Marshall to beat.

Antonio Calderon and Paul Lambert
Lambert tries to get in ahead of Calderon
Larsson missed a second clear-cut opportunity in 28 minutes when he curled the ball past Marshall's left-hand post after breaking free from Dindeleux.

Celtic almost paid for their profligacy four minutes later when Petrov flicked Murray's corner towards the back of his own net, but McNamara saved him with a header clear off the line.

Di Giacomo threatened the Celtic goal twice before Douglas kept the scoreline blank with a world-class save from a Kevin McGowne free kick.

Killie finished the half on the offensive and an excellent move ended with Boyd spurning a great chance with a header wide from five yards out.

The first chance of the second half fell to Celtic but Marshall comfortably held Thompson's free kick.

Celtic were awarded a penalty in the 51st minute when Canero barged Petrov in the area and Hartson placed the spot-kick just inside Marshall's right-hand post to give the visitors the lead.

John Hartson and Kevin McGowne
Hartson is tackled by Kevin McGowne
Douglas saved well from Calderon moments later as Killie tried to get back on level terms.

But Celtic doubled their lead on the hour-mark with a superbly-taken goal by captain Paul Lambert.

He picked up a poor clearance by Dindeleux, flicked the ball over the Frenchman's head and blasted the ball past the helpless Marshall.

It was almost three in 64 minutes but Hartson's header came crashing back off the Kilmarnock crossbar as Celtic turned up the heat.

Killie refused to give up though and Balde turned a shot by substitute Tommy Johnson by the post.

The game died slightly in the closing 20 minutes, with Killie unable to find a way past the resolute Celtic defence.

Kilmarnock: Marshall, Canero, McGowne, Dindeleux, Hay, Mitchell, Mahood, Calderon (Jaconelli 85), Boyd (Johnson 58), Di Giacomo, Murray (Fowler 80).

Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Sanjuan.

Booked: Hay, Canero, Murray.

Celtic: Douglas, Balde, Valgaeren, Mjallby, McNamara, Petrov, Lennon (Petta 76), Lambert, Thompson, Larsson, Hartson.

Subs Not Used: Gould, Moravcik, Maloney, Smith.

Booked: Thompson, Hartson.

Att: 11,689

Referee: John Underhill

BBC Scotland's David Begg
"A very important victory for the Champions elect"
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"A difficult place to come to and we've won"
Kilmarnock manager Bobby Williamson
"We gave them a game and that's all you can ask for"
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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