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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 16:51 GMT
Celtic 5-1 Kilmarnock
Didier Agathe celebrates after opening the scoring
Didier Agathe opened the scoring against Killie
Didier Agathe inspired Celtic as the Scottish Premier League leaders swept aside Kilmarnock with five goals in a clinical bout of second-half finishing.

Agathe opened the scoring himself before setting up goals for John Hartson and Henrik Larsson.

Stephen Pearson added the fourth as Celtic extended their lead over idle Rangers to 14 points.

Eric Skora, on loan from Preston, managed a late consolation for Killie before Hartson completed the scoring.

Victory extended Celtic's run of home victories in the league this season to 21.

Kilmarnock had arrived on the back of six league games without a win and boss Jim Jefferies handed new signing David Lilley his debut following his move from Partick Thistle.

But the visitors gave as good as they got in the first half and striker Gary McSwegan squandered a good early chance by screwing his right-foot effort well wide.

Francois Dubourdeau kept Celtic out at the other end when Larsson latched on to Chris Sutton's through-ball and hit a first-time shot that the goalkeeper turned round the post.

Celtic goalkeeper Rab Douglas needed to be alert to save Danny Invincibile's low, long-range effort in the 12th minute.

The home side came to life in the 24th minute, when Agathe curled an inviting cross into the box for Pearson to head over.

Sutton got on the end of a Pearson cross and his header took a deflection off Garry Hay before bouncing down off the underside of the bar.

A sliced effort from Invincibile drifted a couple of feet wide of the far post at the other end.

Stephen Pearson puts Celtic 4-0 ahead
Stephen Pearson scored his second goal in two games
Petrov threatened early after the break, his shot from 14 yards deflecting off Barry McLaughlin and just over the bar.

Celtic's breakthrough came 10 minutes into the second half, O'Neill having moved Agathe into midfield after the Frenchman spent the first half at full-back.

Agathe played a one-two inside the box with John Hartson before driving the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.

Roles were reversed 10 minutes later, Agathe's cross being deflected high into the six-yard box, where Hartson rose above his marker to head home.

Agathe set up the third after 76 minutes, flicking the ball to Larsson and the Swede's shot from 10 yards was deflected into the top corner.

Neil Lennon was the provider for the fourth within another 60 seconds, Pearson running clear of the Killie defence before slipping the ball under Dubourdeau.

A superb chip from Skora over the head of Douglas and in off the far post gave Killie some consolation after 84 minutes.

Hartson was unmarked as he headed home a Larsson cross to restore the four-goal advantage a minute from the final whistle.


Celtic: Douglas, McNamara, Kennedy, Varga (Valgaeren 78), Agathe, Lennon, Petrov (Lambert 78), Sutton, Pearson, Larsson (Maloney 78), Hartson.
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Wallace.

Goals: Agathe 55, Hartson 65, Larsson 76, Pearson 77, Hartson 89.

Kilmarnock: Dubourdeau, Lilley, McLaughlin, Greer, Hay, Invincibile (Fowler 85), Locke, McDonald, Hardie, McSwegan (Boyd 71), Skora.
Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Nish, Dodds.

Goal: Skora 84.

Attendance: 59,138

Referee: T Brown





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31 Jan 04  |  Scotland



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