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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Celtic   1 - 1   Falkirk

By Martin Conaghan

Carl Finnigan
Carl Finnigan opened the scoring for Falkirk at Celtic Park

Falkirk took an early lead and held on to earn a well-deserved point against Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.

Carl Finnigan gave the visitors an early lead after shaking off a strong challenge from Darren O'Dea to shoot past Boruc on 19 minutes.

Celtic replied five minutes before the interval when Georgios Samaras thundered in a low drive.

The home side piled on the pressure in the second-half but failed to find a much-needed winner.

South Korea midfielder Ki Sung Yueng made his Celtic debut along side Zheng Zhi, with Danny Fox injured and Glenn Loovens ruled out with a stomach bug, while Stephen McManus, Darren O'Dea and Lee Naylor made up the back line.

Falkirk boss Eddie May handed debuts to Enoch Showunmi and former Celtic midfielder Colin Healy following his loan move from Ipswich.

With just four minutes played, some early pressure from Falkirk almost resulted in an opener from a corner when Pele headed for goal, but Andreas Hinkel saved the home side's blushes.

China captain Zhi replied immediately for Celtic from a McGeady cross after Samaras had nodded down, but the big midfielder's shot sailed over the bar.

McGeady powered forward into the Falkirk penalty area and fired in a cannonball effort that edged past Robert Olejnik's right-hand post.

Moments later, Marc-Antoine Fortune sent in a driving header that skimmed past from a Ki free-kick.

Falkirk opened the scoring against the run of play in the 19th minute from the boot of Finnigan after the Englishman fought off a challenge from O'Dea to fire past Artur Boruc.

Ryan Flynn almost made it two for Falkirk eight minutes later with a curling effort from just inside the Celtic box that Boruc managed to parry wide.

Celtic had plenty of first-half opportunities to level the scores, but failed to hit the target, with Marc Crosas firing wide as the half-hour mark approached.

Five minutes from the interval, the scores were level when Samaras latched on to a searching Crosas pass and steamed down the left-hand side of the Falkirk penalty to blast in an angled drive past Olejnik.

On the stroke of half-time, Lee Naylor swung in a curling free-kick that inched over the bar.

After the restart, Healy worked a neat one-two and fired for goal from the edge of the D but his effort sailed wide and Borc.

Zhi out-jumped the Falkirk defence to nod down a Hinkel cross from the right, but failed to trouble Olejnik.

Falkirk's Portuguese midfielder Vitor Lima struck a vicious right-footed shot from 25 yards out that went marginally off target as the Bairns maintained composure and kept their hosts under pressure.

Celtic had an anxious moment when a goalmouth scramble led to a Showunmi shot that sailed over the bar, but the referee had already blown for offside.

Olejnik was at full stretch to keep out a superb Ki free-kick from 25-yards out as Celtic piled on the pressure in search of a winner.

Celtic continued to pile on the pressure as the minutes ticked away, with Paddy McCourt coming off the bench to provide some support for McGeady.

Fortune worked the ball into the Falkirk penalty area with five minutes left to play, but the visitors thwarted the Frenchman's final ball.

Falkirk earned an unlikely free-kick on the edge of the Celtic penalty area when Boruc was judged to have stepped over the line taking a kick-out.

However, Jack Compton sent the set-piece over the bar, and Celtic went on the counter-attack where Fortune appeared to be denied a penalty kick following a challenge from Brian McLean.

Olejnik scrambled to reach a low Fortune drive in the dying minutes, but the ball bobbled harmlessly past his right-hand post.

McCourt almost snatched the win with a curling shot from the edge of the box that Olejnik unnecessarily tipped wide for a corner, but Celtic failed to capitalise on the advantage.


Celtic manager Tony Mowbray:

"There was a few changes to the team, some enforced and some by choice, but the balance of the team wasn't particularly great.

"Ultimately, we're left a bit frustrated, but I can't question the desire to go and get the victory. The way the team drove on to get the victory against a Falkirk side who are hard to break down.

"Great credit to Falkirk for the way they defended, but obviously we're disappointed not to have taken all three points.

"I'm not here to make excuses, we get judged by the results.

"If the team wasn't performing, I would be more concerned, but we move the ball about and get it into fantastic areas, but we need to work on improving that final ball in the box."

Falkirk manager Eddie May:

"I'm delighted to come to Celtic Park and take the lead and to play in the manner that we did.

"Make no mistake, Celtic are a very good team, especially at home and we made some chances and got a few breaks.

"It's almost a whole new team since the start of the season - there's not too many players left who were here at the start of the season, but the ones who are do a fantastic job and we're slowly trying to adjust the club in a different direction.

"I think we look a half-decent team and physically, we'll stand up to people. We can pass the ball and I think we have good quality.

"When you come here, Celtic are keen to win the league or come in second, so it's a fantastic point for us."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Celtic 1-1 Falkirk FT
(HT 1-1)
  • Samaras 40
  • Finnigan 19

Celtic

  • 01 Boruc
  • 02 Hinkel
  • 03 Naylor
  • 04 McManus (Thompson 30)
  • 48 O'Dea
  • 17 Crosas (McGinn 65)
  • 18 Ki
  • 27 Zhi
  • 46 McGeady
  • 09 Samaras
  • 10 Fortune

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska,
  • 38 Thompson,
  • 14 McGinn,
  • 20 McCourt,
  • 29 Mizuno,
  • 49 Forrest,
  • 55 McGowan

Falkirk

  • 01 Olejnik
  • 02 Barr yellow card
  • 06 McLean
  • 26 Pele
  • 04 Twaddle
  • 10 Arfield
  • 11 Flynn (Compton 68)
  • 23 Lima
  • 24 Healy
  • 09 Finnigan yellow card (Moutinho 58)
  • 15 Showunmi (Bullen 70)

Substitutes

  • 31 Michael Andrews,
  • 05 McNamara,
  • 25 Bullen,
  • 08 O'Brien,
  • 28 Compton,
  • 35 Murdoch,
  • 07 Moutinho
Ref: Muir
CELTIC
FALKIRK

Possession

  • Celtic 58%
  • Falkirk 42%

Attempts on target

  • Celtic 5
  • Falkirk 4

Attempts off target

  • Celtic 10
  • Falkirk 2

Corners

  • Celtic 8
  • Falkirk 5

Fouls

  • Celtic 7
  • Falkirk 15
  • 90:00+3:39 Lee Naylor takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Brian McLean.
  • 90:00+1:05 Zheng Zhi is penalised for a handball. Robert Olejnik takes the free kick.
  • 88:52 Corner taken by Lee Naylor from the left by-line played to the near post, Darren Barr makes a clearance.
  • 88:38 Shot from 20 yards by Patrick McCourt. Save by Robert Olejnik.
  • 87:44 Corner taken left-footed by Jack Compton, Artur Boruc makes a save.
  • 86:55 Shot from outside the area by Marc-Antoine Fortune misses to the left of the target.
  • 84:56 Corner from the right by-line taken by Pedro Moutinho, save by Artur Boruc.
  • 83:42 Artur Boruc handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Jack Compton has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
  • 80:49 Centre by Zheng Zhi, Header from close in by Georgios Samaras misses to the right of the target.
  • 75:37 Substitution Patrick McCourt on for Andreas Hinkel.
  • 74:15 Free kick crossed right-footed by Sung-Yong Ki from left wing.
  • 74:15 Booking Darren Barr is cautioned.
  • 74:09 Darren Barr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aiden McGeady.
  • 73:55 Shot from 20 yards by Lee Bullen. Comfortable save by Artur Boruc.
  • 73:24 Aiden McGeady takes a shot. Blocked by Darren Barr.
  • 73:06 Short corner taken by Sung-Yong Ki.
  • 72:34 Corner taken by Lee Naylor from the right by-line, save by Robert Olejnik.
  • 70:34 Sung-Yong Ki takes the inswinging corner, Brian McLean manages to make a clearance.
  • 69:11 Substitution Enoch Showunmi goes off and Lee Bullen comes on.
  • 66:55 Brian McLean takes the free kick.
  • 66:55 Substitution Jack Compton comes on in place of Ryan Flynn.
  • 66:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andreas Hinkel on Scott Arfield.
  • 66:12 Sung-Yong Ki takes a inswinging corner to the near post.
  • 65:53 Corner taken by Sung-Yong Ki from the right by-line played to the near post, Marc-Antoine Fortune produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 12 yards. Pedro Monteiro gets a block in.
  • 65:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sung-Yong Ki by Pedro Moutinho. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Sung-Yong Ki, brilliant save by Robert Olejnik.
  • 64:57 Substitution Niall McGinn replaces Marc Crosas.
  • 61:35 Foul by Colin Healy on Sung-Yong Ki, free kick awarded. Sung-Yong Ki restarts play with the free kick.
  • 60:47 Enoch Showunmi is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Artur Boruc.
  • 59:59 Ryan Flynn takes a short corner.
  • 57:47 Substitution Carl Finnigan leaves the field to be replaced by Pedro Moutinho.
  • 56:17 Corner taken by Ryan Flynn from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Sung-Yong Ki.
  • 55:38 Scott Arfield fouled by Sung-Yong Ki, the ref awards a free kick. Brian McLean takes the free kick.
  • 54:26 Long range shot from Vitor Lima misses to the left of the target.
  • 53:30 Ryan Flynn takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Sung-Yong Ki manages to make a clearance.
  • 53:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren O'Dea on Carl Finnigan. Ryan Flynn restarts play with the free kick.
  • 51:22 The ball is sent over by Andreas Hinkel, Headed effort on goal by Zheng Zhi from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
  • 50:16 Free kick awarded for a foul by Enoch Showunmi on Lee Naylor. Darren O'Dea restarts play with the free kick.
  • 48:05 Colin Healy has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.
  • 47:01 Unfair challenge on Andreas Hinkel by Scott Arfield results in a free kick. Marc Crosas takes the free kick.
  • 46:17 Sung-Yong Ki fouled by Darren Barr, the ref awards a free kick. Artur Boruc takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:05 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
  • 45:00+0:17 Brian McLean gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marc-Antoine Fortune. Lee Naylor produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
  • 41:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brian McLean by Marc-Antoine Fortune. Robert Olejnik takes the direct free kick.
  • 39:19 Assist by Marc Crosas.
  • 39:19 GOAL - Georgios SamarasCeltic 1 - 1 Falkirk Georgios Samaras fires in a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 1-1 Falkirk.
  • 37:31 Aiden McGeady is caught offside. Robert Olejnik takes the indirect free kick.
  • 36:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Carl Finnigan on Sung-Yong Ki. Free kick taken by Marc Crosas.
  • 30:41 The referee blows for offside. Artur Boruc takes the free kick.
  • 29:58 Substitution Josh Thompson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Stephen McManus.
  • 29:46 Marc Crosas produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
  • 28:04 Effort from long range by Marc Crosas goes wide right of the target.
  • 27:34 Corner taken by Sung-Yong Ki played to the near post, clearance made by Pedro Monteiro.
  • 27:01 Shot by Ryan Flynn from 18 yards. Brilliant save by Artur Boruc.
  • 25:39 Corner taken by Sung-Yong Ki from the left by-line to the near post, Close range header by Georgios Samaras goes over the crossbar.
  • 25:22 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Zheng Zhi played to the near post, clearance made by Darren Barr.
  • 25:10 Shot by Georgios Samaras. Blocked by Colin Healy.
  • 24:28 Andreas Hinkel takes the direct free kick.
  • 24:28 Booking Carl Finnigan receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 24:20 Carl Finnigan concedes a free kick for a foul on Andreas Hinkel.
  • 18:29 Assist by Enoch Showunmi.
  • 18:29 GOAL - Carl FinniganCeltic 0 - 1 Falkirk Carl Finnigan finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 0-1 Falkirk.
  • 18:01 Lee Naylor challenges Ryan Flynn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.
  • 15:47 Unfair challenge on Andreas Hinkel by Carl Finnigan results in a free kick. Sung-Yong Ki takes the direct free kick.
  • 15:10 Artur Boruc fouled by Carl Finnigan, the ref awards a free kick. Artur Boruc takes the direct free kick.
  • 14:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Enoch Showunmi on Darren O'Dea. Free kick taken by Marc Crosas.
  • 13:41 Headed effort from inside the box by Marc-Antoine Fortune misses to the right of the target.
  • 12:56 Sung-Yong Ki fouled by Carl Finnigan, the ref awards a free kick. Sung-Yong Ki takes the free kick.
  • 12:23 Marc Crosas fouled by Carl Finnigan, the ref awards a free kick. Andreas Hinkel takes the free kick.
  • 9:31 Darren O'Dea concedes a free kick for a foul on Enoch Showunmi. Colin Healy restarts play with the free kick.
  • 8:25 Aiden McGeady has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 7:30 Enoch Showunmi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen McManus. Direct free kick taken by Lee Naylor.
  • 4:49 Shot by Zheng Zhi from outside the box goes high over the target.
  • 2:59 Corner taken right-footed by Ryan Flynn to the near post, Pedro Monteiro takes a shot. Clearance made by Andreas Hinkel.
  • 2:34 Short corner taken by Ryan Flynn from the right by-line.
  • 1:07 Andreas Hinkel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vitor Lima. Free kick taken by Brian McLean.
  • 0:16 Marc-Antoine Fortune sends in a cross, Georgios Samaras has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.
  • 0:00 The game gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 16 Jan 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Rangers 20 35 47
2 Celtic 19 18 38
3 Dundee Utd 20 1 34
4 Hibernian 19 10 33
5 Hearts 20 -1 27
6 Motherwell 19 -5 23
7 Aberdeen 18 -6 21
8 St Mirren 19 -6 20
9 St Johnstone 17 -6 19
10 Hamilton 18 -13 16
11 Kilmarnock 19 -14 14
12 Falkirk 18 -13 13

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