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Thursday, 24 August, 2000, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Celtic hit a magnificent seven
Celtic 7-0 Jeunesse Esch (agg: 11-0)
Celtic ruthlessly disposed the part-timers from Jeunesse Esch in a seven goal rout at Parkhead.
Transfer-listed young striker Mark Burchill hit a sensational hat-trick in just three first-half minutes as Celtic blew away the side from Luxembourg.
Eyal Berkovic also played himself into contention for Sunday's Old Firm clash with two goals while Vidar Riseth and Stilian Petrov completed the rout as Celtic put their faith in the first round proper Uefa Cup.
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill clearly felt his side's place in Friday's draw for the first round of the Uefa Cup was secure by making eight changes from the side which beat Hearts 4-2 at Tynecastle on Saturday.
Four goal cushion
The home side held a four goal cushion after victory in Luxembourg a fortnight ago and O'Neill had the luxury of bringing 18-year-old Simon Lynch and 20-year-old Colin Healy into the team.
But Celtic were still expected to make easy work of their part-time opponents and transfer-listed striker Burchill had a point to prove to O'Neill, and was looking to impress a number of watching scouts in the 40,082 crowd.
The visitors were going to enjoy the occasion and a moment of hesitancy from Rafael Scheidt moments later allowed Ernad Sabotic to get on the end of a Roland Schaack through ball to test goalkeeper Jonathan Gould with a dipping drive.
Burchill, however, looked threatening up front and it took him just 12 minutes to open the scoring when he dived to head home Healy's right wing cross from close range.
That whetted the youngster's appetite and he bagged an amazing hat-trick in the space of three minutes.
In the 14th minute he controlled a long ball from Olivier Tebily before hitting an unstopable low shot past the goalkeeper.
A minute later things were to get even better for the want-away star when a left wing cross from Berkovic was fired home emphatically.
The floodgates opened at Parkhead and in the 21st minute even the most ardent of the Celtic supporters had to feel sorry for the Luxembourg side.
Berkovic was fouled 20 yards from goal by David Borbiconi and the Israeli international stepped up to hit a tame right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
The home side continued to knock the ball around with Sunday's Old Firm clash in mind, but Burchill almost grabbed his fourth goal in the 29th minute when he blazed Berkovic's cross just wide.
Jeunesse looked a well beaten side but in the 31st minute Healy was on the line to deny them their first away goal in Europe for 13 years when he cleared Claude Meylender's header from Pascal Betis' corner.
After the break Burchill was replaced by another youngster Liam Miller but the Celtic onslaught was relentless.
Berkovic was also looking to play himself into reckoning for a place in the Old Firm showdown on Sunday and he grabbed his second of the night in the 46th minute, albeit courtesy of a comical blunder from goalkeeper van Rijswick, who let the ball somehow bounce over him.
Riseth was being employed as a striker after the break and he was put clean through on goal but he fired low at the keeper.
But he too cashed in after 52 minutes when he found space in the box and he drilled a low shot home, with the hint of a deflection, to make it 6-0.
Miller went close to making it a memorable night in the 64th minute when Bobby Petta beat three men on the left wing before picking the youngster out but his header was well-blocked by the keeper.
The avalanche of goals kept coming and in the 72nd minute substitute Petrov made it seven on the night when he drilled home an emphatic right-footed volley from a Petta centre.
But O'Neill would have been worried by the sight of Petta hobbling off with minutes to go with what appeared to be a leg strain that would make him a doubt for Sunday's Old Firm encounter.
Celtic: Gould, Rafael, Tebily, Riseth, Mjallby, Healy, Petta, Lambert, Berkovic, Lynch, Burchill.
Subs: Corr, Mahe, Larsson, Petrov, Boyd, Sutton, Valgaeren.
Jeunesse Esch: Van Riffwifck, Lamborelle, Schault, Wagner, Schaack, Meylender, Kurtz, Bokboiloni, Anodio, Sabotic, Bekil.
Subs: Logenin, Felgen, Nies, Laruall, Thill, Peiffer, Muller.
Referee: Philippe Loba (Switzerland)
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