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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 February, 2003, 08:50 GMT
Petrov sinks Stuttgart
Stilian Petrov scores Celtic's third goal from a tight angle
Petrov gave Celtic a two-goal cushion
Celtic 3-1 Stuttgart


Celtic battled back from a goal down to beat 10-man Stuttgart and set up the possibility of another 'Battle of Britain' tie with Liverpool in the quarter finals of the Uefa Cup.

The Scottish champions went behind to a Kevin Kuranyi header despite the Bundesliga side being reduced to 10 men after 17 minutes when Marcelo Bordon was sent off for a professional foul.

But skipper Paul Lambert rallied his side with a great equaliser before Shaun Maloney pounced on the stroke of half-time to put the Parkhead men on course for their ninth successive home win in Europe.

And Stilian Petrov gave Celtic a healthy two-goal cushion to take to Germany for the second leg next week with a clinical second-half finish.

In the opening minutes Maloney curled a free-kick straight into the hands of Stuttgart goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand from a promising position.

At the other end Rab Douglas was let off the hook when Ioannis Amanatidis sliced his shot well wide after Krassimir Balakov had headed Bordon's ball into his path.

Stuttgart then spurned a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the ninth minute.

Lambert lost possession to Amanatidis just inside his own half and it was two against one for the Germans.

But Aliaksandr Hleb's pass was too strong for his team-mate with Neil Lennon and Douglas both struggling to make up the ground.

There is still a long way to go and they are a very good team but we managed to get a result and it gives us a chance
Celtic captain Paul Lambert

The Scotland international keeper did have to make a save in the 15th minute when Bordon got on the end of Balakov's corner from eight yards, but he caught easily.

Stuttgart suffered a major blow a minute later when Bordon was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Stilian Petrov, who was clean away.

But this did not prevent the Bundesliga side from taking the lead in the 27th minute.

Balakov swung an inviting cross into the box and Kuranyi rose above Joos Valgaeren to head low past Douglas from 10 yards.

This spurred Celtic into action and they began to exert pressure on the Stuttgart defence without creating any real clear-cut chances.

But the home side did get back on level terms in the 36th minute.

Maloney chested AlanThompson's cross into the path of Lambert and he struck a sweet first-time shot past Hildebrand into the bottom corner of the net.

Then, with the half-time whistle approaching, Maloney took advantage of a poor clearance by Fernando Meira to bundle the ball under the advancing Stuttgart keeper from close range.

Celtic were looking to wear the 10 men down in the second half by passing the ball around.

Didier Agathe could have stretched their advantage in the 49th minute when space opened up for him, but he sliced his right-foot shot well wide.

Celtic were well on top and the Stuttgart goalkeeper saved from Maloney before Meira made a vital block tackle on Agathe.

And the pressure told with just over 20 minutes remaining when Petrov somehow squeezed a right-foot shot between Hildebrand and his post from close to the byline after Lambert's pass had sent him clear.


Celtic: Douglas, McNamara, Balde (Laursen 88), Valgaeren, Agathe, Lambert, Lennon, Petrov, Thompson (Smith 69), Sutton, Maloney.

Subs Not Used: Marshall, Sylla, Fernandez, Healy, Guppy.

VfB Stuttgart: Hildebrand, Hinkel, Bordon, Meira, Gerber, Soldo, Meissner (Rundio 76), Hleb (Carnell 51), Balakov, Amanatidis (Danglmayr 19), Kuranyi.

Subs Not Used: Ernst, Tiffert, Seitz, Ganea.

Sent Off: Bordon (17).

Booked: Meira, Meissner.

Attendance: 59,000

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).





Links to more Europe stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Roddy Forsyth
"Stuttgart looked in real trouble after 10 minutes"


Celtic captain Paul Lambert
"It's far from over"


CELTIC

SEE ALSO
Uefa cuts O'Neill ban
13 Feb 03 |  Uefa Cup
BBC follow Celtic's Uefa trail
23 Dec 02 |  Uefa Cup

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