Celtic (McDonald 13′) 1-1 Manchester United (Giggs 84′)
Stadium: Celtic Park, Scotland
Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group E
Date: 5 November 2008
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 14:45 ET
Ryan Giggs rescued United, who looked like they were going down in defeat to Celtic. Soccerlens brought you the match live! Click below for the live blog and feel free to leave comments below!
It’s Match Day 4 in the Champions League and time for the reverse group fixtures. Manchester United thrashed Celtic two weeks ago at Old Trafford, by a score of 3-0. Dimitar Berbatov’s controversial brace aside, Manchester United dominated possession and generated so many chances that even Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was in awe of his former team.
Despite their utter dominance a fortnight ago, United have some concerns coming into this match. United lost, 1-0, the last time they visited Celtic Park, and know that Celtic is a much better team at home than on the road. United survived a 4-3 clash at home against Hull City and have had well-documented problems finishing chances on offense. Additionally, Rio Ferdinand, long the backbone of the defense, has been struggling and was exposed in recent fixtures with Hull City and Everton. Carlos Tevez seems to be falling out of favor at United and, of course, the long-running Cristiano Ronaldo soap opera continues. Nevertheless, they know what’s at stake here and should come out with renewed focus and purpose.
As for Celtic, they’re undoubtedly playing for the UEFA Cup, and their biggest upcoming European fixture will be their match at Aalborg. They come into this fixture on a bit of a roll, at least domestically. They haven’t lost since August 31, when they dropped the Old Firm derby to Rangers. Celtic aren’t any strangers to unrest, and their playmaking midfielder, Shunsuke Nakamura (who scored the lone goal the last time United visited Celtic Park), has been linked to a move back to Japan. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Chris Killen, Georgios Samaras and Marc Crosas all remain sidelined, but Celtic recently welcomed back their skipper, Stephen McManus, from a hamstring injury.
Will history repeat itself? Or will things be different the second time around? Join us and find out!
Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus (c), Wilson, Hartley, S. Brown, Robson, Maloney, McDonald, Sheridan.
Subs: M. Brown, Naylor, Donati, Hutchinson, Nakamura, O’Dea, Caddis.
Very confusing for me. I keep typing “Mcdonaldo” instead of McDonald (because I’m so used to typing “Ronaldo”), and “O’Shea” instead of O’Dea. Anyway, Celtic will lineup in a 4-1-3-2 with Hartley sitting in front of the defense. There will be no changes from the squad that beat Hearts over the weekend. 2006 hero, Nakamura, will start out on the bench for Celtic.
Manchester United: Foster, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, O’Shea, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Giggs (c), Tevez.
Subs: Kuszczak, Tevez, Rooney, Evra, Berbatov, Evans, Anderson, Park.
Very interesting, to say the least. There are a lot of changes from the squad that beat Hull City over the weekend. We knew Van der Sar was out, but it looks like Ferguson will go with Foster over Kuszczak. Rafael will start in place of Neville and O’Shea will come in for Evra. Rooney and Berbatov will be confined to the bench, as will Anderson. Tevez will start up front and will be aided by Giggs, who will slot in right behind him. Carrick will make his second consecutive start, partnering Fletcher in the middle.
Thanks to everyone who followed along! Join me on Saturday for the big one! Arsenal vs. Manchester United on 8th November, Saturday 2008 at the Emirates! So long!
90′ + 2 Nothing doing on the corner, but United will have one last chance. Giggs sends a cross from the left wing towards Ronaldo at the far post. He flicks it to Berbatov, who has a golden chance to win it, but his shot drifts wide of the post. Berbatov is in disbelief, as is Ferguson. There’s the whistle, and it’s time to strip!
90′ + 1 Carrick sends in a deep cross towards the left edge of the box, but Hinkel heads it away. Rooney gets it and fires a hard shot on goal that is knocked away for another United corner.
90′ Two minutes will be added on.
89′ Ronaldo slots it through Rooney, who whips in a dangerous cross from the right flank that just eludes Berbatov. Boruc would have been dead meat there, as the ball just skipped past him.
88′ O’Shea with a dangerous cross from the right edge of the box, but it evades Evra. Well, he isn’t paid to score, is he?
87′ Ronaldo is overdue to score on a free kick, isn’t he? Giggs taps it to Ronaldo, who moves over to his left and fires a shot well off the mark. I think United outsmarted themselves there.
86′ Ronaldo takes a tumble on the edge of the box and it looks like Brown tripped him. He’ll have a free kick on the edge of the box, but Ronaldo wanted the penalty.
85′ Should be a great finish. United think they can steal the win and Celtic might actually break out of their 10-0-0 alignment.
84′ GOAL! Don’t count United out! Ronaldo with another long-range effort that catches Boruc going the wrong way. Boruc is able to knock it away, but Giggs is there for the follow-up!
83′ Ronaldo fires the long-range shot after creating some room on the edge of the box. It’s blocked, though.
82′ McDonald comes off and gets a nice ovation from the crowd. He’ll be replaced by Hutchinson. Quick play into the box and Berbatov tries to head it in, but Boruc takes it and sends it away.
81′ Short corner again and Ronaldo’s cross gets cut out once again. Not his best effort tonight. As I say that, he then sends in a great cross that forces another United corner.
80′ United win a corner and take it short. Robson knocks it away for a throw. Rooney with a hard shot from well outside the box and he forces Boruc to make a diving save!
79′ Ronaldo’s cross attempt is knocked away once again. Seems like one of those days for United.
77′ Donati gives it away and United will come back. Ronaldo gives it away as he tries to slide it in to Rooney.
76′ Evra whips the corner from the left, but O’Dea knocks it out for a corner. Short corner and Ronaldo eventually gets it and tries to cross it from the right edge of the box to the far post. It’s knocked away and Celtic go on the break.
75′ Maloney will come off for O’Dea. Great O’Shea and O’Dea are in the game. That won’t be confusing.
74′ Wilson is limping after Ronaldo runs into him.
73′ Nothing doing on the corner. Celtic with some stout defending to deny United again. Ronaldo tries a long range shot and Boruc fumbles it but manages to cover it up before Rooney can pounce.
72′ Carrick picks out Ronaldo with a deep cross down the right flank. Ronaldo tries to whip the cross into the box, but McManus knocks it out for the corner.
71′ Rooney comes in for Tevez. Must be nice to be able to bring in a substitute of that caliber. Still, I bet Ferguson wishes he could have saved his big guns for Arsenal this weekend.
70′ Berbatov slots a nice pass into the box for Giggs. He tries to cross it to Tevez, but Boruc punches it away. United are knocking on the door, but can’t quite get inside.
68′ Lot of chances for Man Utd. here. Berbatov makes a mistake, but O’Shea keeps it. He sends it in to Tevez, who has a golden chance, but can’t quite get his footing right. His shot is blocked, but Ronaldo and Fletcher have chances to put the rebound in past Boruc. He is able to poke it away and it’s out to Giggs. His shot is blocked, too, and Celtic escape.
65′ Ronaldo will take a free kick from about 30 yards out as Evra comes in for Rafael. Ronaldo’s free kick is poor and hits the wall.
63′ Sheridan comes off for Donati.
61′ Robson whips in the corner and Sheridan gets a head on it and nearly scores! Wow. That was close.
60′ Good pressure from Celtic in the United half of the field. Brown wins the corner for Celtic.
59′ Fletcher plays it through to Rafael. The youngster keeps it from going out and tries to center it. It’s too close to goal, though, and Celtic clear it away.
57′ Giggs sends in the corner and United have a golden chance to score. Vidic flicks it to Berbatov, who tries to poke it in. Maloney is guarding the line, though, and he saves a goal. I’d like to see the replay of that to see how close it was to going over the line.
56′ Berbatov lays it off to O’Shea, who makes the run down the left. His pass is deflected away by Hinkel for a corner.
55′ Ferdinand with a nonchalant clearance that nearly leads to a key giveaway. United are able to clear it away and go on the attack. Ronaldo gets into the box and tries to pick out Tevez, but Celtic clear it away.
53′ Nakamura, the Japanese Beckham, is warming up. Tevez makes a good move around Wilson and whips in a cross McManus is able to clear. United play it back in, and Hartley tries to clear, but slips. Carrick plays it back to Tevez, but it’s long and out for a goal kick.
52′ Giggs with the outswinger that finds Vidic’s head. He can’t get it on target, though, and it’s out for a goal kick.
51′ Celtic have been sitting back. Let’s see if that approach costs them. United have a corner here as Wilson knocks out Berbatov’s pass to Ronaldo.
50′ Long pass deep to Tevez. It looks like it’s going past the endline, but Tevez keeps it from going out and centers it to Ronaldo. His touch is poor, though, and he misses the shot. United come back and Ronaldo tries a shot from outside the box, but it’s off the mark.
49′ Maloney gets it on the edge of the box and tries to bend it past Foster. He lacks pace on his shot, though, and Foster holds on.
48′ United on the attack. Berbatov tries to play it into the box for Tevez, but Celtic knock it away.
47′ Fletcher gets it in the box and decides to lay it off to Carrick. He winds up and tries a shot from the edge of the box, but it’s blocked.
46′ Big change for United as Berbatov will come in for Nani. Let’s see what the 30-million pound man can do. United kick it off and the second half is underway!
46′ Villarreal are leading Aalborg, 1-0, at halftime. Former United legend, Giuseppe Rossi scored. If these results hold, then Villarreal would advance and United would have to wait. Arsenal and Fenerbache are scoreless at the half, while Juventus lead Real Madrid, 1-0.
Well, Celtic have looked like a new team today as compared to two weeks ago. They’ve been aggressive on offense and tough on defense. They’ve also been unwilling to sit on their 1-0 lead, unlike Atletico Madrid last night. Manchester United aren’t out of this match, and they have some big guns to play with off the bench. Still, they’ll be under pressure to score in the second half, and it could lead to their defense getting exposed.
45′ + 1 Nani whips in the corner into the box. Vidic has a good chance to head it in, but it goes over the cross bar. Long pass to Tevez in the box, and Caldwell makes a mess of it. Tevez tries to corral it before it goes over the endline, but he cannot. United will have a corner. Nope. Nevermind. There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime!
45′ United on the attack. Ronaldo whips in the cross after getting past Hinkel down the left. His cross is knocked away for a corner.
44′ Carrick with a strong run through the heart of the defense. He takes on 3 or 4 defenders and eventually goes to ground. He wants a foul, but no dice.
43′ Nice through-ball by Carrick to Tevez. He lays it off to Nani, who is running down the right flank. Nani tries to play it into the far post, but Giggs can’t get to it in time. If this were 5 years ago, he would have gotten to it. Now, not so much.
42′ Hartley whips in the corner, but Giggs knocks it away.
41′ Maloney lays it off to Wilson, who makes a great run down the left flank. He tries to cross it, but it’s deflected out for a corner.
40′ Tevez and Brown get into it as Tevez tries to take the ball away from him and Brown takes exception to it. No cards, though, as the ref just tells them to calm down.
39′ Rooney is warming up. Can’t hurt. United haven’t shown much spark offensively. Celtic have down a great job closing them down.
38′ Ronaldo is down after he and Wilson butt heads in the air. The crowd then tells Ronaldo what they think of him.
37′ Tevez with a strong run into the box. He has options to his left, but he decides to go it alone. It’s a terrible shot that isn’t even close to bothering Boruc.
35′ Break in action as it looks like some hooligans step on the pitch and will earn a night in the slammer.
33′ Ronaldo makes a great move to spin around Robson. He sends it to Tevez who tries to give it back. It’s a poor return pass and Celtic clear it away.
32′ Tevez makes a good move into the box and lays it off to Giggs. He can’t find any space for his shot and dribbles away from the goal. He tries to lay it off to Fletcher, but loses possession. Nani then fouls Hinkel and is booked for his troubles.
31′ Tevez slips it through to Giggs, but excellent defending from Celtic prevent any damage.
30′ Maloney works on Rafael, and the young wunderkind doesn’t close him down well. As such, Maloney gets a shot off that forces Foster to make a diving save. Rafael may be good at coming forward, but he has to work on his defensive skills.
28′ Hartley whips it in and Foster punches it away. It comes back in and Foster has some problems collecting it as Sheridan gets in front of him. Finally he corrals the loose ball, but that could have been a real howler for Foster.
27′ Celtic stay on the attack and Hartley shoots from long range. It’s deflected out for a corner.
25′ United reset and Nani gets it on the edge of the box. He loses it, though, when McManus closes him down with some great defense. Ronaldo tries the fancy flick, but Robson gets it. He inexplicably turns back to his own box, dribbles it around, and nearly loses it. He gets out of trouble, but I’m not sure what he was thinking there. That had disaster written all over it.
24′ O’Shea heads the corner out to Nani, who gets swarmed, but keeps the ball.
23′ Ronaldo takes an optimistic shot from long-range, but he forces a corner. Nani sends in the corner and Ferdinand gets a free header at the far post. McManus is guarding the touchline, though, and sends it out for another corner.
22′ Clock is back. Whew.
21′ The good folks at ESPN have taken off the clock, so I’m guessing here. Nani gets it in the box and tries to send a cross across the box for Giggs, but it’s long and goes out for a Celtic throw.
20′ Poor throw by Rafael is saved by Tevez, who slides and taps it to Carrick. Carrick makes a run across the edge of the box and shoots, but his shot is blocked.
19′ O’Shea flicks the corner to Ferdinand, who is waiting at the far post. Ferdinand has to bring the ball down before he can fire it on goal, and he gets well closed down before he can take his shot. He finally shoots and it’s well over the crossbar.
18′ Ronaldo gets fouled a good 35 yards out or so. Probably out of his range, but you never know. Looks like he’ll go for it here. It’s into the wall, but Rafael gets it and whips a great cross into the box for Tevez. McManus knocks it out for a corner.
16′ Celtic have not let up at all. They are really pressuring United in midfield, staying aggressive. We’ll see if it leaves them exposed in the back.
15′ Celtic still on the attack. Fletcher takes Sheridan down on the edge of the box, but no foul.
13′ GOAL! Maloney gets fouled by Rafael on the left flank. Celtic will have a good chance from about 30 yards away. Hartley sends in the free kick and it bounces around in the box. McDonald gets it on the left edge of the box and chips it over Foster for the goal. What a great shot by McDonald!
12′ Hartley whips in the corner, but Vidic heads it away.
11′ Fletcher looks like he’s okay. Meanwhile Celtic are really swarming United in midfield, applying great pressure and forcing them to go backwards. Meanwhile, Celtic force a turnover and McDonald gets it in the box. He turns and fires on goal, but Rafael knocks it away for a corner.
10′ Ronaldo sends an arching kick that goes over the crossbar. It was well over the bar, but it was starting to come down. A few more feet and that would have been in.
9′ Fletcher goes down after the hard challenge by Robson. He’s limping a little bit and we’ll see if he’s okay. Meanwhile, United will have a good free kick opportunity from about 30 yards out or so.
7′ Quick throw-in by Celtic catches United off guard as Nani and O’Shea were talking to the ref. Vidic quickly knocks it away to force another Celtic throw.
6′ Hartley sends it into the box, but McDonald is called offside. Unlike in the previous encounter between these two squads, the refs actually get this one right.
5′ Brown gets fouled by O’Shea on the right flank. Celtic will have a free kick here. Too bad Nakamura isn’t in there for them.
4′ Poor giveaway by Celtic in their own half leads to a shot by Tevez from outside the box. It’s well wide of the post, though, and out for a goal kick.
3′ Giggs whips it in the box, and it falls to Ronaldo. His shot is blocked, otherwise it would have been an early lead for United.
2′ O’Shea sends it to Nani, who works on Hinkel down the left flank. Nani loses it over the touchline for a Celtic throw. Tevez gets it in the box and tries to send a cross to the center of the box. His pass is deflected out for a corner.
1′ Celtic kick off and we’re underway! Weather is clear today, so Mother Nature shouldn’t be much of a factor today.
0′ Celtic take their sweet time lining up in the tunnel and make United wait. Vidic gives them the glare of death when they finally show up. Man! If looks could kill…
0′ Manchester United have yet to concede a goal in the Champions League this year. Celtic have yet to score a goal in that same timespan. So, it looks like both squads are due, right?
0′ Theeeese are the Champions, my friends! And they’ll keep on fighting ’til the end…
0′ I’ll be interested to see how Arsenal do against Fenerbache. Their season looks like it’s about to collapse, but they’ve done well in Europe, so far. If they win today, then the Champions League might become their best bet for silverware, especially with matches coming up against United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Aston Villa.
0′ It’ll be interesting to see Foster in action. I haven’t seen much of him lately. Only his clean sheet against Derby County last year. While it was impressive, let’s be honest. My grandma could have kept a clean sheet against Derby County. Kuszczak can’t feel good about this.
0′ Can Celtic conjure up some of their magic from 2006, when they beat Manchester United at Celtic Park? Manchester United will want to win today, not just for revenge, but to wrap up its qualification campaign as early as possible. With a difficult trip to Villarreal coming up, Manchester United can barely afford dropped points.
0′ Welcome to Soccerlens’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League. It’s Match Day 4, and we’ll be watching Celtic take on Manchester United. I’m Victor and I’ll be your liveblogger.
Celtic took a deserved lead in the first half, but got away from doing the things that served them well, namely pressuring the midfield and aggressively creating chances on goal. United dominated possession in the second half and the equalizer was their just reward. United will have some concerns to work through, namely their shaky defending, their inability to finish off chances on offense, and their problems with midfield pressure. Still, they came through with a great equalizer, and got a decent result, one that looks even better with Villarreal’s draw with Aalborg.
Man of the Match:
Honorable mention goes to Scott Brown, who did a great job shutting down Ronaldo, and to Ryan Giggs, who scored a huge goal for United and played a great all-around game up front and then in the midfield. The Celtic skipper gets the nod, though, because of his excellent defense and leadership. If it weren’t for Boruc’s inability to deal with Ronaldo’s shot, then Celtic would have taken all three points, in large part, due to McManus and his cohorts in the back.