Celtic let down by defensive errors

Celtic 0 Hamburg
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The Independent Online

Defensive frailties coupled with an inability to break down a well organised German rearguard have left Celtic a virtually impossible task of rescuing this Uefa Cup tie. The Germans ruthlessly exploited gaps in the home defence to score goals in the second and 71st minutes.

If the loss of such an early goal was a blow to the Scottish side, their manager, Tommy Burns, will be concerned that too few chances were created for his quartet of foreign strikers.

Celtic's defensive naivety, which was exposed on several occasions, stripped Gordon Marshall of cover as early as the second minute as Hamburg employed the width of the field to edge near the opening goal.

Hollerbach, with room on the left, picked out the unmarked Karsten Baron coming to the far post and his deliberate header found the top corner of the Celtic net. In the 1st minute, Paolo Di Canio was forced to head a goalbound effort clear.

Celtic, who disposed of Hibernian with ease on Saturday, found this to be a tougher challenge yet managed to create several opportunities.

Pierre van Hooijdonk twice came close before the 7th minute when the referee denied Celtic the chance of an equaliser. Di Canio saw his shot cannon off the goalkeeper's legs and as Morten Wieghorst challenged for the ball he appeared to be impeded. The loose ball was volleyed home by Jorge Cadete, but instead of giving a penalty, the referee indicated a free-kick for the visitors.

Despite almost constant second-half pressure, Celtic were unable to prise open the German defence and were given a warning in the 68th minute when Marshall was forced into a fine save to deny Bernd Hollerbach. Three minutes later, the Germans did score a second goal when Markus Schutt, the substitute, ran free of the spreadeagled home defence to shoot past Marshall.

Celtic (4-4-): Marshall; Boyd, Hughes, O'Neil McKinlay (Mackay, 45); Di Canio (McLaughlin, 79), Wieghorst (McNamara, h-t), Grant, Thom; Van Hooijdonk, Cadete. Substitutes not used: Kerr, Anthony.

Hamburg (3-5-): Golz; Henchoz, Friis- Hansen, Fischer; Schopp, Kmetsch, Sporl, Dowe (Hartmann, h-t), Hollerbach; Ivanauskas (Schupp, 66), Baron. Substitutes not used: Hiemann, Salihamidzic, Kovacevic.

Referee: P Collina (Italy).