Djorkaeff checks Celtic's progress

Paris Saint-Germain 1 Celtic 0
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The Independent Online
Paris Saint-Germain 1 Celtic 0

Celtic were sunk by a goal 14 minutes from time last night in their Cup-Winners' Cup tie at the Parc des Princes. It completed a sad week for Scottish football, with Raith Rovers losing to Bayern Munich in the Uefa Cup on Tuesday and Rangers being outclassed by Juventus in the Champions' League on Wednesday.

Celtic, however, showed enough spirit and strength of character to suggest they can pull the second-round tie around at Parkhead in two weeks' time.

The goal that divided the teams came from the night's outstanding competitor, Youri Djorkaeff. He left the Celtic defence flat-footed as he raced on to a pass from Stephane Mahe to rifle a shot past stranded goalkeeper Gordon Marshall.

Yet Celtic must be wondering what would have happened had Pierre Van Hooijdonk converted a simple chance in the first half. The big Dutchman drifted away from his marker to get on the end of a perfect cross from Phil O'Donnell, but somehow managed to divert his close-range header wide.

Celtic had been forced to back-pedal almost from the outset, with Laurent Fournier picking out Patrice Loko, who sent his header wide. Fournier then squandered a glorious opportunity after being set up by Djorkaeff, being unable to get any power into his shot as Marshall gathered easily.

Despite all Paris's possession, Marshall was only called into serious action for the first time early in the second half when he got down quickly to deny Djorkaeff.

Djorkaeff then fired a shot against the outside of the post before giving Paris the lead. The French should have added a second when substitutes Francis Llacer and Pascal Nouma linked up, only for Nouma to knock the ball over the top.

Paris Saint-Germain: Lama; Cobos, Colleter, Mahe, Le Guen, Djorkaeff (Dieng, 87), Bravo, Guerin, Fournier, Rai (Nouma, 82), Loko (Llacer, 80).

Celtic: Marshall; Boyd, McKinlay, Vata, Hughes, Grant, O'Donnell (Donnelly, 69), McStay, Van Hooijdonk, Thom, Collins.

Referee: M Benko (Austria).

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