Lovell pushes Celtic off the top

Dundee 2 - Celtic 2
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The Independent Online

Steve Lovell induced a costly stumble in Celtic's season when he stripped them of two valuable points at Dens Park yesterday, which saw the champions give up their possession of the Scottish Premier League leadership for the first time in over a year.

Steve Lovell induced a costly stumble in Celtic's season when he stripped them of two valuable points at Dens Park yesterday, which saw the champions give up their possession of the Scottish Premier League leadership for the first time in over a year.

Although the Dundee striker's 76th-minute equaliser knocked Martin O'Neill's side from the summit, the Celtic manager said: "There's a long way to go - but the game in Barcelona took a lot out of us."

Celtic paid the price for failing to capitalise on the one-way traffic of the first half. Then Lovell's pace exposed the Celtic defence in the 35th minute, as he reached Mark Fotheringham's pass to steer a fine angled shot past Magnus Hedman.

Stilian Petrov thought he had secured an equaliser just before the interval, but the goalkeeper Derek Soutar pulled off a great save. But Celtic did restore parity eight minutes into the second half. Stephen Pearson's fine run and cutback saw Petrov's first effort blocked and then John Hartson's follow-up was pounced on by Camara.

Hartson then had a goal disallowed before finding the net again in the 62nd minute. Aiden McGeady's fine solo play before his cross was deserving of Hartson's ruthless header.

Lovell threatened to wipe out the advantage a few minutes later when he struck a fierce shot past Hedman, but was denied by the referee because his boot was dangerously high, but there was no doubting his finish 14 minutes from the end.

A long ball over the top of the Celtic defence by Garry Brady was not dealt with by Bobo Baldé or Hedman, and Lovell pounced on the pair's indecision to lob the ball into the empty net.

Goals: Lovell (35) 1-0; Camara (53) 1-1; Hartson (62) 1-2; Lovell (76) 2-2.

Dundee (4-5-1): Soutar; McNally, Mann, McDonald, Hernandez; Cerdeira (Brady, 65), Smith, Anderson (N Barrett, 90), Fotheringham, Robb; Lovell. Substitutes not used: Murray, Sutton, Larsen, Jablonski, Caballero.

Celtic (4-4-2): Hedman; Agathe, Baldé, Valgaeren, McNamara; Petrov, Lennon, Pearson, McGeady; Hartson, Camara. Substitutes not used: Marshall, Sylla, Juninho, Lambert, Laursen, Wallace, Lawson.

Referee: C Richmond.

Booked: Dundee: McNally; Celtic: Camara.

Man of the match: Lovell.

Attendance: 9,539.

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