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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Recalling Past QPR vs Celtic Encounter

Two past encounters against Celtic.

Sporting Life July 13 2002 - QPR 3 Celtic 7

If QPR's Division Two season is half as exciting as this pre-season friendly against Scottish champions Celtic, the Loftus Road fans are in for a real treat.

Many condemn friendly matches with their endless substitutions as a complete waste of time but despite the teams making 19 changes between them during the match there were no complaints from the 15,000 plus crowd who basked in the sunshine and saw 10 goals and some full bloodied tackling.

It was QPR who grabbed first blood after just nine minutes when Andy Thomson's clever backheel put in Kevin Gallen - who slotted in from six yards.

But classy Celtic were level within five minutes when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box and Colin Healy drove the ball into the bottom corner.

Celtic wingers Steve Guppy and Didier Agathe were causing havoc down the flanks and it looked only a matter of time before they were in front.

And the Scottish champions gained the advantage in the 26th minute when John Hartson got down the left to cross and Chris Sutton picked up the loose ball to curl superbly into the top corner.

On 33 minutes it was 3-1 as the strikers combined again. This time Hartson was the beneficiary after playing a one-two with Sutton before slipping the ball past Nick Culkin and into the corner.

QPR changed all but two of their players at the break and it seemed to have the desired effect as they pulled a goal back within four minutes of the restart.

Karl Connolly crossed from the left and the unmarked Oliver Burgess, playing his first game since suffering a cruciate ligament injury last October, headed home.

However once again that merely spurred Celtic into retaliation as Bobby Petta won a free-kick just outside the box and Shaun Maloney thumped the ball in off the underside of the bar.

Back came QPR again when Lyndon Duncan's cross was tapped in by Mamady Sidibi to make it 4-3 with Jonathan Gould in the Celtic goal stranded.

But the Scots moved up a gear with the introduction of six more substitutes.

David Fernandez made it 5-3 with a simple tap-in after QPR's Danny Murphy had put a free-kick straight into the back of a Celtic player and a minute later Mohamed Sylla played a superb one-two with Fernandez to give him a simple tap-in to make it 6-3.

QPR kept battling to the end but the gulf in class between the sides, with Celtic's World Cup players still missing, was immense.

And with five minutes to go they made it 7-3 when Fernandez grabbed his second goal, heading home Sylla's inch-perfect right-wing cross. Sporting Life

BBC - Sunday, 15 July, 2001, Celtic cruise past QPR
Martin O'Neill declared himself satisfied with Celtic's victory
QPR 0-2 Celtic

Henrik Larsson was back in the old routine as Celtic cruised to victory against QPR at Loftus Road.

The Swedish striker - the Golden Shoe winner with 53 goals in Celtic's treble winning season - was on target after only 63 seconds.

Larsson's goal established Celtic's platform for victory and substitute Lubomir Moravcik, on in the second half for Paul Lambert, added another to seal the win for Martin O'Neill's side.

Celtic and QPR enjoyed a low key work out in the West London sunshine, with the Second Division side even having 12 players on the pitch during one period of rapid substitutions.

But Celtic were unconvincing for long periods as QPR, relegated from the First Division last season, enjoyed plenty of possession.

Larsson opened the scoring when he latched on to a pass from Alan Thompson to beat QPR's debutant keeperm Chris Day.

Finnish winger Joonas Kolkka was making his Celtic debut, and almost marked it with a goal when he hit the post with a right foot shot.

He is hoping to impress Celtic boss Martin O'Neill enough to earn a permanent deal at Parkhead.

A decision will be made over the weekend on whether or not to buy the PSV Eindhoven winger.

As for long-term summer transfer target Bobo Balde, Celtic will finally hear tomorrow if their bid to bring the player to the club is successful.

O'Neill said: "At this moment it is still not completed and I am not sure what the ins and outs are".

"We should know by Monday. I am not sure of everything that is going on, but I am not really concerned."

"However, until somebody actually signs for you, they are never your player."


Meanwhile O'Neill declared himself satisfied with the performance: "I thought we did well enough today and gave a run out to all 22 players."

"We are only two weeks away from the start of the season now, so it's not far away."

As for Golden shoe winner Henrik Larsson, O'Neill continued: "I thought Henrik Larsson was superb as he only came back for training last Monday and was starting to get a bit of cramp towards the end."

"His goal was excellent and he could have scored two or three more, but I'm sure his touch will improve as the pre-season continues."

O'Neill was also happy with the contribution of his other striker.

"Chris Sutton is one that takes a bit of time to get properly fit, but I'm sure that once he's up and running he'll be fine as well," said O'Neill.

QPR: Day; Bignot, Forbes, Palmer, Bruce; Connolly, Peacock, Bonnot, Barr (Koejoe 46); Wardley, Thomson (Griffiths 46).

CELTIC:Gould (Kharine 46); Mjallby (Johnson 67), Boyd (Healy 46), Tebily (Wieghorst 76); Kolkka (Petta 61), Thompson (Berkovic 77), Lennon (Burchill 77), Lambert (Moravcik 61), McNamara (Agathe 46); Sutton (Crainey 76), Larsson (Maloney 77).

ATT: 17,337. BBC

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