Strikers Missing As Celtic Scrape Past Inverness

Yoosof FarahSenior Writer IIIOctober 18, 2008

It was clear Celtic were missing prolific strikers Georgios Samaras and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink as they scraped past a battling Inverness side 2-1, with goals from midfielder Scott Brown and defender Glen Loovens sealing the win for the Hoops.

After losing to Inverness 1-0 in this fixture last season, champions Celtic started off worse again this time, as few chances were created and Inverness' packed midfield ensured Celtic barely had a chance on goal.

However, Celtic came back the better in the second half, and scored within three minutes of the restart, as Scott Brown managed to get on the end of a fantastic whipped cross in by Lee Naylor for his first SPL goal of this season. It was 1-0 and the impetus was with the visitors.

Things then went from bad to worse for Inverness, as Phil McGuire had to be stretchered off on 53 minutes with what seemed to be a badly twisted ankle.

And things then got even worse than that, when for all their hard work and effort, Inverness conceded a second on 65 minutes. Ex-Cardiff City defender Glen Loovens got on the end of Barry Robson's pinpoint cross, and headed the ball into the corner of the net, leaving Thistle 'keeper Michael Fraser no chance.

However, they did manage to pull a goal back on 69 minutes, when Garry Wood caught Celtic's defense napping and poked in a long cross from the right.

There weren't any more clear-cut chances as Inverness just battled away to prevent Celtic a third goal, and succeeded as the game eventually finished 2-1.

It was an unconvincing performance from the current SPL champions, who will be further concerned by the fact that influential Spanish midfielder Marc Crosas limped off in the closing stages of the game, and will be out for their midweek clash with EPL champions Manchester United.