Spurs
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Celtic FC
Celtic FC
  • Callaghan 65'

Season

1972/73

Competition

Friendly

Time

19:45

Attendance

36,000

Programme Cover

Programme cover from Spurs v 0-1 v Celtic FC - 7 August 1972
Goals and other events are still to be added

Match Report

Celtic beat Spurs in a match that was reminiscent of a European Cup-tie. Their problem was to pierce one of those well-ordered and heavily-manned defences that are the bane of the European cups. Winning to Jock Stein would be secondary to the sharpness which developed in such as Murdoch and Callaghan. Clearly the middle of the team is coming right and that must be satisfying. Connaghan in goal, although not heavily tried, looked safe, but as impressive as anybody was Quinn at left back. He tackled and covered safely and his tremendous speed was useful both in defence and in attack.

Spurs with this extravagantly placed collection of talent demonstrated the failing so long apparent in English foot­ball. They inhibited skill in their safe concentration on the midfield and defence. One kept thinking that if only they gave as much thought to scoring as to defence they would be a formidable team indeed but that applies to most English clubs.

It was always an interesting game but enjoyment of it was tempered by trying to solve the puzzle of a fight on the terracing. The crowd scattered and two characters were taken away by the police. A fight at an academic sedate friendly match — what are we coming to?

From the start, it was clear that goals were going to be scarce. Spurs played 4-4-2 and that is a difficult formation to score against. Gilzean and Chivers were their striking force, and they did no more than keep the Celtic centre defence alert.

Celtic settled to pierce the well-manned defence with cool, articulated football hinging round the masterly Murdoch in midfield. They showed con­siderable speed on the left where Quinn's pace was deva­stating, and Callaghan probed with powerful runs.

Ralph Coates showed much enterprise in breaking from defence; but he was the only one who challenged Celtic's initiative. There was a quick chance when Wilson broke away from the sound Spurs tackling; but he shot past. Then there was a header from Johnstone which skimmed over the crossbar; but generally it was an interesting, academic struggle.

Celtic kept probing patiently, and near half-time when Connelly burst through they stepped up the pace and with Johnstone at last finding his touch, they had Spurs’ defence in considerable disorder for the first time.

Davidson was sent clear, but shot against Jennings's shoulder with the goalkeeper not know­ing what was happening. Then a brilliant movement ended with Johnstone shooting against the crossbar.

McNeill had a header knocked off the goal-line by Knowles. Spurs were fortunate to be level at half-time.

LONG SHOT

The initiative was again Celtic's in the second half but the defence clustered round England and Beal was uncom­monly hard to pierce. McNeill seemed to have done the job from a corner kick but Kinnear headed the ball off the line.

Celtic, as the game progressed began to make more chances. Davidson shot just past a post, but there was trouble when Coates bore in on goal and only Quinn's great speed allowed him to catch him.

And then in the 67th minute Celtic did score. Callaghan had the ball 25 yards out and seemed set for yet another pass. Suddenly he struck a firm, low shot and Jennings taken by surprise was beaten at his left-hand.

Celtic when leading played neat possession football and gave Spurs much running to do and in the end won more com­fortably than the one goal margin would suggest.

Celtic: Connaghan; McGrain and Quinn; Murdoch, McNeill and Connelly; Johnstone, Davidson, Macari, Callaghan and Wilson.

Tottenham Hotspur: Jennings; Kinnear and Knowles; Coates, England and Beale; Gilzean, Perriman, Chivers, Peters and Pratt.

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