Bhoys cruise past Stuttgart
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
CELTIC took advantage of an early sending off as they cruised past Bundesliga side Stuttgart 3-1 in their Uefa Cup fourth round first leg match at Parkhead.
Goals by Paul Lambert, Shaun Maloney and Stilian Petrov will set Martin O'Neill's side up well for the second leg in Germany, as Stuttgart suffered most of the match following the early red card to Brazilian defender Marcelo Bordon, even though they opened the scoring through Kevin Kuranyi.
The match started tentatively but soon took a major turn on 17 minutes when Bordon brought down Petrov with a professional foul and the referee duly sent him off for his actions.
With ten men, The Bhoys started to attack Felix Magath's side but it was the visitors who got the opening goal nine minutes later, as lone striker Kuranyi rose at the far post to head in Krassimir Balakov's free kick and give the Swabians a valuable 1-0 lead.
However, the away goal sparked the Scottish champions into action and they were level ten minutes later as Petrov set up Lambert to fire a low drive past Stuttgart goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand to make it 1-1.
Celtic's numerical advantage paid dividends on the stroke of half-time as Maloney was gifted the ball in the penalty area after Stuttgart failed to clear Alan Thompson's cross and he made it 2-1 at the break.
The second half saw the Old Firm giants continuing to lay siege on the German's goal and midway through the period, their third came as Lambert fed Petrov down the right flank.
With the Bulgarian taking the ball to Stuttgart's byline, he found Hildebrand off his near-side post and Petrov duly slotted the ball home on at the near post to make it 3-1.
The rest of the match saw Celtic dominate possession and pressing for a fourth as Stuttgart desperately tried to hold it from being a rout.
The result will put The Bhoys in a good position to reach the quarter finals as Stuttgart must find at least two goals in the second leg next week to turn the tie around.
Click below for match summary:
Celtic 3-1 Stuttgart