On This Day: Pierre punishes McLeish at Paradise

Pierre Van Hooijdonk scored goals galore everywhere he went, with 375 in 634 throughout his illustrious career – but there won’t have been many better than the last-minute winner he scored on this day in 1996.

Motherwell were the visitors, and Celtic had just come off the back of a 2-0 loss at Ibrox the week before to leave them second in the table.

After amassing 16 points from a possible 21, it was imperative that Tommy Burns’ men got back to winning ways with the visit of the Fir Park side.

Try as they might, Celtic struggled to break Alex McLeish’s men down; a header from van Hooijdonk was cleared off the line amongst many other close mishaps from the Dutchman and fellow giant Morten Wieghorst.

Chances of decent quality were few and far between; Celtic’s crossing tactic evidently not working, although they should have had a penalty when Motherwell defender John Philliben handled on the line – it was to no avail.

The calamity almost struck. Tom Boyd’s horrendously weak backpass saw Well’ striker Lee McCulloch latch onto it. Gordon Marshall should have cleared, but the goalkeeper missed the ball, and the only way to stop McCulloch was to pull him down 20 yards out. Red card? Clear as day, and Celtic were down to 10 men.

Celtic were expected to simply gain a point, but in the last minute, a floating ball into the box found the evergreen Van Hooijdonk – who steered his header into the top corner to earn a precious three points for the Hoops.

The team that day was: Marshall, Boyd, Stubbs, Grant, O’Neil, McNamara, Wieghorst, Donelly, McLaughlin, Di Canio, Van Hooijdonk

Subs: Gray, Kerr, Hughes.

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1 Comment

  1. Martin Leadbetter on

    What a player big Pierre was – what a goal record. What a bad goalkeeper Gordon Marshall was – worst I’ve seen play for us.