Celtic defeat Parma

Celtic 1 Parma 0

Celtic 1 Parma 0

Celtic finished their pre-season preparations with a 1-0 win over Italian side Parma at Parkhead.

This was the only home warm-up match arranged before the champions start their defence of the Clydesdale Bank of Scotland Premier League title against Kilmarnock at home next Sunday.

And an 84th-minute goal by midfielder Aiden McGeady, after he had sent a free-kick crashing off the cross bar minutes earlier, was enough to give the Hoops victory.

However, the main plus point Celtic manager Gordon Strachan can take from the game is the form of Scott Brown who made his home debut following his £4.4m transfer from Hibernian.

The Scotland international played in a higher gear than most of his team-mates and enthused the home support in what was otherwise a tepid friendly.

Mark Brown started in goal at the expense of Artur Boruc but new signings Brown and Massimo Donati, also making his home debut, were the pick of the bunch for the Hoops in a first half in which Celtic should have taken the lead on at least two occasions.

In the 17th minute, defender Stephen McManus was given a free header from a searching Lee Naylor free-kick.

The Celtic skipper, however, somehow powered his header from eight yards out past Luca Bucci’s right-hand post.

At the other end, following a slick counter attack, Brown pulled off a fine save from Parma midfielder Daniele Dessena’s angled drive, although moments later he fumbled an Andrea Pisanu shot from distance before grabbing at the second attempt.

On the half-hour mark the impressive Scott Brown flashed a left-footed shot from the edge of the box high over the bar.

The Hoops looked more of a threat and moments later, McGeady drove against the legs of Bucci before Maciej Zurawski, from only 10 yards out, managed to miss the target from the rebound.

Just before the interval the eager-to-impress Brown and Fernando Couto were booked after an altercation near the corner flag but again Celtic failed to capitalise from the set-piece.

The second half began at a slow pace and the half-full Celtic Park was given little to shout about until the hour mark.

From McGeady’s cross deep into the Parma penalty area, Celtic striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink drew a good save from Bucci with a looping header that was heading for the top corner with John Kennedy heading wide from the resultant corner taken by Brown.

In the 70th minute, Hoops’ striker Chris Killen came on Zurawski for his first appearance in front of the Celtic Park fans but by this time the Italian side had used seven substitutes, inevitably bringing disruption to the match.

Young defender Paul Caddis was yet another Celt making his home debut as a replacement for Mark Wilson and Kenny Miller was given a chance to impress coming on for Vennegoor of Hesselink.

McGeady struck the cross bar with a 30-yard free-kick in the 79th minute to wake the crowd out of their slumber.

But five minutes later, after Miller had failed to connect properly with an overhead kick, the ball fell to the Republic of Ireland international who wasted no time in drilling the ball into the net from about 10 yards out.

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