3 famous Celtic successes in the Champions League
Celtic face Malmo tonight in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League final qualifying round tie with the hosts priced at 8/15 to reach the group stages.
And should they need any inspiration ahead of their latest crunch clash here’s a look back at three famous play-off successes from yesteryear….
Celtic 1-1 Spartak Moscow, 2007
A nerve shredding penalty shoot-out victory saw Celtic qualify for the group stages in the 2007/08 competition.
Following a 2-2 draw in Moscow, the tie was evenly balanced heading into the second-leg in Scotland.
The home side looked to be heading through after Scott McDonald opened the scoring, only for ex-Tottenham man Roman Pavluchenko to level things up and send the match into extra-time.
The Russians were reduced to ten men after Martin Stranzl saw red and the Hoops were presented with a golden chance to settle the tie, only for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink to fluff his lines from the penalty spot.
Polish keeper Artur Boruc was the hero of the night as he saved two spot kicks to send his side through in the most dramatic of circumstances and secure a 4-3 win on penalties.
Ajax 1-3 Celtic, 2001
Celtic produced one of their finest ever European performances to complete a comprehensive victory on Dutch soil.
Having not achieved an away win in Europe for a generation they dominated their illustrious opponents in a one sided encounter. Martin O’Neill’s side opened the scoring through the unheralded Dutchman Bobby Petta.
Further strikes from Didier Agathe and targetman Chris Sutton followed and the Bhoys were in dreamland.
The scoreline far from flattered the away side, and it could easily have been more, with Henrik Larsson coming close on numerous occasions to add to the lead.
They went on to finish the job at Celtic Park, despite a narrow single goal defeat, they progressed 3-2 on aggregate.
Celtic 3-0 Shakhter Karagandy, 2013
Kazakhstani outfit Karagandy shocked the football community by humbling the Scottish champions 2-0 in the opening leg, leaving Celtic with a massive uphill task facing them in Glasgow.
The visitors’ preparations were thrown into turmoil as UEFA banned their usual pre-match good luck ritual of slaughtering a sheep.
And goals either side of half-time from Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras dragged them right back into contention.
Celtic were absolutely rampant at this stage, utterly dominating play but unable to get the third goal to see them through.
Then with time fast running out and the tie poised for extra-time, James Forrest struck late on to seal the historic comeback victory.
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