Ten years ago this morning we were celebrating what appeared to be the importance of a Momo Sylla goal two minutes from time to give Celtic a 3-1 first leg lead against FC Basel in the Champions League play-off round.
The previous season Celtic defeated a formidable sounding Ajax team at the same stage so when they were drawn against the Swiss team confidence was high. Two weeks later our record of poor results away from home in Europe’s top competition was further cemented as Basel gained an away goal advantage.
That failure worked out well for Martin O’Neill’s team who dropped to the Uefa Cup and progressed all the way to the Seville final but Neil Lennon will be aware that Helsingborgs carry no less a reputational threat to Celtic than Basel did a decade ago. Basel were not a better team than Celtic but a slow start to both games, and a missed penalty, cost us entry to the Champions League. We will need to be better prepared next week.
Paul Larkin’s latest book, Albert, Dougie and Win, is available to purchase from Lulu. The three-in-one book covers the days and events surrounding Celtic’s 1986 league win in From Albert, with Love, the SFA’s 2010 challenges in Dougie, Dougie, and the men who stopped 10 in Wim’s Tims. Fascinating stories written by one of the very best Celtic authors.
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