Do you remember who we played this round last season, Helsinki or Helsingborg? The ones you win often blend into the background noise. Not so in 2007. The defeat of Spartak Moscow on penalty kicks will live long in the memory.
The last Champions League qualifying round reversal was THAT game eight years ago. Gordon Strachan was sill unpacking his white tee shirts when the team collapsed in Bratislava. A historic recovery was on the cards a week later when Celtic took a 4-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining but it wasn’t to be.
Before that MTK Budapest were humbled 0-4 at home by the Sevillians making the return leg a formality, not that the Sevillians were masters at Champions League qualification. Basel knocked them out the previous season on away goals, paving the way for that memorable season in the Uefa Cup.
Which brings us to Ajax. If you are my age, winning 1-3 in the Ajax Arena was something of a landmark in your life. We were back at the top table. We were also pretty shocked at that fact.
It was Helsingborg in the final qualifying round last season. Let’s hope Shakhter Karaganda fade from memory quickly as an inconsequential stop along the way.
Get tore into them, Celtic.
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