Arrivederci Foro Mussolini


This time yesterday, I was full of “Night without usual expectations for Celtic” chat.  Nothing in my years watching Celtic told me we were going to win on our Roman Holiday.  The opening 10 minutes did nothing to change this view.  Lazio scored within 7 minutes and within 8, they were back in possession inside the Celtic box.

The home side needed to win and were prepared to throw men forward in the opening period, which unsettled Celtic.  When Celtic were eventually able to get their passing game going, Lazio adopted a more conventional formation.  Had they continued to throw runners into our box, the outcome could have been different.

So many times after European games you and I have discussed the importance of mistakes in determining the outcome.  Commanding possession is all fine and well, but the team who makes fewest defensive mistakes are more often likely to win.

On 38 minutes Mohamed Elyounoussi lost, but then won back, possession, as Lazio failed to clear their lines.  His pass to James Forrest was too crisp to be intercepted, but James’ defensive marker took himself out of play by vainly attempting to steal the ball.  From that moment, the goal was inevitable.

James scored a similar and equally important goal in Champions League qualification in Rosenborg two years ago.  His shot inside the keepers unprotected far post was thunderous.  Celtic had a foothold in the game which would ask big questions of the team currently in a Champions League qualification spot in Serie A.

My heart was in my mouth only once, when the referee rushed towards Scott Brown while taking a card out his pocket, but the colour was yellow and Scott would remain on the pitch to complete a gladiatorial performance.

Lazio needed to win to give them a realistic chance of qualification and the closing 10 minutes of regulation time saw them again flood into the Celtic box.  Fraser Forster, who two weeks ago produced a Save of the Ages, this time produced three fine stops which would have beaten a lesser keeper.

The more Lazio pushed for a winner, the more space Odsonne Edouard was able to exploit.  The French striker was isolated for much of the two games against Lazio, but whenever Celtic cleared long, he caused the defence problems.  Set free by the impressive Elyounoussi, he had the best chance of the game, but pushed his shot wide of the far post with the keeper beaten.

Edouard had one more decisive action to come.  A careless pass, which should have gone across the Lazio back line, was intercepted by Odsonne, who had Forrest and substitute Olivier Ntcham in support.  Edouard drew the defenders before slipping the ball to Ntcham.

Think back to Blackburn 2002.  That through ball for Larsson, who drew the keeper and deftly chipped the ball into the net.  17 years later Ntcham did the same in the most impressive cameo since Hitchcock folded his canvass chair for the last time.  The Romans were in ruins.

Let’s be clear about the magnitude of this win. Lazio are currently strutting through Serie A and played their strongest team last night.  They have not lost at the Stadio Olimpico in all competitions in over six months.  Six months!  The former Olympic stadium is part of the Foro Italico complex, originally known as the Foro Mussolini (Mussolini’s Forum).  The old fascist’s structure was turned upside down last night.

This is a very good Celtic team, perhaps the best we have seen since 2012.


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  1. AoW



    Any win will do…



    Safe bet 2-0,,,



    I will probably put a shilling or two on 4-0… because you picked 4-1 :-)



    Am delighted your post got a terrific response, I know for a fact you weren’t doing it for that … but again you were buzzing on Friday … am still glad your old man made you run about a bit more than you expected :-)

  2. I’ve just heard that Celtic’s first ever game with VAR will take place in the last 32 of UEL. Nooooooooo!!!!

  3. Jobo 11.34pm



    That’s not a bad thing



    All officials have to be from the same country and can’t officiate teams from their country …



    Surely VAR is an upgrade from the downright cheating we face on home soil week in week out



    Even better NO Scottish officials can get involved as only Madhun & cheatin Beaton have been “trained” on VAR … how hard is the training when somebody else is making the decision

  4. marspapa, in case you missed my post …… i have a flight ‘friendly’ scooter that your good lady can use to lourdes :)




    Loved your post and so glad all went well, tell the shadow HAIL HAIL.


    Wish I had been there.


    Called you earlier, try again tomorrow if you fancy a night next Saturday in the kerrydale all taken care of. 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

  6. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Web long as it’s no Scots or English refs VAR should be a decent experience.

  7. Good morning CQN from a very cold -2 Garngad (well cold for this wimp)



    Let’s keep the feel good factor going and get a good win today.






    D. :)

  8. Neil after the Lazio game:



    ” For the first time in my second spell, it felt like real Celtic,”



    Interesting. He was talking of the support.


    Have we grown so accustomed to winning that we just take it for granted?


    Thankfully, the players do not seem to have that attitude.


    I certainly don`t and worry before every game ! Today is no exception.

  9. HOT SMOKED on 10TH NOVEMBER 2019 8:16 AM



    Think what Neil is saying is he feels accepted. Some of the abuse he experienced after the Cluj match was shocking and disgraceful. He has shown immense character and shown his ability as a Manger. He deserves every bit of praise.

  10. Almore 6.47am



    👍 enjoy Coias



    Fred C Dobbs



    Should be on the iron horse in around 4hrs likewise Jobo’s “doors to automatic”

  11. Just found out Sky Sports Sevco have their live SPL game kicking off at 3pm on a Sunday ??? Wtf happened to 12pm lunchtime kick offs, am pretty confident they have never had a normal league game kicking off at this time …



    We were never paranoid enough !

  12. U.N.C.L.E



    We are often told that the Forces `fought for our Freedom` but make sure you do not exercise that Freedom in the `wrong` way .

  13. My friends in Celtic,



    Really looking forward to the game today. Lovely dry winters day , brilliant for football.



    Let’s hope the sell out crowd are responsible and respectful. We had great and rightful praise for our Herculean efforts on the park, Let’s not throw that away.



    I totally understand those who do not want to wear a poppy, I hold no truck for poppy fascism, however it works both ways. Many of us lost family and it is natural and right to remember the sacrifice.



    We got a wee taste of fascism during the last few weeks. I make absolutely no apology for thanking our older generation who fought, suffered and died to rid us of this evil doctrine.



    HH to all, the journey continues.

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    GREENPINATA on 10TH NOVEMBER 2019 10:51 AM



    An appropriate response to cheap shots.

  15. TB 10.35am



    Didn’t think about that…. looks like Steven Gerrard (definitely not Gerard) is running the game here … although Sky Sports Sevco love to pander to the Huns … it’s in their DNA

  16. CHARLIEBHOY on 10TH NOVEMBER 2019 2:01 AM


    marspapa, in case you missed my post …… i have a flight ‘friendly’ scooter that your good lady can use to lourdes :)



    Charliebhoy, sorry i missed your original post …… long time no see.


    That’s a grand offer that i may well take up, fantastic gesture.


    I told my daughter of your offer, when she realised who you were she just started to laugh , she can still picture the look on your face as we drove up to your place , windows down , flags and scarves out said windows and the rebs blarin lol.



    A great wee night was had in The KSC



    Ps. hope you’re fine and dandy.

  17. Every game is huge. The Huns have improved, they have a better disciplinary record than last year and are more consistent in grinding out results. Today could however be a tough one for them.


    Either way. the only Hun games Celtic can influence are the head to heads, so our task is to go out week after week, Home & Away & keep winning.


    Between massed defenses, dodgy Refs & European fatigue it is not an easy task.


    I think Lenny said just 2 or 3 changes,


    Right back is obviously one where I assume Frimpong will step in and I’d expect Taylor to start on the left with Jonny reverting to his super sub role.


    Big question is whether N’tcham or Rogic get a start.


    French Eddie to lead the line, hopefully put the game to bed by the hour mark & Griff gets last 30 minutes & scores,


    Well that is how it’s going in my head, the reality may be a bit different but 3 points & no injuries will so me going into the dreaded International break.

  18. Had a wee read back .



    Glad BLANTYRETIM and M got back home from the game safe and sound (LOVELY POST)







    Your post about you and your dad , heart warming stuff .


    No matter where you watch the game , pub , house or at the game itself, for me it’s about the company you watch it with , family , friends or a complete stranger…how many of us have jumped about mad and hugged the ghuy or ghirl next to us in complete exhilaration when the ball hits the net ….amazing.



    Anyhoo , your post brought back happy (teary) memories of my dad …Thank you ;))))

  19. Celtic, Celtic thats the team for me,


    Celtic, Celtic on to victory,



    They’re the finest team in Scotland, I’m sure you will agree,



    We’ll never give up till we’ve won the cup and the scottish football league



    They come from bonnie Scotland, they come from county Cork,



    They come from dear old Donegal and even from New York,



    From every street in Glasgow they proudly make their way,



    To a place called dear old paradise and this is what they say.



    Celtic, Celtic thats the team for me,


    Celtic, Celtic on to victory,



    They’re the finest team in Scotland, I’m sure you will agree,



    We’ll never give up till we’ve won the cup and the scottish football league.



    There’s Fallon, Young and Gemmell who proudly wear the green,



    There’s Clark, McNeill and Kennedy the best there;s ever been,



    Jim Johnstone, Murdoch, Chalmers, John Divers and John Hughes,



    And sixty thousand Celtic fans who proudly shout the news.



    Celtic, Celtic thats the team for me,


    Celtic, Celtic on to victory,



    They’re the finest team in Scotland, I’m sure you will agree,



    We’ll never give up till we’ve won the cup and the scottish football league.



    Repeat to fade CSC

  20. Enjoy the excellent BT sport coverage this season whilst it lasts.


    From next season our tv coverage is about to go back in the dark ages with a mixture sky sports and premier sports.


    Very very sad.



    The 3pm sky sports kick off today for glasgows second biggest team is a clear nod to their esteemed english manager who had complained [rightly so mind] about the terrible lunchtime kick off tv times after europa league football.


    I doubt however that NL would have been given a similar outcome had we been playing on tv today.


    BBC radio shortbread are offering a choice of live games this afternoon despite Celtic v Motherwell [a top of the table encounter] being advertised as the main match.


    A few weeks ago under similar circumstances the celtic match was completely frozen out of any radio coverage as radio shortbread concentrated on the sevco game that was already on tv anyway.


    This has happened in the betfred cup also earlier in the season when if you were a celtic fan you could not even listen on the radio.



    The media has been busy painting Celtic and Sevcos european exploits this week as a joint equal success.


    Although only one of these results broke new ground for a scottish club and came with qualification to the next round.


    The english media [where i live] have continued to speak in bits and pieces about the european results last week but seem obsessed with the fact that the glasgow clubs are dominating the game up here.


    Funny because the last time i looked only one of the glasgow clubs has been dominating the game up here for the past 8 years with the other team without a single trophy in about 20 attempts…indeed they have just reached their first final in FOUR YEARS.!


    Real domination that.

  21. glendalystonsils on




    Yes , We should be used to it by now but I still find it very galling . BBC Scotland sport news on Friday mentioned both ours and Sevco’s wins on the Thursday but showed only the goals from Ibrox . There is a dirty wee hun( or huns plural) controlling the agenda of our national broadcaster.

  22. Had a wee look at the back pages in Tesco this morning.



    I see the Mail on Sunday are valuing the wee Columbian ned at £25,000,000!



    Ho ho ho!



    Well, it’s nearly Christmas.

  23. Good afternon, friends.


    If my memory serves me well, the last time we played Motherwell at home was Mr Rodgers’ last game in charge. The game when Motherwell didn’t follow the usual protocol and return the ball to us from a throw, instead going on to score. Hope we batter them today!

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