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. The fitness and desire of this team is something to marvel at. Lazio spoke about how we only ran in the first game and they played all the football. They were only half right, we matched our running with good play through the two legs. Ntcham actually runs past a very flat Lazio player who was 5 yards in front of him to get on the end of that winning goal.



    We’ll be a threat to anyone if we keep up this desire and willingness to put in the hard yards.

  2. TIMMY7_NOTED on 8TH NOVEMBER 2019 2:24 PM


    Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on 8th November 2019 1:56 pm


    Cheers mate much appreciated. Now I may have tickets for a Leverkusen match on that day could you help with somewhere there also?




    I would personally make the 15 – 20 minute train journey, if you have the time, to Köln (Hbf) and go here:






    There’ll be a few Tim’s in.

  3. Celtic never had the players to play the way Rodgers wanted to against the best teams in Europe



    Lenny understands this and sets him team out to defend for their lives and let the match winners, well, win the match




  4. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on 8th November 2019 3:02 pm



    Thanks again, one of my sons wants to go to Koln anyway

  5. bhoylo83 3:12pm



    agree with your comment.



    we were talking about that a couple of years ago todgers for spl.



    nl or gs for europe.

  6. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    BHOYLO83 on 8TH NOVEMBER 2019 3:12 PM


    I agree that Fraudgers did not have the players to play the way he wanted and build from the back. Luckily for us, neither did Inzaghi last night. The winner was, from Lazio’s point of view, a terrible goal to give away. I’ll bet there were plenty on LQN last night saying “why didn’t we just clear our lines at that stage in the game”… in Italian obviously 😃



  7. Celtic 16/17 deserve their place in Celtic folklore and history. An Invincible Treble is unlikely to be matched. Brendan Rodgers also deserved his place in Celtic history and recognition for his part in this period of success as Neil Lennon will know as will many of the players. I don’t see the point in comparing teams, its interesting but ultimately doesn’t mean anything. Celtic 2012 had some good players and achieved a lot but to gloss over 16/17 like it didn’t happen in a backhanded dig at the previous Manager was unnecessary. Let it go and look forward.

  8. Rodgers record in Europe was ok. He qualified twice for cl and reached Europa knock out stages twice.



    However against better teams we were fodder. Not just the Barca’s but Zenit, Valencia and Red Bull beat us with ease.



    His record in Europe with Liverpool was bad so it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on with Leicester next season assuming he doesn’t jump ship before he lays down his life for them.

  9. AN DUN on 8TH NOVEMBER 2019 2:57 PM



    My 2nd favourite thing about the winning goal was Callum McGregor coming from deep and bursting a gut to get into the box. To have put the amount of work in that he did in a game that was quite stretched towards the end and yet still have that energy speaks volumes.

  10. So I jist had a call wae a mucker (Grand67 a reader of this blog) who was standing in the Tolbooth watching the highlights of last night’s game.



    Anyway as Olly’s dink billowed in the net, our exchange turned to the critical question…..”Just which one of us could honestly say ‘that’s how I used to do it!”?”



    Obviously the answer was ‘me’….naw it’s no it was ‘me’…naw it wisnae it was me’…..”Shut it, it wis me”….”geeza a break it wis clearly me’…..” away an bile yer heid, it wis undoubtedly me”…..



    Fortunately he had to break off to sip his beer….so I won.



    Anyway, I moved the chat on to the next thing that was occupying my thoughts.



    “Look, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, sound overconfident or take things for granted, but….”



    He interrupted…”You don’t mean….”



    “Ah do indeed….the question is are you up for Gdansk-ing?”



    “Are you Gdask-ing?”



    “Aye Ah’m Gdask-ing



    “Ok Ah’m Gdansk-ing”



    Hail Hail




  11. Personally don’t see the point in the constant Managerial comparison between Rodgers and Lenny.


    Both very successful Celtic managers.


    And the fans with short memories, seem to quickly forget Rodgers credible results and performances in the likes of Anderlecht, away to Borrusia Munchengladbagch, and 2 excellent performances and results against Man City.



    But I will go as far as to say this. One noticeable difference, that no one (I don’t think) has mentioned, is to do with HEART. Neil Francis Lennon has heart in abundance.


    And this is reflected in his Celtic sides. Real heart and grit.



    Where Rodgers teams seemed to flounder, was when the chips were down.


    When things were good, they were very good. But in adversity (PSG, Barca) , we rolled over. The shiny teeth, and sun tan was sadly exposed.



    And that’s the fundamental comparison.

  12. Met an old mate while shopping and going over the game …Charlie tells me while watching on tele….when Edouard got the ball in the 90th minute he shouts “ TAKE IT TO THE CORNER FLAG..”….


    Fortunately Eddy ignored the plea and the rest as they say…..


    Today reminds us of the night we qualified for Seville… COYBIG….💚☘️💚☘️💚





    this place used to be happyclappers or mineshafters.now it’s cornerflaggers and back to the goalies.



    ps ps.is matt stewart a genious or whit.

  14. mild mannered Pedro delgado on

    Listened to the etims podcast there. They recorded last night after the game. The stoke guys were still in the pub.quite entertaining

  15. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    A wonderful night – and it was great to see the subs – especially Scott Sinclair – celebrating with Ollie when he scores the winner at the end, Scott must be thinking – there but for the grace of God go I…..he was a real good servant for the club, personally I’d like to see him given another chance.

  16. cigalasporfavor on

    Only downer for me from last night was the killer reverse pass that Christie made early doors down the right wing into space for Forrest……Only £60m+ players have that kind of vision.


    Hope he likes being here as much as we love having him!!

  17. I tipped Celtic to get a result last night not knowing that Lazio had not lost a game at home in six months. To get the win was beyond a dream. After a wobbly start the team settled and with a very credible 43% per cent of play in an away fixture against a top Italian side and a terrific second half performance. Neil has built a solid defensive unit with some new additions and no more tip tapping around at the back, Fraser gets the ball accross the halfway line pronto. I think Lazio got a bit of a shock with the skill level shown by our attacking players and the quality of the goals by Jamsie and Ntcham.



    I’m not a fan of those souless stadia surrounded by vast athletic tracks with fans so far away from the pitch particularly if behind the goals where the Celtic fans were pitched. Seems all the go in Eastern Europe.



    I thought the ref had an excellent game last night. Lenny now has a serious team and we all hope he can hold onto these players and the loanees? going forward.

  18. Polls close in 4 hours. Results should be out around 10.30 (as planning on watching the Dundee Derby!)



    CQNPOTY@GMAIL.COM is where to send your email with the names of our 3 superstars. I have a sneaky feeling that all 11 starting players might secure at least 1 vote.



    Better start reading and logging the results…

  19. bigrailroadblues on

    Good evening all from Victoria Bar, Paddy Neesons and the Queens Park Cafe. It’s a hard life. 😂

  20. Brilliant Celtic, absolutely Brilliant.



    What a performance by Every single player wearing the Gold Celtic strip.



    I had to go to work (I have never been tempted more not to go) right after the game and not seen any of the videos or reactions to probably the best European away result I have witnessed (via Live TV). Looking forward to all the reactions and interviews.



    Magical Celtic.



    I found out late that Callum had signed a new 5 year deal. WoW, WoW WOOOOWW. I’m sure that has had a massive impact as well



    The way he set about getting the players going right after that goal going in was good to see, it was really good to see.



    Neil – Praise the Lord we have you.

  21. Left the Romans in ruins……………







  22. Lazio really went for the win last night, they had to, and what a game it made for.



    The way Celtic came out in the 2nd Half was MEGA.



    We went for them and it was truly Magical to watch.

  23. Dean Martin – On an Evening in Roma (Sott’er Celo De Roma) (High Quality – Remastered)




    •Nov 28, 2012

  24. Took the game in …………………….



    in Malones…………………………..Aberdoom



    Great win, great atmosphere in a cracking Celtic bar



    Mo Ely MOTM

  25. BRRB


    Certainly the high life, in said establishments…!


    Great night, deserving of a reprise for the benefit of the local uneducated folks.


    Greetings from a freezing Dundee.



  26. What is the Stars on 8th November 2019 2:22 pm







    ‘I fear for the soul of our once great club….’







    Given the failure to challenge the same club narrative, and the cowardice over Res 12 your fears are entirely justified.

  27. I see a Genius in Elyounoussi’s (Mo) play, what a tremendous loan signing.



    I’d never heard of him before – Superlative Celtic getting this player, as for the Unreal Israeli Right Back (Mo) wow what a mega star Ready to rock n roll.



    Delighted to see Lenny being able to actually enjoy the fruits of his labour.



    Go get the 9 and the 10 Lenny Bhoy, oh and a few, a right good few cracking away trips in Europe would be the icing on the cake. ;))



    I hope that Olivier realises the magnitude of his goal last night and he makes himself the most undroppable player now.




  28. bigrailroadblues on 8th November 2019 6:04 pm



    Good evening all from Victoria Bar, Paddy Neesons and the Queens Park Cafe. It’s a hard life. 😂







    Njoi – Lennys team went for them after a ropey start.






    Rome wisnae built in a day. Certain teams of Greatness take a Long Time building up to it.



    I think the Tommy Burns Vision is coming to fruition.

  29. Islam Feruz – I hope that is a warning to all the young ones that are Definites not to Leave the Best Club in the World too early. ;))

  30. Ernie 7.10pm & earlier today



    I might have missed your posts about the game last night as only dipped in and out due to work .. but earlier wee dig about Neil’s appointment and then your 7.10pm post which both are merited but if you didn’t know you’d think you were trying to steer the blog away from Lazio result and Celtic’s terrific performance last night … but I could be wrong










    Were my Jobo’s top 3 … but which is quite enjoyable I have agreed with 99% of other posters who have picked differently from myself



    I thought Julien had his best performance in a Celtic jersey against a very dangerous attacking team, I try and get my moftm choices in early as when I read other opinions I start doubting myself :-)

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