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. Good morning CQN from a cold Garngad



    AOW from last night Hail Hail



    Great post



    D. :)

  2. Just awoke from about 15hrs sleeping recovering from flying all around Europe watching Celtic in Rome. I told my son he wasn’t going he went behind my back n booked flight for my birthday



    Right enough no stupid as dad paid for everything else



    Brilliant trip brilliant result



    Hail hail



    Ps Bucharest is a lovely city

  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    What a trip to Rome , my daughters first European away fixture and we loved every moment


    Well apart from the 5 mile walk back from the stadium


    I’ll start with the moan.


    No representation from Celtic outside stadium re buses coming back to take thousands of fans back to town


    Police presence minimal after they showed us over the river. We had a big scare when loud bangs went off and people started to run fearing we where being attached


    Style Mike Vandals should change their name to Style Mile record breakers, never seen so many run and take off their distinctive clothing whilst trying to escape 😂😂😂



    Too tired to celebrate after walk home , now need 2 new hips to go with the knees

  4. CQN – Celtic Stories told by Tims, always of interest!




    ART OF WAR on 8TH NOVEMBER 2019 11:59 PM


    Scroll on if not interested.







    Asked my dad to come and watch the game in my house. Not crossed my threshold in 2 years since his stroke. Physically fine – for a 90 year old but cursed with aphasia and deafness. All invites refused to date







    He said “Yes!”







    Shocked, I agreed to pick him up.







    Knew he’d not be ready so taped the game (taped for the young uns is recorded).





    Radio off in car so as not to pick up news of game. Realised as I was getting him out passenger seat that he had never witnessed a Celtic victory in Europe in my house. The word ‘jinx’ sprang to mind. Nearly took him straight back!







    When he came in the house he realised that it had been some time since his last visit. I nearly used the jinx word but refrained.







    Seven minutes into the game I was already regretting inviting him lol







    As the Jamesie goal went in we screamed the house down, he said, eventually “We can win this!”







    In two years I hadn’t seen this fervour/joy in him. It was magical







    He couldn’t hear my or the TV commentary during the game due to being deaf as a post, but by God was he drinking in every effort.







    Needless to say when Ollie chipped in the winner it was bedlam. Tears and cheers and hi-fives. He was truly happy.







    So thank you Celtic for that, I got my dad back for the night. It brought us closer than any therapy known to man







    We are Celtic.

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Went to Vatican in Tuesday and after papal audience went on the tour with our own fountain of knowledge BRHT, better than a tour guide and his advice to slap the angel on the backside for luck paid off ( never pray for a football result or money, too many important things in life)



    Thursday was mass , Trevi fountain Spanish steps a bite to eat with BRHT and Marspapa, a couple of Caravaggio paintings then off to stadium at 3pm, luckily Peroni on tap to while away the time before KO


    Nothing I write will express the glee at a wonderful night



    So many memories to cherish


    It’s always great to be a Celtic fan regardless of whatever they throw at us

  6. PHILBHOY @ 8 17 pm



    Back home -safe and sound . Thank you !!!



    My 7th competitive game in Italy . My first victory . A strange experience . Small crowd … Sitting in the posh seats — chaps in suits smoking skunk — . Maybe it helps when watching an ever so erratic Lazio. The wowee abuse dished out to Vavro / Acerbi / Milinkovic -Savic / Jony / Caceido and (most of all) Berisha .Street politics a go go . Having a beer outside a social centre in San Lorenzo . . Ran Blake — Short Life of Barbara Monk -on the hi fi – group of Lazio neds wander past — young guys outside the bar start singing an adapted for life in modern Italy – No Mercy To The Bastards ( an anti fascist choon from the 40s )- the neds kept on walking .

  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Was going to leave it at that , but the silliness of the suggestions that Otto Skorzeny was ” a German ” and somehow not a ” fascist scumbag ” are frankly ludicrous .


    He was a member of the SS decorated personally by Hitler .


    You think that they had nice decent compassionate non fascist scumbag chaps in their midst ?


    You think ?


    The guy was feted in Dublin and purchased a farm in Ireland.


    Thereby reinforcing the impression that fascism and Catholicism are linked.


    Viz. Franco.



    The point.


    Truth and reconciliation. North and South.


    No truth. no reconciliation.


    Educate the young ( especially the GB ) to the facts.


    However unpalatable they may be.

  8. Art of War, great post. I go to the games with my son and we watched together on Thursday in my house and we were dancing with joy when that went in. I hope to have many more like that, mon the tic.

  9. On the football. Caicedo is one of the worst diving bassas I’ve ever seen, complete fandan. Immobile reminded me of Totti, complete composure and quality in everything he done, fantastic footballer.



    Elyounoussi has a great football brain and work ethic, technically very good, anyway possible we can get him permanently , would be a brilliant addition.




  10. SoT 11.41am



    If there was ever a time I have really wanted to understand Italian watching that utube clip would be it



    I got the jist of it when Rennes & Celtic were mentioned :-)

  11. Macjay


    It is a complete red herring. It has absolutely nothing, repeat nothing, to do with the Mussolini point being made in relation to Lazio.

  12. Bada / FrannyB



    Judith Ralston is a guest on “off the ball” at 12.30pm… might not be off interest to you two since it’s radio :-)

  13. Simple questions



    Was Otto Skorzeny German? Yes or no


    Did he go to live in The Republicic of Ireland? Yes or no


    Was he ever a member of the Green Brigade? Yes or no



    What has Otto Skorzeny got to do with the Green Brigade?



    Don’t need whataboutry just simple answers and let’s get back to talking about the Glasgow Celtic

  14. In the 95th minute in rome when Lazio lose the ball a lung bursting run from callum from the halfway line.


    Says everything about this man and this team.


    Well done callum.


    Well done celtic.


    Well done Neil.


    And well done Chris Sutton.


    It is about time we had someone in the media who isn’t afraid to stand up for celtic.

  15. For anyone interested in Rebel songs, TG4. or RTE4, is showing a series on the history of them starting Sunday 17 th November. Ry Cooder versionof The Foggy Dew on programme one, with interviews from band players as well. Four episodes in all, so when your are singing the songs from 1916 onwards you’ll learn the history. TG4 is the Irish language Channel with subtitles. Freeview channel 51.

  16. Paul67 et al



    November 9. Certainly a historic day. (Sometimes in a good way)


    EInstein wins Nobel Prize for Physics 1921


    John F Kennedy elected President 1960


    Berlin Wall comes down 1989


    Gravitational waves detected worldwide two days after Celtic defeat Lazio in Rome 2019

  17. prestonpans bhoys on

    Since I’m full of the cold thought I would just put my feet up and read through the SMSM. Good grief they are in full sell buffalo mode since he’s fantastic. Must be a monetary explosion expected at the dark side of the city😱

  18. Of course we have had good results in Italy before, going back to the 1960s, but we weren’t always able to capitalise on them versus the like of AC and Inter Milan. Most of us might have thought that those back to back fixtures against Lazio would prove a difficult barrier to qualifying from our group, and sure enough they were, so to win both games from behind, and with four different goalscorers is right up there. Not to mention going through in the first week of November. Well done Lenny and the Bhoys! It’s all to play for now.

  19. FrannyB 2.24pm



    Obviously your referring to the hosts of the show, totally understandable, I actually like Cosgrove and find him pretty fair .. but see what you mean



    Since I’m full of the cold thought I would just put my feet up and read through the SMSM. Good grief they are in full sell buffalo mode since he’s fantastic. Must be a monetary explosion expected at the dark side of the city😱



    When he scored on Thursday fat Sally said something along the lines of ,you won’t see a better goal scored in Europe this week …it was a good strike from just inside the box ,but there was loads better goals this week and every other week …so yes it’s bum up fredo till he is sold


    Everything he does from now till then must be overstated …wurldbeatersoheis😵

  21. Bankiebhoy 1……………Reading that post is testament to the affect sport can have on our mental state. My family suffered two bereavements in recent times and the results against Lazio twice and Aberdeen were definite positive mood changers for me personally.

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