Hope in our hearts


Zlatan’s talent, as a substitute in both games for Ajax in Champions League qualification duty against Celtic 19 years ago, was blindingly obvious.  It is an incredible achievement that he remains at the top of the game all these years later.  Pity the younger generation of Celtic fans have been robbed of a chance to see one of the modern game’s greats strut his stuff on our hallowed turf in the flesh.

We have faced Milan five times on European Cup/Champions League duties, never in the lesser tournaments.  The away leg of the 1969 quarter-final ended goalless, passing the advantage to Celtic, but the name Prati still makes older fans shiver.  Celtic battered the Milan goal after Prati’s early strike to no avail.  The visitors would go on to win the final comfortably against a still-emerging Ajax, with Prat grabbing a hat-trick.  Back then, this trophy was regarded as one that got away from us.

The next time we met Milan was in 2004 in the San Siro, when we were level until the 89th minute before losing two late goals (some of us were on labour ward duties and missed the action).  The return ended goalless, as did the home leg, when the teams met in the last 16 in 2007 – and the corresponding away leg.  Milan edged the tie in extra time to proceed to the quarter-finals and, again, going on to win the cup.

The teams met later on that year in the group stage, Celtic recording a famous 2-1 win, their only win over reigning European champions.  Milan won their home game with an Inzaghi strike well into the second half, but the narrow defeat was enough for Celtic to progress to the knock-out rounds on the night.

A year on from their Barcelona triumph, Celtic wilted in a daunting 2013 Champions League group against Barca, Milan and Ajax.  A home win over Ajax and five defeats was a muted end to European endeavours in Neil Lennon’s first period charge.

That single win over European champions was followed next time out by a horrendous showing at Fir Park against Gretna, where two goals in the closing five minutes gave Celtic a 1-2 win.  Beating the best, beating Milan, does not always require great domestic form.  Hope in our hearts……

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  1. Is it possible, professional athletes though they are, that the human beings who take the field representing Celtic this season are affected by the intense desire of the support to win the Ten?


    Is The Ten why I am somewhat apathetic re tonight`s game but worried, already about Aberdeen on Sunday?


    Someone said something earlier about it being great to be a Tim. Not right now it isn`t !!


    Hot Smoked…..


    “Greg Taylor is number one in that category but Neil Lennon is challenging strongly”





    Always thought Lenny was a defensive midfielder. In any event he is definitely not fit. :-))



    HOT SMOKED on 22ND OCTOBER 2020 5:11 PM


    Combination of both if true.”



    I have to disagree. Presumably, the Manager is doing what he believes to be right for Celtic.


    Players allowing their dislike of him/his tactics/his selections to lessen their efforts surely cannot be considered to be doing likewise?






    Apparently Neil is not the only one not fit enough !

  5. onenightinlisbon on




    Aye pal…keep the head buried firmly in the sand….

  6. onenightinlisbon on

    HOT SMOKED on 22ND OCTOBER 2020 5:30 PM



    It’s true we are all second guessing the situation, I accept that.



    Maybe the way the manager treats certain players is not to their liking.



    Although it appears that for some on here Lennon can do no wrong…

  7. Paul



    I have my tin hat & armour suit on.



    Hope in your hearts is a fine sentiment – always.


    But I prefer to see fire in the bellies, determination the eyes, unity in the team, clever tactics and passion in our play.



    It’s apposite to point out that you’re asking for the sort of qualities in our supporters & players that were missing in many Celtic players on Saturday.



    In my opinion – who is available & who has Covid are distractions. We are supposed to be a professional football club with the biggest first team squad in Scotland. If a player is in that squad but not good enough or trusted enough to play in this game – it begs the very obvious question – why is he in that squad in the first place?



    As Shakhtar Donetsk proved last night Covid withdrawals are no excuse. They lost 13 first team players who tested positive.


    In fact, Shakhtar have other reasons to justify any failure: their home ground is in a war zone and since 2014 they’ve been forced to play their home games 800 miles away in the city of Lviv near the Polish border: Russians have battered Donetsk & Eastern Ukraine for the last 6 years.



    A rousing, rallying cry is fine & very Braveheart – but I’d rather be inspired by the ability, confidence & preparation of the team & the coaches rather than feeling compelled to be part of engineering a false optimism just so that it might feel like a competitive game.



    I will be slaughtered in many quarters for that comment, but once you cross the line from being relaxed about how the club is run to seeing how badly it is run – you can’t un-see that & so that comment is logical & predictable.


    For years I’ve been a happyclapper or whatever the new term is for my previous position, & from that place I used to defend almost every aspect of the club against those who saw it differently. Now I understand what they meant.



    I even debated as to whether to wait until after the game tonight before posting this. If we lose I’d be a post defeat whinger who only shows up when we get beaten. If we win I’d be ridiculed even more for not being a true believer.


    We may get a result tonight & if so I’ll be delighted for players, supporters & particularly for Neil Lennon.


    Unlike in my previous stance though, I will not have any optimism that our fortunes are starting to turn for the better. Winning one off games is for wee teams playing against the big teams – so they can have their day. I don’t want us just to have our day & then return to a normality that resembles Saturday.


    We, both club & supporters, deserve better than that.



    I hope we win for all the usual reasons.


    I hope we play well even if we lose or draw.


    I hope that the players find personal qualities in this game that were missing on Saturday.


    I hope Neil Lennon is smiling & proud in his post match media interviews.


    I have hope in my heart but being so emotionally invested in a dysfunctional organisation is not good for the heart in the longer run.


    As always



  8. Morelos being an absolute asshole in Belgium. Just booted the ball at a Liege player after Sevco pulled up for a foul. Now they have a penalty.

  9. prestonpans bhoys on



    Sevco one up.



    Think that was the second time they have been in the penalty box. They do carry the rub of the green in this competition, no pun intended

  10. Big Jimmy, what’s it called?



    Inverclyde. 👍



    Just recognised as the worst place in Scotland to live. 🙄



    That generation of wimmin are currently tripping over their ‘Jugs’.👀

  11. Today’s starting line up v Milan ……



    Barkas; Welsh, Duffy, Ajer, Frimpong, Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Laxalt, Griffith, Ajeti



    Subs: Bain, Hazard, Taylor, Soro, Turnbull, Rogic, Christie, Ntcham, Klimala, Dembele, Henderson

  12. Subs: Bain, Hazard, Taylor, Soro, Turnbull, Rogic, Christie, Elyounoussi, Klimala, Dembele, Henderson

  13. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Quite amazing.



    2 strikers not fit enough to start on Saturday are good to go a few days later!!

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