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Nothing would ever be the same again

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Boavista v Celtic, 24 April 2003, was one of the most frustrating games of football I’ve sat through.  Needing to score, for 78 minutes Celtic were moribund; they made not a single attempt on goal.  Instead, they did what most teams do away from home, condensed midfield and defended, while Boavista, who would qualify for the Uefa Cup final if the game ended goalless, did much the same.

The goal appeared to take place in slow motion.  Henrik Larsson moved forward to the end of the D and tried to pass to John Hartson, but a defender intercepted.  Unfortunately for Boavista the ball was returned from the interception to an unmarked Larsson on the edge of the box.

It spun from his preferred right foot onto his left but the shot gently arced inches away from the goalkeeper’s grasp.  The goal was a deflection, although we didn’t see it at the time.  The keeper was moving his weight from right to left as the ball drifted to his left.

It may have been a turgid game of football decided by a deflection but it was also one of the most intense sporting occasions in our 125 year history.  The sheer release of tension when the goal went in was incredible.  15 minutes, and one generous refereeing decision later, Celtic were in a European final.

Since then we have become accustomed to our position as a credible European team but it was very different in season 2002-03.  This was the first Christmas Celtic were in Europe since 1979; each milestone along the way, Blackburn Rovers (a far more credible team at the time), Celta Vigo, Stuttgart and Liverpool, was celebrated with something close to astonishment.

The triumphs of this season, qualifying for the Champions League group stage instead of losing to Basel, then progressing to the knock out rounds, are greater than the achievements of April 2003, but they will never feel that way.  That game, that season, trophy-less though it was, changed our entire landscape.  Nothing would ever be the same again.
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  1. .

     

     

    Summa of Sammi….

     

    13:20 on

     

    24 April, 2013

     

    .

     

     

    BlantyreTim..

     

     

    Me and WeeFra are coming to Visit You..But You might No see Us..:O)

     

     

    Summa of InvisibilityCloaksCSC

  2. Auldheid

     

    13:23 on

     

    24 April, 2013

     

    blantyretim

     

    13:20 on

     

    24 April, 2013

     

    Talking about gary cooper film 4 now showing the yangtse incident

     

    ==================

     

    Did it start at noon? High noon in High Blantyre of course. Offootnoo

  3. Logged on and with my old eyes looked like 0 comments, was actually 6. Serves me right for being a shameless pod chaser. Ain’t that right S.O.A.L.

     

     

    Should’vegonetospecsaverscsc

  4. kevinlasvegas on

    after amusing there should have been a ? make up your own minds gentlemen.

     

     

    KLV

  5. Barold Hatchback MBE‏@Sir_Bartin5m

     

    When’s the annual Shyster Drinks From The Loving Cup ceremony due?

     

     

    Till later all

     

    Asda calls :((

  6. Auldheid from last article if the disused railways were brought into service as a circle like the West End then the East End would be a lot more attractive. There’s enough space to have 2 circuits and therefore a 24/7 service.

  7. prestonpans bhoys on

    Ntassoolla

     

     

     

    13:35 on 24 April, 2013

     

     

    True, I was there in Spain beat 3-0 by Madrid…………..

  8. Paul67 and others – what was the generous refereeing decision towards the end of the Boavista game?

     

     

    WatchingBehindTheCouch CSC

  9. ntassoola- From previous- got the shares in 2006, currently worth around £2.5k.

     

     

    (Will be offline for a few hours, will get your advice later. Thanks in anticipation!)

  10. South Of Tunis on

    Boavista.

     

     

    A dreadful game . . Seriously stressful .

     

     

    Boavista missed a sitter @ the 60 minute mark and yes ,Paul 67 — ” one generous refereeing decision later “.

     

     

    Fine margins——

  11. Remember it all so well Paul.

     

    A tough season with no tropthies as you say, but oddly one I remember fondly due to the Seville memories!

     

     

    HH

     

    /Bishop B

  12. 16 roads - Neil Lennon walks on water. on

    It would be nice to win the EC/CL once again,but it’s not real football anymore,it’s ruined by greed and corruption.I am more than happy with the CFC,debt free & don’t have to answer to any runt.

  13. PeteTheBeat, Didier Agathe put out a leg to stop a ball inside the Celtic box, missed the ball but caught the player.

     

     

    South Of Tunis, aye, indeed.

     

     

    Len Brennan, too true.

  14. Blantyretim,

     

    Don’t know if you saw my post at tail end of last article,but I am in Clydebank tomorrow if you were needing anything dropped in

  15. Estadio Nacional on

    What ever happened to the Seville money?

     

     

     

    Steinreignedsupreme 12:17

     

     

    Agree Stokes made things more fluid and much more enjoyable to watch, almost No.10ish, a No.9.5 or sumfin, made it seem like there was a creative footballing plan.

     

     

    Its good to score from set peices, it wasnt that long ago we really struggled for goals from them and lack of goals from players other than the strikers. Hopefully next season should see a better balance and more creative football.

     

     

     

    EN

  16. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Paul67 –

     

     

    What a wonderful feeling when that goal was scored. A night of utter torment flew out of the window in that slow-motion incident.

     

     

    Boavista were so negative, you just knew there was no way back for them – game plan out of the window.

     

     

    I’ll always remember Chris Sutton during the goal celebration saying: “Won. Won. Won. Won.”

  17. Ntassoolla

     

    13:35

     

     

    But the Christmas was Christmas 1979. We made it past Christmas 1979 by virtue of knocking out Dundalk on November 7, 1979.

  18. tommysbhoy

     

     

    Thanks mate. Just my daily ramblings.

     

     

    Auldheid

     

     

    We have had almost a blank canvas to work with since Fergus arrived.

     

     

    LB

  19. What was the generous refereeing decision in the Boavista game? In all the gut-wrenching tension I barely tok my eyes off the clock to register what was going on!

     

     

    We watched it in a mate’s flat and then all headed out to Finnegan’s Wake (now Failte) for a jar or two followed by an impromptu kick-about on the ash pitch in Thornwood Terrace at 1am with each one of us taking it in turns to recreate the goal. We must have been very popular with the locals that night – and only a stones throw from Partick police station as well!

     

     

    And to think we were cheated out of the league and league cup that year by a team who didn’t feel like paying its taxes. Karma’s a bitch ain’t she!

     

     

    Craiginho

  20. Superb memory Paul, watched it in O’henrys in Glasgow, when Henrik scored place erupted and the tellies all went off , it felt like an eternity for them to come back on and see the score was 1-0 cue more celebrations. The build up from then to Seville was unbelievable superb memories.

  21. Cheers Paul67, its amazing how everything about the game apart from the goal and Bobo heading everything out of our penalty area for the next 10 minutes has been forgotten.

     

     

    Craiginho

  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Boavista are struggling, after major financial meltdown they are now in the Portuguese third division.

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