Remembering Celtic’s Last UEFA Champions League Victory


ON match day two of Celtic’s 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign, it looked as though the Hoops would finally end one of European football’s longest barren spells. In their tussle against Serie A runners-up Lazio at Parkhead, the hosts were the better side for long spells. In the end, though, a familiar heartache reared its head once more.

All was well on the green half of Glasgow when Kyogo Furuhashi gave the hosts a deserved lead. Even when Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino bundled home an equaliser, the home team still kept faith that their side would find a winner. Those hopes evaporated in the 95th minute when former Barcelona winger Pedro nodded home a last-gasp winner to send the visiting Italians into raptures.

The State of the Champions League This Season

It was never going to be an easy ask for the Scottish champions, just as it never is at this elite level. The continent’s finest teams are all battling it out for supremacy and as such, Celtic were never going to be considered as one of the favourites to progress from their group, never mind winning the tournament itself. That is an honour that goes to the English champions, Manchester City.

Not only have the odds on the English Premier League made Pep Guardiola’s Blues the 4/7 favourites in that competition, but also the 21/10 favourites to lift the Champions League for the second consecutive season, as of 10th October. They have been joined by the likes of Bayern Munich (9/2), Real Madrid (7/1) and perhaps surprisingly, Arsenal (17/2).

Following their second consecutive defeat, Celtic are now 500/1 outsiders, and no team in the competition has longer odds than Scotland’s finest. In fact, they’re mighty 11/1 outsiders just to progress from Group E.

Once again though, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Especially considering Celtic’s last win in the competition came over six years ago.

Anderlecht 0-3 Celtic

Heading into the 2017/18 season, the Hoops were riding the crest of a wave. They had reached the Champions League group stages in three of the previous five seasons. With Brendan Rodgers at the helm, the club was in the process of wrapping up its seventh straight Scottish top-flight crown as well as an unprecedented double treble.

As such, expectations were high when they would once again dine at the most elite dinner table in European football. But those expectations were dashed when they were drawn alongside perennial winners Bayern Munich and a Paris Saint-Germain side that had recently brought in Brazilian sensation Neymar.

The third of Celtic’s opponents that year were Anderlecht, and the Belgian side represented a real opportunity for a Celtic victory and at least a spot in the Europa League knockout stages in the new year. And that is exactly what came to pass.

The pair squared off in Brussels on match day two, and it was the visitors who asserted their dominance. Goals from Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and a 93rd-minute strike from Scott Sinclair ensured that Celtic ran out convincing 3-0 winners.

Although they would lose the reverse fixture at Parkhead, they would still secure third place in the group and a spot in the Europa League. They’ll be hoping to do the same this season with hopes of a top-two finish all but extinguished already.


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