Last night my brother reminded me of a comment he made after the 0-0 against Benfica on match day one of the Champions League, “I hope we’re not sitting with one point after five games”. Expectations can be as high as you like, but reality based on experience at that stage suggested Celtic would struggle to have more than a single point at this stage of the tournament.
A solitary point away from home in our Champions League history would lead the harsh realists to expect our trips to Lisbon, Barcelona and Moscow would be fruitless, leaving the enormous matter of tackling Barcelona at Celtic Park.
Two of those away games resulted in defeat, and we were behind in Moscow before one of the most significant fight-backs in modern Celtic history. It’s difficult to find perspective for the win over Barcelona. Suffice to say, they won 0-2 in Lisbon and 0-3 in Moscow. Celtic’s 2-1 remains the most astonishing result of this season’s Champions League.
Manchester City’s failure to qualify for the knock out stage, with their seemingly limitless budget, tells the story of how difficult this tournament is. England’s other mega-wealthy club, reigning European champions Chelsea, sacked their manager this week as the expectation they are likely to be eliminated at this stage dawned.
Beating Spartak and qualifying for the knockout stage will be suitable reward for a remarkable team.
The very first CQN Annual is NOW in stock and shipping order yours here! P.S. it’s great.
In case you missed the story, check out the Celtic Trust’s ‘Stand up for the Green Brigade‘ call on the 12th minute on Saturday. Full details on the Trust’s site.
P.P.S. Stand up for the Green Brigade.[calameo code=0003901717b03ef5e64cb lang=en page=100 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]