Five most memorable Celtic Champions League moments

Tony Watt celebrates after scoring that famous goal against Barcelona. Picture: SNS
Tony Watt celebrates after scoring that famous goal against Barcelona. Picture: SNS
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As Celtic get set to embark on another Champions League campaign, we look back at the most memorable moments from previous seasons.

Please note, this only includes matches since the competition was re-branded to the Champions League from the previous European Cup format. In case you were wondering why a certain match from 1967 didn’t make the list.

Martin O’Neill’s epic post game rant after Juventus defeat

The Celtic boss was fuming, and rightly so. The visiting side had been robbed of a well earned point away in Turin by a very soft penalty in the 88th minute. Nicola Amoruso, who won the spot-kick, took the penalty himself and consigned Celtic to a 3-2 defeat. O’Neill, having been sent to the stands for his protests, vented for all to see in front of the TV cameras in his post-match interview. You could almost literally see the steam emanating from his ears.

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Artur Boruc saves Louis Saha’s penalty

There have been few crowd reactions in the history of Celtic Park - or football in general, really - that matched the sheer volume created by the Celtic fans when Boruc saved Saha’s late penalty, preserving the home side’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United. A wall of sound that Phil Spector would be proud of.

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Dida ‘suffers’ delayed assault

Milan’s Brazilian goalkeeper managed to achieve a feat few thought possible. He made himself the villain despite an opposing fan instigating physical contact with him on the field of play. After Scott McDonald had scored the only goal of the game to give Celtic a 1-0 win, a member of the Parkhead support ran on to the park and, prior to heading past Dida, gave the keeper a light slap on the cheek. Dida, annoyed already at having lost a goal, initially decided to chase after the perpetrator, only to rationalise that Milan’s best chance of saving something from the match was if their hosts were hammered by the game’s governing body for supporter disturbance. So he collapsed to the ground. He remained so committed to the act that he was actually stretchered off - because light slaps can induce temporary paralysis, apparently - with an ice pack stuck to his, presumably beaming, face. The cunning strategy may have worked were it not for the pesky invention of TV cameras several decades beforehand. Unfortunately for Dida, one of them was focused right on the stopper at the moment of contact and he was hammered by Uefa with a two-match ban.

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Finally, an away win

Discounting matches in qualifying, Celtic have played 27 away games in the Champions League, both in the group stages and knockout rounds, and have won exactly once. Winning in the Champions League is very hard, so is winning away from home. But still, once? They were 0-20 when they finally earned themselves three points on their travels, winning a highly entertaining encounter with Spartak Moscow thanks to an injury time goal from Georgios Samaras.

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Tony Watt scores against Barcelona

There are exactly 90 days between now and when Celtic host Barcelona in the Champions League. Therefore, you’re going to hear the words “Tony Watt” approximately... 3472 times. So we shall not dwell on this too much. However, there is no doubting it was a iconic moment and one that will live on the memory for decades to come. Unless it’s dwarfed by Patrick Roberts scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory, or something along those lines.

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