One of the most famous quotes in history as a heading for an article? What was wrong with-“We came,we saw,we kicked (its) ass!” It was good enough for Ghostbusters,after all…
Another great line is-“What did the Romans ever do for us?” Well,I can now answer that. They gave us a night to remember. Of course,as one of the great cities in the world,one or two others will have had a night to remember before we did,but it probably wasn’t shown on BT Sport,with Chris Sutton screaming -F…..g beauty!!!! at the end of it.
Few gave us a cat in hell’s chance of getting anything from this before the game. We got lucky in Glasgow,we insulted their padrone,we were going to pay for it. We were going to get a beating,both on and off the pitch. That was how it looked on Wednesday night at an Irish bar in the city when a group of our fans were set upon by a gang of masked and armed thugs. And that was how it looked when we went a goal down after only seven minutes. In both cases,we struck back despite being clearly outgunned. In both cases,we had them on the run.
We started the game with
Elhamed Jullien Ajer
Forrest McGregor Brown Christie Elyounoussi
Yep,that’s right. An unusual if not untried three at the back formation,in an away tie against the team lying fourth in Serie A. It took us a while to get used to too,with Jonny Hayes particularly looking unsure of his defined role. And it didn’t take long for Lazio to take advantage. We failed to clear a corner,the ball was swung back in and found an unmarked-a criminal offence in itself against a player of this class-Immobile to slot in low to Forster’s right. It was a stunning finish if I’m honest,and we certainly looked stunned as Lazio swarmed all over us. It was an excellent,open game,with nearly as many corners as there were free kicks,and could be used as a tutorial for referees. Certainly in our neck of the woods. But for all the possession and pressure by Lazio,we were holding them at bay,keeping them to that one goal lead. And slowly getting back into it.
And with only five minutes left till half time,we did just that! A beautifully weighted pass from central inside the Lazio defensive line. Mo to Jamesy. The Prestwick Pele took a touch to steady and aim,then-fire! Arrowed across goal and into the top of the far corner!
Peach of a pass and a peach of a finish. And just in time for the half time oranges too…
Normal service was resumed in the second half,with Lazio dominating the possession and the pressure,but yet we had three decent chances in the first ten minutes,with Eddy and CalMac shots and then the best of the three,a Christopher Jullien header. From a corner too-have I said that our corners are getting better? Then it was Lazio’s turn to have a go for the next twenty minutes or so,and we once again had Forster to thank for some excellent stopping. Even if coming for crosses is something he needs to look at,ffs big fella you don’t even need to jump!!! So under the cosh again,until Mo played in another blinding pass behind the defence-he’s worth buying for that skill alone,Peter!-and Eddy ran in on his favoured left side to open his body and play it across the keeper with his right foot,far post. He does it so often,you could hear the sound of piggy banks getting raided for the in-play betting. Maybe even the odd collection plate,if Il Papa was watching in his new jersey.
This time he curled it fractionally wide. It’s been a frustrating little period for him,what with keepers on top form,near misses,Jamesy not passing to him when he’s in a better position. Etc. Panic not,the boy is the bollocks,and he knows it too. His recent goal return doesn’t reflect his performances,nowhere near it. So not a concern. He then had another shot at goal,a free kick which was a bit loose and high by his standards. Did his head go down? What do you think?
It was end to end stuff now,with both keepers doing well to keep the score level as we entered the last ten minutes. Fraser had two excellent saves but the Lazio keeper was matching him all the way. Until we entered a five minute where the f..k did you get that from ref period of added time,with Lazio regaining the ascendancy. But for all that their keeper was excellent,for all the reputation of Italian defences down the years,it was an absolute schoolboy error that played us in. Fannying about at the back as they tried to get it forward but finding their options blocked by our press,their centre half passed it straight to Eddy about forty yards or so out. He,Mo and recent sub addition Ollie burst forward and this time the mortgage money was going on in-play.
I Wanna simply made no mistake. Drew the outnumbered Lazio defence towards him before sliding it to his right for the waiting Ntcham. Ollie coolly took his time to autograph the ball and tie his shoelaces before slotting it into the net,despite a valiant effort by the keeper who truly can count himself unlucky to be on the losing team on the night. A MOTM contender,along with Immobile.
There was barely time to restart the game before the referee,another MOTM contender and there’s a first for me,signalled the end of the match and the start of the celebrations.
We have now qualified again for Europe after Christmas,and it could be said that Ollie paid his fee with that goal,so owes us nothing. Hopefully it makes him realise that he is at a special club. He knows and we know that he is a special player,so he is already at the right club to prove that. We provide the stage,you provide the performances. How’s that for a deal? Yer in? Brilliant!
I don’t normally praise opponents in these articles and if I do it is usually somewhat grudging,but I thought Lazio gave us two great games and two great performances without much attempt at the dark arts. Genuinely,teams like this I would love to play every week. Maybe it was the strong refereeing in both ties,I dunno,but credit where it is due. They were worthy-and a tad unfortunate-opponents. I hope they win their next two ties and that we can do them a favour in Romania. One thing is for certain,they deserve better fans than some of the ones they have. And Immobile is one helluva player!
But last night was all about us in the end up. We won,they didnae. We qualified,they didnae. And it was certainly,for all of us watching at home and also for MARSPAPA and his daughter watching in the stadium and celebrating his 60th birthday with around 9000 others,a night to remember. I could give you a link to a kitsch 80s choon,but instead I’ll give you my MOTM
It wasn’t Fraser,despite his heroics again. Two of his saves in particular could have made the award his. It wasn’t Eddy,despite being Eddy all night and playing that pass at the end.
It IS Celtic. Another win as a team night,especially after such a nervy start. Everyone settled down,played their game,played their part. On a night for heroes,we had fourteen of them.
Above article by BMCUWP. Sorry it took so long,but what a match to review! If you fancy a go,pop us a line at
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