20th April – If you know your history

50 years ago … 1972 and it’s the dreaded morning after…the night before..

And I’ll tell you this Bhoys… is it European Semi-Finals ye want???… I’ll gie ye Semi-Finals..

Proper European Semi- Finals…

1972-04-19: Celtic 0-0 Inter Milan, European Cup Semi-Final

Semi-finals, second leg (0-0 agg, Celtic lose 5-4 on penalties)

After 210 minutes of stalemate Celtic become one of the first sides to lose a penalty shoot out in the European Cup.

Celts lose dramatically by 5-4 on penalties.

They miss out on the chance to play Cruyff’s Ajax in the final in Belgrade where Inter Milan lost 2-0.

All ticket match. 75,000 turn out at Parkhead and 80,000 turn out at Ibrox for Rangers v Bayern in the ECWC on the same night winning 2-0 and 3-1 on aggregate to take them to the final in Barcelona.

Match was shown live on the BBC whilst STV showed Rangers v Bayern. The cameras missed Celtic’s final penalty by Murdoch and viewers thought the score was 5-3 on penalties.

On the following night Celtic defeated Clyde 2-1 in a Reserve League match at Shawfield. The Celtic team was Neilsen, J. Davidson, Quinn, McLaughlin, Watt, Brogan, Hancock, Franchetti, Mitchell, White, O’Hara. Sub Newman. The Celtic scorer was Mitchell with two goals.


Heart-breaking stuff for Celtic. It just wasn’t to be a wonderful repeat of that magnficent day back in 1967.

Celtic went close on several occasions but could not break the Italians despite the advantage of playing at home.

So it went to penalties and after 210 minutes of no goals (a perfect set of Italian football games some would say).

Inter won the toss at the shoot out and went first. Although Deans missed, Johnstone, Craig, McCluskey and Murdoch alls scored, and we were out on a single miss by a player who was ever-reliable. It just happens.

Evan Williams got a hand to Inter’s second kick but couldn’t keep it out.

Head held high though, and still a lot to respect the team & manager for everything.


“By that time we were a lot more experienced but we should have won the game at Celtic Park as we had a few close-calls and I had a couple of attempts myself. “I also took the second penalty after Dixie missed his. The funny thing was that the day before the game, down at Seamill, every single thing that Dixie hit ended up in the back of the net.
“He was firing them away in fine style, but it just wasn’t to be on the night.
“It just showed you how evenly matched both side were as after 90 minutes in the San Siro and 120 minutes at Celtic Park, there were still no goals.”
(Jim Craig 2014)


Celtic: Williams, Craig, McCluskey, Murdoch, McNeill, Connolly, Johnstone, Dalglish ( Deans), Macari, Callaghan, Lennox. subs: Connaghan & Quinn

Inter Milan:
Vieri; Bellugi, Facchetti; Oriali, Giubertoni, Burgnich, Jair, Bedin, Bertini, Mazzola, Frustalupi. Sub: Pellizzaro.

Referee: Rudi Glockner (East Germany).
Attendance: 75,000

The Glasgow Herald Thursday April 20 1972

Disappointing European defeat for Celtic on penalty kicks

By Raymond Jacobs

Sadly, undeservedly, and by the most bitter of means Celtic are out of the European Cup. Having fought a war of attrition for 210 minutes of football in which neither side could pierce the other’s defence, Inter-Milan went through to the final when at Parkhead last night they scored five penalty kicks to Celtic’s four.

When the teams had proved that they were unable to break the deadlock of their semi-final tie, even after 30 minutes of extra time, the two goalkeepers, Williams and Vieri, had to go like men to the scaffold to their lonely duty at the east goal.

Mazzola scored easily, then it was the turn of Deans, an awe­some responsibility for a player without any previous experience of the tensions at this level of the game, let alone a sudden-death situation. He hit his shot slightly and did not get over the ball which flew well over the crossbar leaving him an inconsolable figure.

Williams got to Facchetti’s effort, only the second time all night he had had to face a direct shot, but could not stop it. Then in turn Craig, Frustalupi, Johnstone, Pellizzaro and McCluskey made no mistake and when Jair also scored the agony was over.

As the rules demand, and while Inter’s players were hugging one another in their joy at achieving their eccentric victory, Murdoch came up to complete the formalities for Celtic. He too scored but by then of course Deans’s miss had proved fatal.

As anyone must agree such a method of deciding so important a contest is patently unsatisfactory. And the irony of Inter’s victory is compounded by the fact that in an earlier round they had a 7-1 defeat cancelled because a spectator threw a can at one of their players. Altogether then it must have been a bitter disappointment for Celtic. They made all the running, inspired by the abundant skills of Murdoch, who cannot have played a more commanding game. But in the end Inter, the masters of defensive football, thwarted them.

Johnstone was disappointing, always under the thumb of Oriali, the best of an Italian rearguard whose interceptions and interventions gradually wore Celtic down in this grim battle. Lennox, Dalglish, Deans and Macari were hardly ever given room in which to move.


McCluskey, though beaten for speed when Jair broke, showed a fine and promising maturity alongside McNeill and Connelly, but Inter hardly showed in attack — indeed in the end they had no need to with that tight-fisted defence behind them, and as it turned out one accurate penalty kicker more than Celtic.

For Celtic the first half was a complete frustration. They put on the tremendous and constant pressure that was expected of them and on innumerable occasions Inter’s goal enjoyed hairsbreadth escapes.

The danger came mainly from Celtic’s right side. Johnstone moved to the left wing, taking Oriali with him and with Facchetti always shadowing Lennox the space thus left was thoroughly exploited by Murdoch and Craig. Murdoch was at the heart of almost every move Celtic made and the packed house was in full throat as Celtic swept imperiously forward, hammering at Inter’s door and doing everything but burst it open. They moved impressively, always excitingly, and sometimes brilliantly.

But somehow Inter, not always scrupulous in the way they defended, held out with a packed defence and Celtic were thwarted time and again.

Forty minutes had gone before Williams’s goal was in any danger. Mazzola broke through and was forced by Connelly to shoot wide.

Constant siege

Vieri was, by contrast, under almost constant siege Twice Johnstone nearly caught Inter’s defence unawares, one of Craig’s several shots brought out a fingertip save from the goalkeeper, and Callaghan, given a clear sight of goal by a Macari flick, could not control the bail sufficiently to take steady aim.

Inter’s anxiety was twice reflected in displays of temperament. Mazzola, their captain, might have had his name taken for protesting at a decision of the referee, who turned out to be annoyingly finicky. Just before half-time Bellugi was cautioned for a harsh foul on Macari.

At the start of the second half, when Connelly burst through for the first time Burgnich almost put through his own goal, the ball bouncing off the crossbar. But after that Celtic lost the impetus that had carried them so close so many times before and against the man-to-man marking of Inter the rhythm left their game.

All this time Williams had not had a solitary save to make but only Murdoch, probing for gaps in Inter’s dense defence, was able to find space and time to move.

With just under half an hour left Deans came on for Dalglish and had been in his first European match only a matter of minutes before the referee cautioned him for fouling Oriali.

The Italians, still holding out, brought on Pellizzaro for Bertini but inexorably the game moved towards the tensions of extra-time and on the unsatisfactory business of penalty kicks.

The Scotsman Thursday 20 April 1972

Deans misses—out they go

Celtic 0, Inter Milan 0 (after extra time)

(Inter won 5-4 on penalties)

By John Rafferty

Celtic missed the final of the European Cup in the most frustrating and irritating way. Inter Milan prevented them from scoring in 120 minutes play then beat them on penalty kicks. The Italians scored all five but Dixie Deans missed the first of Celtic’s penalties. What was hardest to bear was that not until the grim ritual of penalties was Evan Williams called on to make a save.

Throughout it had been the classic contest, attackers v defenders and unfortunately for Celtic, the defenders were the greatest in Europe. Celtic made half chances but missed them in the shrinking space. They made one clear chance, but Callaghan missed. And then the rules made five clear chances for Inter and they took them all.

Celtic plans had not worked out. Murdoch was a magnificent player, a master in midfield, authoritative, inventive, inspiring, and that was a fine start for Celtic. But Johnstone was forced out of the game, and in that, Celtic’s defence opener was blunted. A hard little man, Oriali, trailed him all over the field and hardly let him see the ball.

Macari, Lennox and Callaghan went at that formidable defence, persistently and courageously; but it would have taken Johnstone at his best to pull them out of their well-practised formation.

Facchetti marshalled, them with dignity, and the sturdy Burgnich, the free man, cleared up the loose trouble. Celtic were forced into going at them in the air, but they were as authoritative there as was McNeil at the other end.

The 90 minutes were played with Williams a spectator. And then they went into extra time and that was grim. Celtic still attacked, but there had to be a safe edge to their every move. One goal was going to settle it, and they all knew that. Even the crowd was hushed. The time for encouragement was past. Pray­ing was in order.

And then came the penalties. Stein was on making, the arrangements, and then protesting as, typically the Italians, took overlong over refreshments. Mazzola took the first, and scored, Deans had Celtic’s first, but sent the ball high and his own heart low, and he seemed to break down. Williams got his hands to Facchetti’s kick, but could not stop it and that was the nearest he went to retrieving Deans’s miss.

Craig, Johnstone, McCluskey and Murdoch all scored; but the Italians gave nothing away. And so despite the magnifi­cence of Murdoch, Celtic failed to meet the task set them. These clubs might have played for a week and never scored. Celtic, because they had no finishing power; Inter, because they had only a defence and Mazzola.

It is strange that Inter should go to the final. They had a 7-1 defeat by Munchen Gladbach cancelled because of the infamous can incident. Now they have won the semi-final without scoring in 210 minutes. Celtic in the first 15 minutes were swarming like excited ants in the Inter penalty area. It was as spectacular and impressive as anything they have ever produced. Then in one furious minute Dalglish had a header saved, Johnstone hooked over the bar from close in and Craig had another solid shot beaten down.

Celtics rush at the start of the second half had Inter’s defence in confusion. Burgnich, trying to clear up the mess, headed past his own goal­keeper; but the hall struck the bar.

All Celtic had done was wear down these Milan players; and in the 51st minute, Stein made his move to tweak the, pattern he took off Dalglish and sent in Deans to work beside the courageous Macari. Celtic needed a goal desperately, as these supreme defenders looked like holding out for ever.

Inter sent on Pellizzaro for Bertini, and Deans was mysteriously booked. The referee seemed to have been taken in by some Italian play-acting. And so they went in to the tense last quarter of an hour. The crowd cheered and sang, and willed Celtic to score; but these superb defenders were not impressed.

In other news …

Postscript to Bawheid’s excellent item on mighty Armando Picchi last week

Internazionale fielded a team that included only 3 survivors from that famous night in Lisbon 1967: Facchetti, Burgnich & Mazzola.

Celts still had 5 Lions: Craig, McNeill, Murdoch, Johnstone & Lennox.

General stuff:

1862 First pasteurization test completed by Frenchmen Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard

1920 Balfour Declaration recognised, makes Palestine a British Mandate

1968 British politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial “Rivers of Blood” speech

1976 Shay Given, Irish footballer, born in Lifford, County Donegal, Ireland

2021 Leslie McKeown, Scottish pop vocalist (Bay City Rollers – “Saturday Night”), dies at 65

Note: The excellent Celtic Wiki site is the font of all knowledge on things Celtic. Most of the Celtic stuff above is from that site. The guys who set it up and painstakingly keep it updated, deserve no end of credit, praise and thanks. A treasure trove for Celtic fans young and old – and new- and free to view.

Respect Bhoys !


Guest article by Saltires en Seville. Change the record by sending an article to sentinelcelts@gmail.com

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April 20, 2022 11:27 pm

ASWGL, Love the picture of CP in the new background. I wish the board would knock down the old main stand and complete the stadium properly. It might mean that the crowd is not ‘maxed out’ for all run of the mill games but there are plenty of other big days & nights when it would be a sight to behold! 🙂

April 20, 2022 11:34 pm

Cheers Jim, thought I had better change it before I go away this weekend, off to Wales for a weeks fly fishing 🎣


April 20, 2022 11:37 pm

Enjoy yourself pal! 🙂

April 20, 2022 11:49 pm

Great background picture.

April 20, 2022 11:49 pm

ASWGL Enjoy Wales
Hope you get some fly drinking in as well

April 20, 2022 11:52 pm

Thanks all, goodnight 👍

April 21, 2022 5:49 am