Celtic ... the 50 most memorable matches (45-41)


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Ronnie Simpson leads the Lisbon Lions as they march out for the last time together. #SportTimestop50
Ronnie Simpson leads the Lisbon Lions as they march out for the last time together. #SportTimestop50

Game: Celtic v Atletico Madrid.

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 1974.

Competition: European Cup.

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 70,000.

Result: Celtic 0 Atletico Madrid 0.

Football was shamed by the brutal antics of the Spanish side in the semi-final.

They were managed by Argentinian, Juan Carlos Lorenzo, infamous for his part in his country's shocking behaviour when he sent them out to face England in the 1966 World Cup.

Lorenzo made his intentions clear with his line-up, minus several regulars and packed with players drafted in to stop Celtic at all costs.

Jimmy Johnstone was the main target, and was kicked up in the air on several occasions. Turkish referee, Dogan Babacan, booked seven and sent off three Atletico players - Ayala, Diaz and Quique - while also cautioning three Celts. Despite their numerical advantage, Celtic could not score.

When they got to Madrid for the second leg - a tie played under protest - the 'real' Atletico side was awaiting them and went through to the final with late goals from Garate and Adelardo.


Game: Celtic v Hibernian.

Date: Saturday, May 6, 1972.

Competition: Scottish Cup final.

Venue: Hampden Park.

Attendance: 106,102.

Result: Celtic 6 Hibernian 1.

Not quite another Hampden In The Sun, but this one came mightily close as the Hoops demolished Hibs to equal the record for the biggest Scottish Cup final win.

Dixie Deans - so often the scourge of the Easter Road side - grabbed his now-customary hat-trick, although it was Billy McNeill who set Celtic on their way with the opener after just two minutes.

Hibs' only respite had been Alan Gordon's equaliser after 12 minutes, but then the roof caved in as Deans got going.

A late double from Lou Macari completed the rout.


Game: Celtic v Inter Milan.

Date: Wednesday, April 19, 1972.

Competition: European Cup.

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 75,000.

Result: Celtic 0 Inter Milan 0.

This entry could quite as easily have been the first leg of this semi-final, which also ended goalless.

But, the real drama was reserved for the home leg, which went to extra-time with the teams still inseparable and neither goalkeeper beaten.

The quest for what would have been Celtic's third European Cup final in six years went all the way to spot-kicks, but was to end in tears.

After Mazzola had scored with Inter's first, Dixie Deans sent his effort high over the crossbar.

He could only look on in agony as every other penalty found the net. Jim Craig, Jimmy Johnstone, Pat McCluskey and Bobby Murdoch - despite the fact Inter were already through - all converted, and Deans was inconsolable as the Italians danced with delight.


Game: Celtic v Racing Club.

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 1967.

Competition: World Club Championship.

Venue: Hampden Park.

Attendance: 90,000.

Result: Celtic 1 Racing Club 0.

The calm before the storm - and what a storm.

Jock Stein's European Cup winners had qualified to play South American champions, Racing Club of Argentina, in a two-leg affair.

The first game at Hampden was a case of attackers v defenders as Racing Club sat back and indulged in all manner of dirty tricks in pursuit of a draw.

It took until 69 minutes for Billy McNeill to get his head to a John Hughes corner and give the Hoops the win they so deserved.

But it was only a prelude to madness in Buenos Aires where Ronnie Simpson was injured by a missile before the game which Celtic lost 2-1.

The play-off in Montevideo was even more anarchic as six players were sent off and the police intervened twice before Racing Club were declared winners by one goal to nil.


Game: Celtic v Clyde.

Date: Saturday, May 1, 1971.

Competition: First Division.

Venue: Celtic Park.

Attendance: 35,000.

Result: Celtic 6, Clyde 1.

This game was special for two emotional reasons.

It was the final time the Lisbon Lions walked on to the pitch together, although Ronnie Simpson's shoulder injury meant he could last no longer than the centre-circle salute to the crowd before he was replaced by Evan Williams.

It was also Bertie Auld's final game for the club before he moved to Hibs five days later on a free.

His team-mates chaired him off the pitch after the Hoops had won courtesy of a Bobby Lennox hat-trick, a brace from Willie Wallace, and one from Stevie Chalmers.

With 40-year-old Simpson retiring and John Clark leaving to join Morton the following month, it truly was the end of an era.


Now it's your turn to let us know what you think about Celtic's 50 most memorable matches. Get in touch with us via email at sport@eveningtimes.co.uk and have your say on the Hoops' biggest games.


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