IT took just a fleeting glimpse for Celtic Park’s rumble to simmer.

Two screens anchored to the roofs of the Jock Stein and Lisbon Lions stand mirrored each other at opposite ends of a packed stadium, the 60,000 odd people below glancing upwards. A Champions League flag had not yet fluttered, but the heart of the man beamed up on the giant tellies surely did.

Standing at the back of the tunnel, a green and white jersey across his chest, an arm band over his shoulder and a wired look emblazoned on his coupon, Scott Brown was ready to carry out a duty he knows only too well. The Champions League badge on his opposite shoulder has been a familiar fashion accessory for the Celtic captain, who with this outing against Anderlecht notched up a 69th appearance in Europe’s top competition, a number which makes him the most represented Scot now clear of the great Kenny Dalglish.

You have to go all the way back to a 1-1 draw away in Moscow 10 years ago for his first Champions League outing, and there have been a fair few swash-buckling nights since. Last season’s 3-3 draw with Manchester City for one, even the 3-0 victory away in Brussels just in September.

If, and it’s a big if, Brown allowed the thoughts behind the steely stare to drift away from the job in hand and to briefly dream about commemorating such an achievement, it’s a safe bet this wasn’t what he had in mind.

The Celtic captain has gone toe-to-toe with some of the best players in the world in recent months. Paris St Germain’s Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot, the likes of David Alaba and Arturo Vidal in the red of Bayern. Some long nights were endured in those bouts – as well as a plucky loss to the Germans – but none will have frustrated perhaps quite as much as this one.

For the first 45 minutes of this one Brown – much like the rest of the Celtic midfield – were left chasing shadows. The tormentor-in-chief was undoubtedly Brown’s opposite number Sofiane Hanni. The Anderlecht captain was a purple blur as his spun, sprang and danced has way forward, leaving his captain counterpart behind.

To be fair to the Celtic skipper, he wasn’t helped by a pretty anonymous performance from those around him. You’ll be hard pushed to see a more out-of-sorts showing from Stuart Armstrong who moved from a central area to out wide left. In Scott Sinclair, the hero for Celtic against Motherwell, was ineffective as he came up against a sturdy Belgium backline. James Forrest was doing his best to offer cover for Mikael Lustig as Adrien Trebel turned up the noise down the Anderlecht left.

Brown cut a frustrated figure at times. A below-par showing from Moussa Dembele didn’t help, the Frenchman pushing his leader to the point of distraction as he struggled to hold the ball up when Celtic needed breathing space.

A subdued murmur greeted the half-time whistle as the game stood at 0-0, the impressive Belgians still some way short of the three goals required to leapfrog Celtic into the Europa League, despite being clearly the better team. Something had to change.

Brendan Rodgers thought as much and unsurprisingly Armstrong and Sinclair failed to reappear, Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham replacing them as the pack was shuffled and Celtic’s central midfield was strengthened. It brought about an instant impact. The play of the home side popped with freshness and vitality, the swagger coming back to Brown’s step as Celtic reclaimed the middle of the park. A Ntcham flashing shot just by the post two minutes into the restart roused the souls seeking a response from Celtic.

Soon it was Hanni trying to get the ball off of Brown as the 32-year-old found his rhythm, picking the ball up in defence and driving forward. Dembele soon stumbled his way into the box to fire straight at Frank Boeckx, Forrest’s cross-field wandering surge, one-two with Kieran Tierney and eventual shot tipped around the post giving a flickering hint this could be Celtic’s first Champions League win in Glasgow for four years.

But the suckerpunch was about to arrive. The clock hit 62 minutes when Anderlecht struck, Dennis Appiah’s whipped cross from the right being flicked into his own net by Jozo Simunovic off the far post. Pieter Gerkens claimed a flick, but it was Celtic who were now in a pickle.

Instantly a buoyant bounce inside Celtic Park was reduced to a deflated bag of nerves, every hint of indecision or error from the home side being cursed by 60,000 now fearing the unthinkable.

Simunovic almost made amends five minutes later with a snapshot which flew just over the bar, it would be as close as Celtic would come in the closing stages. As it transpired, it was also closer than anything Anderlecht could muster either.

With Celtic Park already beginning to empty, Slovenian referee Matej  Jug brought proceedings to a halt. A humble applause echoed around the ground from those still here, this time it was just the scoreline of 1-0 to the visitors which filled those giant screens.

There were no signs of celebration from Brown at full-time.  Instead, a series of handshakes, a few words of frustration directed towards Ntcham and a clap for the crowd. It wasn’t how any of them wanted this Champions League campaign to finish in terms of the result on the night, but Brown and Co now have the chance to shine in the Europa League thanks to that third-place Group B finish. It is a challenge they must rise to better than they did here if they are to flourish.