Celtic on This Day – VfB Stuttgart come calling

ON THIS DAY in 2003 Celtic played the first leg of the UEFA Cup tie against Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart at a packed Celtic Park. Just under 60,000 were there and Martin O’Neill had to put out a team without Henrik Larsson who had suffered a double jaw fracture.

The Celtic team selected to play the German side was Douglas, McNamara, Balde, Valgaeren, Agathe, Lambert, Lennon, Petrov, Thompson, Sutton, and Maloney.

It looked like advantage Celtic on 17 minutes when Bordon was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Stan Petrov but it was the Germans who got the opening goal ten minutes later when Kuranyi headed past Rab Douglas.

Celtic were shocked but responded in a positive fashion and with 36 minutes on the clock Shaun Maloney chested an Alan Thompson cross into the path of Paul Lambert who struck a sweet first-time shot past Hildebrand into the bottom corner of the net.

And it got even better for Celtic just before the interval when Maloney profited from a poor clearance by Meira to bundle the ball under the advancing Stuttgart keeper from close range.

Celtic pressed Stuttgart’s ten men continually in the second half and were rewarded on 70 minutes when Petrov scored a lovely goal from an impossible angle.

A 3-1 home win meant that Celtic would travel to Germany full of confidence, given the impressive away form in the competition in previous rounds. It would quite a night in Stuttgart but that’s a story for another day!

Here are the highlights from the match at Celtic Park which finished Celtic 3 VfB Stuttgart 1…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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