‘On this day in 2004 Celtic beat Barcelona,’ Jim Craig

In March 2004, less than 12 months after Celtic had lost out to Porto in the Final of the UEFA Cup in Seville, the club was about to take part in a quarter-final tie in the same competition.

The Champions League campaign of 2003-04 pitted Celtic against Bayern Munich, Anderlecht and Olympique Lyonnnais and the Hoops finished third in the table and so entered the UEFA Cup again.

The opening matches were against FC Teplice of the Czech Republic, with Celtic winning 3-0 at home and losing 0-1 away, going through on a 3-1 aggregate.

And when the draw was made for the quarter-final, the fans were delighted to see that Celtic had been bracketed with Barcelona, the first leg at home.

On this day in 2004, in front of a packed stadium of 59,539, the players came out for one of Parkhead’s big nights –

The Celtic team was Douglas, Varga, Balde, McNamara, Agathe, Pearson, Lennon, Petrov, Thompson, Larsson, Beattie.

Barcelona lined up as follows: Valdes, Reiziger, Puyol, Oleguer, Gabri, Cocu, Xavi, Motta, Ronaldinho, Luis Garcia, Saviola.

Most fans were expecting the worst but Celtic stuck to their task and in spite of some nice play by the Catalans, managed to keep a clean sheet. The only goal of the game came from Alan Thompson, who, in the 59th minute, smashed in a volley from close range, after Henrik Larsson had nodded down the ball from a cross.

Ironically, one of game’s big moments was not seen by the crowd. As the players were going up the tunnel at the interval, a stramash broke out, which resulted in Motta and Rab Douglas getting red cards. David Marshall came on to replace Douglas –Craig Beattie coming off – and Barca also lost Saviola to a red card in 49 minutes.

Jim Craig

Read Jim Craig’s thoughts on today’s Rangers v Celtic match at Ibrox by clicking on the image below.

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About Author

Lisbon Lion and Celtic Ambassador Jim Craig provides The Celtic Star readers with a 365 day diary of all things Celtic, providing a remarkable and unique insight into our club from one of the players who won us The Celtic Star in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.

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