Celtic face Lazio at the Studio Olimpico this evening in the UEFA Champions League. Four years ago, Neil Lennon’s team made the journey to the Italian capital to compete with the Rome club in the Europa League. With a 2-1 win in the first game between the pair at Celtic Park was sealed with a late goal by a Frenchman, the affair in Rome was similar.
Fraser Forster was busy as you would expect and did pull off a few decent saves as the Italians desperately chased the victory to gain qualification. Lazio were on form winning three from three after the defeat at Celtic Park. James Forrest blasted Celtic level from a tight angle after good work from Elyounoussi.
Celtic got in at the interval perhaps a little fortunate to be on level terms but whatever Neil Lennon appeared to work. In the second half, Celtic pushed for a goal to go ahead and it was only through some poor luck, a little bit if indecision at the final ball and some desperate defending from Lazio players to keep Celtic out.
Odsonne Edouard on another night would have had a couple and James Forrest wasted a three on two by failing to find the Frenchman who absolutely worked his socks off.
Yet when the five minutes of additional time went up it looked like it was going to be a case of Celtic seeing out the tie as they held a desperate Lazio high up the park. Time was running out when a loose ball found Edouard who sent fellow Frenchman Olivier Ntcham through with seconds remaining.
Ntcham was always a cool customer but never has he been this cool as he steadied himself and dinked the ball over the keeper and into the Lazio net. The win meant that Celtic would qualify for the Last 32 and finish top of the group. It sparked scenes of jubilation amongst the 9k fans that made the trip from Glasgow to cheer on the team.
Hopefully Celtic can replicate the result this evening and and keep their dreams of European football after Christmas alive.