Celtic’s European campaign in the 2012/13 season will live long in the memory. Reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League is always a great achievement for a Scottish club in the confines of modern football, but to do beat Barcelona along the way and notch up two wins against Spartak Moscow makes it all the more special.
After the extreme highs and lows of beating Barcelona on the week of Celtic’s 125th anniversary and losing in the last minute in the Nou Camp, the hard earned draw against Benfica and narrow defeat in Lisbon, along with the Hoops’ first ever away victory in the Champions League group stages (in Moscow), it all boiled down to one last match. Celtic simply had to beat Spartak at home in order to progress to the knockout stages rather than be condemned to the Europa League.
Paradise was a cauldron of noise with the Champions League anthem drowned out as the teams lined up on the field. The stadium then registered high numbers on the richter scale as Parkhead shook to it’s foundations when Gary Hooper took advantage of a defensive mix up and smashed a half volley into the bottom corner. Just 21 minutes had been played and Celtic were ahead!
Gary Hooper celebrates after putting Celtic ahead against Spartak Moscow at Celtic Park in 2012 pic.twitter.com/8UcBPGdMIb
— Liam Kelly (@cfcliamk96) July 17, 2021
There was a moment of worry when Ari drew the Russian’s level on 39 minutes, but the Bhoys fought back and a penalty by Kris Commons sealed the victory to ensure that Celtic progressed.
What a night!