The Liberation of Rome – This is the Day! Lazio 1 Celtic 2

CELTIC liberated Rome this evening in the most wonderful result that Celtic have achieved since beating Barcelona 7 years ago this very day.

The two games with Lazio became overshadowed by the very different political outlooks of the two sets of supporters and with Celtic fans playing the Allies and the locals resorting to Roman Salutes in Glasgow and cowardly attacks against unsuspecting and completely innocent supporters.

Just like in WW2 when The Axis Powers got off to a decent start, Lazio invaded the Celtic territory in the early stages and their pressure was rewarded inside the first seven minutes when their top marksman Immobile found himself all alone at the back post to put the Italians ahead.

Early set-back for Celtic in Rome as Lazio take the lead

But just like at Celtic Park a few weeks ago, Celtic were not going to give up and James Forrest scored an absolutely glorious goal to level the match on 38 minutes.

Fraser Forster was busy as you would expect and did pull off a few decent saves as the Italians desperately chased the victory. Remember this team beat Inter Milan in the San Siro at the weekend and had come into this game with three league wins following their defeat at Paradise.

James Forrest blasts Celtic level on 38 mins

Celtic got in at the interval perhaps a little fortunate to be on level terms but whatever Neil Lennon said in that dressing room should be bottled and sold. In the second half saw the balance of the conflict switch very much in favour of the good guys/ Allies/ Bhoys and it was only through some poor luck, a little bit if indecision at the final ball and some desperate defending from the Axis / Lazio players to keep Celtic out.

Celtic’s Star Man celebrates his stunning strike

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 is a cool customer at the best of time but never has he been this cool as he steadied himself and dinked the ball over the keeper and into the Lazio net.

Rome had been Liberated and the Celebrations will go on long into the night in the Eternal City.

There might even have been a cheer or two in the Vatican which may have been neutral during WW2 but was very much green and white over the last few days.

Celtic have qualified, Rennes are out. Lazio need to beat Cluj and wait for it, need a favour from Celtic if they are to go through. The Europa League hopes are, deliciously, hanging by a thread.

Rome’s Liberators

It’s been a wonderful night as Celtic made history by winning in Italy for the first time ever. Rejoice, Celts Rejoice! Rome has been Liberated and tonight it is Green and White.

Man of the Match – Odsonne Edouard and every single one of them tonight! This is the Day…

Video: Ntcham crushes Lazio in the final minute with a beautiful dinked finish to win the game


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

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