Many Celtic fans associate the words “Barcelona” and “2004” with Alan Thompson’s thumping finish in the famous 1-0 victory at Paradise, or David Marshall’s heroics in the Nou Camp. It was then that the Bhoys eliminated the Catalan giants from the UEFA Cup; however, six months later, the pair did battle again with one key difference in personnel – Henrik Larsson now played for FC Barcelona!
The teams met at Celtic Park on this day (14 September) in 2004. A Champions League group stage match, the occasion was tense and the game hung in the balance for long periods.
Deco gave the visitors the lead in the 20th minute, but Chris Sutton drew Celtic level with a tremendous finish on the hour mark. In response, Frank Rijkaard substituted Ronaldinho for Henrik Larsson, but the match continued to look destined to be drawn until Ludovic Giuly regained the La Liga club’s lead in the 78th minute.
Famed for late goals in Europe, the Celtic faithful held out hope that an equaliser could be on the cards. That was until Henrik Larsson intercepted Alan Thompson’s headed back pass, chested the ball over the goalkeeper and tapped into an empty net.
The goal broke Celtic hearts and delivered a first ever home defeat in the Champions League. The fact that the King of Kings struck the killer blow, was the only crumb of comfort for the Celtic support.
14th September 2004, Celtic 1:3 Barcelona.
— Li’l Ze (@LilZe_7) September 13, 2021