Wonderful times – Celtic silencing the English twice in five months

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Twenty-one years ago Celtic went down to Liverpool and silenced the English for the second time in five months…

Wonderful times, 21 years ago this very day we traveled to Anfield to take on a decent Liverpool side in the second leg of the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup.

With the first leg finishing all square in a 1-1 draw it was important we not only scored but also we had to realistically win the game if we wanted to advance to the semi finals. It was a similar scenario from our last trip to Anfield in the same competition six years earlier when we went into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw at Celtic Park.

Unfortunately on that occasion despite securing a credible 0-0 draw we went out on the away goals rule, so this time we had to go one better and break through a talented Liverpool rearguard. Despite the difficulty of the task, the Celtic players and supporters were more than confident about taking on Liverpool in their own backyard.

We after all had a supremely talented side and a first class manager in Martin O’Neill. We had already been to England in the earlier rounds to take on Blackburn Rovers and beat them comfortably, despite the arrogant Graham Souness and the English media writing us off. Their ‘Men against Boys’ remark was stuffed right down their throats as a delighted Celtic travelling support sang from start to finish – what a party that was!

The English media hadn’t learned their lesson and continued to scoff at our chances. According to them a Liverpool win was a sure thing. But like our last trip down south we weren’t their to make up the numbers and we started to dream when Alan Thompson scored just before half time to put us into the lead on the night and in the tie.

We never looked back and were in complete ascendancy after that. Then with just 10 minutes remaining John Hartson sent us all into euphoria as he scored with a sublime strike to kill the game off and send us into the semi finals.

To go down to England and beat a top side like Liverpool was absolutely incredible. Especially when we were written off by the arrogant English media.

After the final whistle we began to realise the importance of what we had achieved. Not only had we just witnessed a historic victory, we were in the semi finals of a European competition. It was the stuff of dreams.

What a night, what a memory.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. Duncan Clark on

    Was there for both Blackburn and Liverpool home and away. What a time great memories!