Skip to main content

Juventus leaves Celtic's Champions League dream in tatters

updated 6:39 PM EST, Tue February 12, 2013
Celtic had suffered just two home defeats in 23 Champions League games before welcoming Juventus to Parkhead. The Scottish champion saw off the might of Barcelona in the Group Stage with the famous Celtic atmosphere a huge factor in the team's success. Celtic had suffered just two home defeats in 23 Champions League games before welcoming Juventus to Parkhead. The Scottish champion saw off the might of Barcelona in the Group Stage with the famous Celtic atmosphere a huge factor in the team's success.
HIDE CAPTION
Celtic cauldron
Magic Matri
Party time
I'm watching you
Hard for Hooper
Double trouble
Game over
Beckham's back
Fast start
Perfect Pastore
Red mist
Rami's rocking
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Juventus claims 3-0 win at Celtic in first leg of last-16 tie
  • Italian champion now in pole position to qualify for quarterfinal
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off in Paris Saint-Germain's 2-1 win at Valencia
  • Ibrahimovic will miss the second leg on March 6

(CNN) -- Juventus took a giant step towards the quarterfinals of the European Champions League following a crushing 3-0 win over Celtic.

Alesandro Matri's early strike and further goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic completed a perfect night's work for the Italian champions.

There was also success for Paris Saint-Germain, which claimed a 2-1 away win at Valencia, although it must do without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the second leg after he was shown a straight red card.

Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore had given the French club a two goal lead at the break, but Adil Rami's late strike and Ibrahimovic's dismissal means its all to play for in the French capital in three weeks time.

Lisbon Lions

Tactics: Ronaldo vs. Van Persie
Will Mourinho replace Ferguson?
Juventus midfielder: Stop racism

While PSG might still have to sweat, no such problems are expected for Serie A leaders and two-time European Cup winners Juventus.

Dressed in all black and surrounded by the cauldron of Celtic Park, Juventus headed out to face one of the most intimidating atmospheres in European football.

With the majority of the 57,917 crowd clad in green and white bellowing out their support for the Scottish champion, it was clear that this night was something special.

Back in the knockout phase for the first time in five years, Celtic was dreaming of the glory days when it ruled the continent following its legendary cup final win of 1967.

The victory over the might of Inter Milan in Lisbon, led to the team, which was to become known as the 'Lisbon Lions', becoming the first non-Latin side to win the trophy.

Managed by the legendary Jock Stein, all of the players were born within a 30 mile radius of Glasgow.

On May 24 1967, Lisbon was overrun with the green and white of Celtic and not that of local club Sporting.

Goals from Tommy Gemmel and Stevie Chalmers secured victory over an Inter side which had won three of the four past editions of the competition.

"There is not a prouder man on God's Earth than me at this moment," said Stein following the triumph.

"Winning was important, but it was the way that we won that has filled me with satisfaction.

"We did it by playing football; pure, beautiful, inventive football. There was not a negative thought in our heads."

The Real Madrid team poses for a photograph ahead of the second leg of the European Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1957 with captain Alfredo Di Stefano clutching his side's pennant. The Real Madrid team poses for a photograph ahead of the second leg of the European Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1957 with captain Alfredo Di Stefano clutching his side's pennant.
The Real deal
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
When Real rained on United\'s parade When Real rained on United's parade
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo warmed up for the Champions League clash with his former club Manchester United by scoring a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory at home to Sevilla. Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo warmed up for the Champions League clash with his former club Manchester United by scoring a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory at home to Sevilla.
Ronaldo fires United warning
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
Ronaldo fires United warning Ronaldo fires United warning
Hayatou: Good example key against racism

That night in Lisbon is never far from memory whenever the words 'Europe' and 'Celtic' are mentioned in the same breath. They are synonomous.

The success of the past generation is a reminder of how Celtic became the first British club to win the competition, a fact which supporters are quick to point out at every opportunity.

But while it has dominated domestically in recent years, helped by the downfall of fierce rival Glasgow Rangers, success in Europe has been more difficult to achieve.

Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United: Which is the biggest club?

Not since it lost to Porto in the 2003 UEFA Cup final had Celtic hit the European headlines, that was until this year and its shock victory over Barcelona.

A 2-1 home win against the La Liga champions helped Neil Lennon's side qualify for the last-16 and a meeting with Juventus.

While the visitor appeared favorite on paper, Celtic's home form in the Champions League has been nothing short of remarkable.

In its 23 matches before welcoming Juventus, Celtic had suffered just two defeats, while winning 15 and drawing six.

With the second leg in Turin on March 6 to come, the home side would have hoped to secure a result in a bid to keep the tie alive.

The atmosphere suggested a gladiatorial arena, the bloodcurdling noise of Celtic Park rose as the players emerged. This was Celtic's time.

Foreign owners in UK football: The good the bad and the ugly

Or perhaps not. Instead, it took Juventus just three minutes to silence one of European football's most intimidating arenas.

On Sunday, Efe Ambrose was celebrating Nigeria's victory in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations -- but on a freezing February night in Glasgow he was left to rue a horrendous defensive error.

It was his mistake which allowed Federico Peluso's long ball to release Alessandro Matri and the striker fired home, despite Kelvin Wilson trying to clear off the line.

The shock and horror was etched across the faces of the Celtic players, but slowly and surely, those emblazoned with the green and white began to show its famous spirit.

Kris Commons came agonizingly close to an equalizer when his overhead kick sailed just inches wide of the far post, while Ambrose should have netted with a free header just after the hour mark.

That miss was to be severely punished as Juventus wrapped the game up with 13 minutes remaining when Matri released Marchisio, who turned Scott Brown and slotted the ball home.

Worse was to come for Celtic with 83 minutes on the clock when Ambrose, who only returned from South Africa on Tuesday morning, gave away possession and Vucinic raced in to score.

Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring Manchester United's second goal in the 2-0 win at home to Everton, which put his team 12 points clear in the English Premier League. Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring Manchester United's second goal in the 2-0 win at home to Everton, which put his team 12 points clear in the English Premier League.
Van Persie pounces
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
Man Utd move 12 points clear Man Utd move 12 points clear
Mario Balotelli was mobbed by fans outside a restaurant as he returned home to Italy to complete his $30 million move from AC Milan to Manchester City. Mario Balotelli was mobbed by fans outside a restaurant as he returned home to Italy to complete his $30 million move from AC Milan to Manchester City.
Home again
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Being Balotelli: The life and times of Mario Being Balotelli: The life and times of Mario
Match-fixing scandal engulfs Europe

"We need a miracle," Celtic manager Lennon told ITV. "But it's the harsh reality of Champions League football and some of my young players will learn a huge lesson tonight.

"I thought for 70-odd minutes, until the second goal, we were by far the better side -- but you can't give away goals like we gave away, sloppy."

How Manchester United tried to drown the stars of Real Madrid in 1957

On a day when wrestling was dropped from the Olympics, Lennon was frustrated with the way Juventus' defenders manhandled his players at set-pieces.

Time and time again, defender Stephane Lichtsteiner was grappling with Gary Hooper and Scott Brown inside the penalty area, but nothing was forthcoming from referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco.

"I'd like to ask the referee, is the game different in Spain or Italy?" Lennon said.

"Every time one of my players tried to move he was held. He should have given a penalty on at least two occasions."

Big spending masks age of austerity for top soccer clubs

While that win all but secures Juventus' place in the last eight, PSG faces a more difficult proposition following an infuriatingly frustrating second half performance.

In front of a watching David Beckham, who is hoping to make his debut within the next few weeks, PSG showed why they should be feared in this year's competition.

Leading 2-0 thanks to goals from Lavezzi and Pastore, Carlo Ancelotti's men missed several golden opportunities and could have easily scored four or five at the Mestalla.

Lavezzi, who has now scored in each of his past three Champions League games, should have had a hat-trick only to miss two simple chances.

Beckham to donate PSG wages to children's charity

That wastefulness was punished in the final minute when Rami bundled home from close range to give the home side hope.

The tie then took another twist when Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for a controversial studs up challenge on Andres Guardado.

"Ibrahimovic did not deserve the red card. I don't understand the decision," Ancelotti told French Canal Plus television at full time.

"We played well and had chances to score more goals. It was a good team performance, but this was just the first leg. There is still the return to come."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT