Neil Lennon makes comparison between Celtic wins over Lazio and Barcelona

By David Walton

November 27, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has today compared our recent success against Lazio to that famous Barcelona win in 2012.

Lennon enhanced both his own and the club’s profile with a sensational 2-1 win in Italy just three weeks ago. It’s crazy to think that it’s nearly been a month already since that result.

However, there’s no denying that it won’t ever be forgotten by those who witnessed it.

And in that sense, it’s highly similar to our world-famous 2-1 win at home to Barcelona seven years ago. In fact, almost poetically, our win over Lazio was exactly seven years after that famous Parkhead night.

Celtic’s win in Lazio was our most impressive result of the season (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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The similarities stare you right in the face. Therefore, as reported by the Daily Record (AGM live blog, 12:04), Lennon was happy to discuss that comparison at today’s AGM.

“Lazio meant everything to me. The passion on the pitch was mirrored off the pitch. The crackle in the air was the same as the Barcelona night.

“It’s important we enhance our reputation in Europe.”

Lennon won’t want to rest on our laurels

It would be easy to sit back and think the job is done in Europe this season. After all, the primary focus when we landed in this Europa League group was to just get out of it.

Celtic’s performances in Europa have been incredible (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, the increasing quality of performances has led to an increase in standards. There will definitely be a feeling if dissatisfaction if we were to suffer the same fate that we have done in this competition since its revamp in 2009.

Just reaching the last-32 should no longer be this side’s main goal. It’s time we started eating into it a bit further and managed to qualify for the latter rounds. Recent draws have been tough against the likes of Valencia and Zenit St Petersburg respectively, but they’re not impossible.

If we top the group, it would halt us from getting any of the other group winners as well as the four best third-placed teams in the Champions League groups (UEFA). Considering we only managed second in those last two attempts at the competition, it’s no wonder we’ve struggled in the last-32. As things stand, we could get teams such as APOEL Nicosia, LASK, and Getafe. You would fancy some of them.

This Celtic team should have big goals in Europe as well as domestically (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But now Celtic have given themselves such a glorious chance. An opportunity to seriously make a dent here and manage yet more firsts for the club.

Neil’s spot on to associate the Lazio win with Barcelona. They certainly felt similar. However, at the same time, there could still be a few more of those nights left in this season alone.