Celtic’s form in Europe this season has been excellent. To have qualified for the Europa League last 32 and win Group E of the group stages with a game to go is beyond what most fans would have hoped for.
The Hoops have won four games in a row in Group E, and are on the verge of equalling their best European run since the legendary season of 2002-03, when they reached the UEFA Cup Final.
As shown by the BBC, Celtic won five games in a row in Europe in that campaign. A feat that has not been equalled since, but the Hoops have a chance to make it five wins in a row with victory over Cluj on Thursday.
Current team as consistent as legendary side
The Celtic team of 2002-03 has to go down as one of the best Hoops teams to ever play in European competition. This current Hoops side might not be as good, but they are certainly as consistent.
One factor both sides have in common is of course Celtic manager Neil Lennon. The Hoops boss was a key man in the run of the UEFA Cup Final in 2002-03. Now he is the architect behind Celtic’s current excellent form in Europe.
Wins this season arguably more impressive
When you compare the run of wins, it could be argued that the wins this season have been more impressive. In 2002, the two most notable wins were against Blackburn. This year, it was against Lazio. Lazio are a far better side than the Blackburn team Celtic defeated.
The fact that Celtic have already qualified for the last 32, and have nothing much to play for against Cluj, might mean that the Hoops don’t win on Thursday, and the 2002 record stands on its own.
However, if Neil Lennon is aware of the record, perhaps that give him motivation to put his name down in the Celtic history books once more.