The massive Celtic win over Lazio in the Europa League is major for more than one reason.
Neil Lennon’s men went into the crunch qualification game high confidence. So did Simone Inzaghi’s Champions League chasing side coming off a San Siro win against AC Milan.
That was a historical win for the Romans but it was to be Celtic putting their name into the same book last night.
Celtic victory in Lazio is a historical one
The Hoops and their relationship with away wins in Europe is the arguably the worst in history. However, the Bhoys are undefeated this season on their travels which is miraculous.
Lazio is the latest and it is perhaps the cream of the crop and the biggest in years for the Hoops. The win is bigger than the bragging rights though due to the performances away in the past.
Last night’s late win is Celtic’s first victory on Italian soil after several attempts. It’s been draw after draw with the odd defeat thrown in for good measure – even losing a European Cup final in Milan.
Not only that, it’s the earliest The Bhoys have qualified for the Europa League knock-outs.
The competition is barely a decade old but whenever the Hoops have gone through, it’s been a last gasp shout. Tore Reginiussen can rest easy this season.
In fact, the victory is the earliest any Scottish team has qualified for the knock-outs of any European competition.
Neil Lennon influence on Hoops in Europe
Major plaudits must go to the manager for revitalising the club outside domestic competition.
Under Brendan Rodgers, nights like Lazio would have been a tough watch. The number one downside was the club being too expansive and lightweight at the back.
Lennon’s Celtic were always a difficult outfit during his first term in charge. He has done a good job keeping Rodgers technical ability but making the team physically and mentally stronger for these games.
Many fans are eating humble pie when it comes to the Irishman’s appointment. Celtic fans around the world were drinking to Neil Lennon last night.