Davie Provan's comments wide of the mark on Celtic's Lazio win
Davie Provan’s comments on Celtic’s win against Lazio are unfair on Neil Lennon’s men.
Celtic made history on Thursday night by becoming the first-ever Hoops team to win in Italy. Added to that, they became the first Scottish club to qualify from a group stage with two games to spare.
The main thing, of course, was that we qualified for the last-32 for the second year running. It was an incredible night as Lenny’s side continued to dominate their group. Next up is Rennes and Cluj respectively, with top spot still up for grabs.
But Provan wasn’t up for giving Celtic too much praise for their performance. Speaking in his Scottish Sun column, he claimed that he wasn’t getting too excited about the result.
“Having been around when Celtic and Rangers played European semi-finals on the same night in Glasgow, you’ll forgive me for not getting too excited by their midweek results. If the Old Firm are the giants they claim to be, making the last 32 of the Europa League should be well within their reach.
“For Lennon, a historic win on Italian soil was a moment to savour. If anything, Celts should have won more comfortably against a Lazio outfit who were all over the place in that second half. Recently, I suggested Lazio were in the Europa League because they belonged there. Their Keystone Cops defending for both goals proved the point.
“If Odsonne Edouard had turned up, Celts would have won in a canter.”
Celtic fans deserve to go overboard with excitement
Provan is clearly trying to inject what he feels is a bit of realism into the situation. However, if truth be told, it feels like he’s trying to take some of the joy out of the performance.
The former Celt claims he won’t be over-excited just because we won the game. He then justifies it by saying that qualifying for the last-32 should be well within our reach. But qualification probably isn’t even the main reason Celtic fans are so overjoyed by Thursday night. He’s missing the point here.
Celtic ended an incredible hoodoo that seemed like it would live with us forever. Never winning in Italy was a black mark on our club’s record. It’s now been wiped away. Defeating a top-four Serie A side on their own patch, no less, is like a top Champions League away result.
To suggest that Odsonne Edouard didn’t turn up is also pretty incredible. Eddy held the ball up superbly throughout the night. In case Provan has forgotten, it was he who actually set up the winning goal with a perfectly-weighted pass. He deserves more credit than he’s getting from the ex-Celtic man.
The fact Celtic managed to create chance after chance during a second-half spell was credit to them. It’s not something that should be used to beat them over the head with. It only goes to show how well Lennon’s men performed on the night.
Celtic fans have every right to go overboard with joy about such an incredible result and performance. Anyone who tries to dilute it shouldn’t be entertained.