Remember Celtic 2-1 Barcelona in 2012?
Of course you do. It was brilliant. The Bhoys achieved what seemed impossible against one of the most impressive football teams in the history of the sport. Prime Xavi, Iniesta and Messi couldn’t topple a Celtic side including Lassad and Tony Watt, who scored a famous winner past Victor Valdes.
It was a beautiful memory, and an important step in getting to the Champions League Last-16. Possibly the defining moment in Neil Lennon’s managerial career, nearly ten years on it remains a classic match.
The manner of that win is what’s important here. Celtic managed a mere 16.4% possession that night [Sky Sports]. The Bhoys had absolutely zero right to win that night at Paradise, seeing barely any of the ball. But to paraphrase every working football pundit who ever lived, it’s all about taking your chances.
Just like Granada did last night, in a momentous win over Los Cules. Granted, this is a far different Barcelona side to the 2012 vintage. However, the Andalusian side’s 18.1% possession is reminiscent of that famous night in Paradise, with a scoreline that puts Barca manager Ronald Koeman under further pressure [WhoScored?].
It’s a result that leaves Barca third, equal on points with Real Madrid but trailing Atlético, who boast former Celtic man Moussa Dembele.
Celtic legend needing big Barcelona results before La Liga finishes
For Celtic legend Henrik Larsson, a stint with Barcelona is his first real chance at major silverware as a coach. During two spells with Helsingborg and one season with Falkenberg, the Magnificent 7 didn’t manage to win any domestic competitions.
Larsson, as you know, was a highly decorated player. During his playing career, the King of Kings won 4 SPL titles, a Champions League, a Bronze Medal from World Cup 94 and a Premier League title, amongst countless others accolades.
He’ll have expected Barcelona to be a happy hunting ground, as an assistant to Ronald Koeman, but it’s been a difficult season for Los Cules, who owe hundreds of millions of Euros to various creditors. Key players from that famous night at Celtic Park have retired or left, while the contractual drama involving Lionel Messi continues.
If they keep losing to clubs who only manage 18% possession, things will only get worse.