Lazio success puts Celtic's Italy victory in new light
Had Celtic managed to beat any one of Juventus, Napoli, Roma, or Atalanta in the Europa League group stage, much would’ve been made of it.
Celtic’s lack of success against Italian teams, particularly away from home, was one of the notable concerns heading into the Lazio matches in October and November.
Therefore, when Celtic managed back-to-back wins, including a 2-1 success away at the Stadio Olimpico, it was cherished by many in the support. Neil Lennon’s side got plenty of credit for the win too.
However, recent results suggest that our first competitive win in Italy may have been a lot more special than we were indeed given credit for.
Last night, Lazio beat Juventus 3-1 to secure the Supercoppa Italiana. This represents their second win over Juventus in just over two weeks. On December 7th, they also managed to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Co 3-1 in Serie A.
Lazio are flying – Celtic results becoming more special
Lazio now sit third in Italy’s top-flight, six points behind Inter and Juve with a game in hand. Since losing to Celtic at home, the Aquilotti have won seven of their eight games. Only Rennes have managed to beat them since.
In addition to that, Simone Inzaghi’s team have only lost to ourselves and Rennes in their last 17 matches. Throughout that run, Juventus, AC Milan, and Atalanta have tried and failed to beat them. Roma also couldn’t beat Inzaghi’s side either this season.
Make no mistake, we didn’t beat a team in crisis in the Europa League this season. This wasn’t a Serie A side struggling to get back to previous heights. Lazio are by far a sleeping giant this season.
We have, as things stand, managed to knock off a top-three Italian side on two occasions. We’re the only team to have beaten them twice this season, with both wins coming after going behind too.
Our group stage results this season really can’t be underestimated. We’ve finished top ahead of the Romanian champions, the French Cup winners, and now the new Supercoppa Italian holders.
Lazio’s results since our beating of them have put a fresh perspective on the magnitude of the away win. Our victory against them should be sung about from the rooftops. It’ll be extremely interesting to see how they do come the end of the season, but the early signs suggest that Celtic secured a seriously special result in Italy.