Neil Lennon says Lazio win is "just behind" famous Barcelona success

By Hamish Carton

November 7, 2019

Celtic boss Neil Lennon hailed his players on “an amazing night” and compared their away win to Lazio to the night the Bhoys beat Barcelona.

Fittingly, the 2-1 success in Rome arrived exactly seven years on from Lennon’s most memorable night – the win against the Catalan side. Few would have envisaged Lennon’s side to win either of the matches, and he says they both hold a big place in his heart.

(Photo by Tullio Puglia – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

“It’s an amazing night for the team and the club,” the Northern Irishman told the Daily Record. “To beat Barcelona was a great achievement by that team and a great for the club, but this is almost on a par. It’s just behind it.

“The performance pleased me more than anything. If we had drawn, I would have been delighted. But to cap it off with a brilliant goal is just special.”

(Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Lennon is right to compare Barcelona and Lazio

It’s hard to remember too many better nights in Celtic’s recent history than Thursday’s win at the Stadio Olimpico. Celtic were under the cosh for long spells of the first-half but grew into the match as it progressed, and hit Lazio where it hurt most in the end up.

In terms of away results, perhaps only the 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow in 2012 comes close. It was late drama on that occasion too with Georgios Samaras’ header winning the match. Even though that victory came in the Champions League, you still feel the success in Rome outshines it – given the opposition.

(Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Lennon is building a superbly knit Celtic side. The fact we are among the first teams to qualify for the last 32 in a very strong group should not be overlooked.

The big challenge for the team now is to try and top the pile. With Lazio hosting Cluj in a must win clash next, and Celtic at home to hapless Rennes – you really feel that it could all be sorted before we go to Romania.

It’s a remarkable state of affairs we find ourselves in. Even the most ardent of Celtic supporters couldn’t have foreseen this when we crashed out to Dan Petrescu’s men in August. Enjoy it and savour it.

Neil Lennon’s Celtic are rampant.