Amazing scenes in Paradise as Celtic deliver gut punch to vile Lazio thugs

Celtic came back from behind to seal a win on a memorable night in Paradise in the Europa League.

A day that had started with the repugnant sight of a bunch of fascist Lazio neds making Nazi salutes as they strode unpoliced through Glasgow city centre, ended up with a punch in their guts from the fist of Fraser Forster as he secured the win with a world-class save.

In between times, Celtic fans had been put through an emotional wringer.

The Hoops made a fine start and James Forrest run and cut inside found Edouard whose turn and shot was blocked by stout Italian defending.

It was to be the story of the first half and the closest Celtic came to creating a clear cut chance. The only other time the goal was really threatened was when Christie smacked a 25-yarder that skiffed the post.

Too often, Celtic failed to use the extra man or made the wrong decision. And when another attempt at a Christie piledriver was blocked, Lazio cut through the scrambling Celtic defence and Manuel Lazzari’s shot from a tight angle flashed past Forster.

It was a cruel blow for Celtic who had pressurised a disciplined Italian rearguard without being able to make the breakthrough.

The second half started poorly, with Lazio seemingly in control. With some early time-wasting by Lazio at a freekick seeming to energise the Hoops, Celtic finally emerged from their slumbers to break away, with a shot by Christie deflected away from goal.

It served notice that Celtic weren’t giving up, but when another attack foundered as Edouard tried to break through, the ball quickly found its way to the other end of the pitch where Correra hit the post.

The Roman side were assisted throughout the game by a referee who inexplicably missed blatant fouls, yellows and at least one straight red after a shocker on McGregor.

It would take more than dodgy refereeing and determined Italian defending to thwart Neil Lennon’s men, however. Minutes later, Celtic were level with a brilliantly worked goal. Edouard picking his moment before playing in Christie who yet again rose to the occasion in Europe.

Any thoughts that Celtic would now race away with the game were put on the back burner as Forster was called upon to make a brilliant block at his near post. It wouldn’t be his finest moment, however, but first Jullien would send Celtic Park into raptures.

A Christie corner was perfectly pinged into the box and the Frenchman rose to glance a stunning header into the bottom corner.

Celtic then had to endure a nervy five minutes of added time. With a breakaway move breaking down, a game of pinball around the box saw Rogic help on a Brown defensive header, which Cataldi caught flush on the volley.

With the ball threatening to burst the net, Forster threw himself across the goal to make one of the saves of this or any other season. Seconds later, the final whistle blew, Parkhead erupted and Celtic emerged with three points.

It was another magical night under the floodlights in the east end of Glasgow, with the added bonus of a dagger in the dark heart of Italian fascism.


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