By Sybaris Ali
Celtic face Barcelona tomorrow night in what should be a electric atmosphere at Celtic Park. The Catalan giants, who many believe are the best side in the world, have played the Hoops 11 times in UEFA club competitions in the last 12 years.
Here are the last five meetings between the two sides at Celtic Park:
Celtic 1-0 Barcelona (11/03/2004)
Alan Thompson’s strike was enough to see off Barcelona, as the Hoops took a one goal lead in the first-leg of their UEFA Cup tie. In a match which was ill tempered, three players were sent off as Celtic beat arguable one of the best sides of Europe.
Barcelona had two big chances before the break but then at half-time, the tie was turned on it’s head. Celtic keeper, Robert Douglas and Barca midfielder, Thiago Motta, were sent off for a scrap in the tunnel as the teams went into the interval.
The teams emerged for the second-half with Celtic youngster, David Marshall in goal. Barcelona then had Javier Saviola dismissed after he kicked out at Thompson.
Sustained Celtic’s pressure paid off when Henrik Larsson’s knock down perfectly found Thompson, who smashed the ball into the net to give Celtic a famous win. Marshall’s inspired performance saw the Hoops went through on the tie.
Celtic 1-3 Barcelona (14/09/2004)
Just months after Henrik Larsson departed Celtic, he returned to Celtic Park to haunt his former side in a 3-1 Barcelona win. Deco fired the visitors ahead with a superb strike, before David Marshall saved Ronaldinho’s penalty.
Chris Sutton equalised for the Hoops. Henri Camera burst down the wing and crossed into the box for Sutton, who smashed his shot high into the net.
Celtic were threatening the Barcelona goal when Guily’s deflected shot trickled past Marshal and the home side found themselves a goal down again.
Larsson’s moment came eight minutes before time. The Swede pounced on a poor header from Alan Thompson, rounded a helpless Marshall and tucked ball home, ensuring that the Catalan Giants avenged their defeat in Glasgow from a few months earlier.
Celtic 2-3 Barcelona (20/02/2008)
Barcelona showed their class as they defeated a spirited Celtic side in the last 16 tie of the Champions League in 2008. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink’s powerful header had put the home team in front from a Lee Naylor cross. Lionel Messi managed to wriggle past Naylor and equalise two minutes later.
Celtic then took the lead again when Barry Robson’s header, looped over a helpless Victor Valdes. The Hoops held the lead up to half-time. Barcelona equalised within seven minutes of the restart.
Thierry Henry’s effortless strike gave the Spanish side a foothold back in the tie and then, with 10 minutes remaining, Messi netted his second and Barca’s third, as the Catalan giants ran out winners at Celtic Park.
Celtic 2-1 Barcelona (07/11/2012)
The day after Celtic’s 125th anniversary, the Hoops pulled off one of the biggest shocks in European football. Celtic had already impressed with good performances against Benfica and Spartak Moscow in the group.
However, they were narrowly beaten by Barca when the two sides met in the Nou Camp just weeks before. Barca had chance upon chance in the first-half but couldn’t find the breakthrough, until Kenyan star, Victor Wanyama headed the Scottish champions ahead.
Celtic faced a wave after wave of Barcelona pressure in the second-half, but Tony Watt, ran through and slotted home a second. Lionel Messi scored a late consolation but that wasn’t enough to stop Celtic winning a monumental match.
Celtic 0-1 Barcelona (01/10/2013)
Just a year after Celtic performed one of the biggest miracles in world football, the Hoops had the task to try and beat Barcelona again. After a rather drab first-half, Scott Brown was then sent off for kicking out at Brazilian star Neymar.
The home side however had two big chances to take the lead. James Forrest’s shot was saved by Victor Valdes and Charlie Mulgrew should have scored with a header.
As Barcelona grew more into the match, Csec Farbgreas’ header wrong-footed Fraser Forster and the Spanish side were ahead. Neymar had a few chances towards the end of the game to add some gloss to the scoreline, but failed to find the net as Forster pulled off two spectacular saves.