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TalkCeltic - The Ultimate Celtic FC Forum

TalkCeltic is an unofficial Celtic FC website and forum. A place to discuss all things Celtic Football Club related with other like-minded supporters.

All Our Celtic Yesterdays - 1971, Part 1

The year 1971, in the context of Scottish football, began with the awful tragedy at Ibrox on 2nd January, when 66 poor souls died in the ghastly crush on stairway 13 at the Rangers (Copland Road) end of the ground. The events of that dark, foggy day have been chronicled many times elsewhere, so I will only make this observation: there, but for the grace of * and the order in which the goals were scored, could have gone you or I. I was at the match, and like most of our deflated support, trooped down the steep terrace steps and away from the ground completely unaware of the tragedy unfolding at the other end. In those days, without the instant dissemination of news that we take for granted now, it was not until later in the evening that we heard of the disaster. I had wondered as I walked home why so many ambulances were heading the other way, but assumed it was a road accident. It was of course much, much worse than that.

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October was a hectic schedule in regards to our beloved Hoops and let’s be brutal it was anything but pretty. We started the month in Sarajevo for the final qualifying round for entry to Europa league group stages and just scraped it 0-1. From here we moved onto Perth three days later in league duty against St.Johnstone where we left it very late to win 0-2 and goals coming from late subs Leigh Griffiths (90) and Klimala (90+3). In a game where we dominated possession but failed miserably in the final third with three shots on target being a tell tale sign.

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Saturday 17th October 2020.

Celtic hosted the first Glasgow derby of the season and the fans, mostly, were in a buoyant and confident mood going into the fixture. This was proved to be nothing more than bravado as our players and...
Regardless of what you think about those across the city, this game is still the most anticipated in the calendar of Scottish football. The lack of fans in stadiums will not stop the excitement and chatter amongst the fans of either side. There has been much talk from the blue half of Glasgow and their lackies in the Main Stream Media about what they are going to do to us today, with the backdrop of a spate of call offs to our players due to Covid.

Can the champions silence their noisy neighbours? Can Neil Lennon come up with a team and formation to combat their midfield and give a cutting edge to the attacks we build? There were a few questions as to who he would pick considering the infections effecting Edouard, Christie, Bitton and El Hamed. Would Edouard come into the picture after isolating for 10 days? Would Laxalt come into the equation? Would Griffiths start after an exhilarating cameo appearance in our last late victory?

There were a few shocks in the line up, that is...

The big team news for the visit to Perth was the inclusion of a midfield centre three of McGregor, Ntcham and Turnbull for the first time at the start of a game. Captain Brown was rested after a busy early schedule and a tough away European game in midweek, coupled with a looming ban should he pick up a booking - a matter that would keep him out of the Glasgow derby in two weeks time.

The champions could consider themselves unlucky not to receive a penalty in the first 5 minutes when Duffy was clearly fouled by having his shirt tugged as a corner was swung in to the danger area.

Ntcham took an early booking for an innocuous challenge on Fotheringham in a sort of running wrestling match between the players.

The first 20 minutes were a scrappy affair punctuated by a series of free kicks and very little flowing play. Wotherspoon found himself in the book for a very late grapple on El Hamed.

Duffy had a header on target from...​
FK SARAJEVO 0-1 CELTIC FC

1st October 2020

K.O. 7pm

Belino Polje Stadium


Celtic travelled to Bosnia to face champions FK Sarajevo in the final qualifying game before group stages and again it was a one off knock out tie that carried huge importance for both teams. Of course there is the main factor of being out of Europe before it properly kicks off. Sarajevo had chosen the Belino Polje Stadium, home of rivals NK Čelik and the Bosnia national team, due to their own ground being unsuitable for European competition. Neil Lennon picked the same side who swept aside Hibernian at the weekend but Edouard would start in place of the injured Albian Ajeti who along with James Forrest didn’t travel with the squad.

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Celtic in the green and white hoops set out their intentions from the start, playing a high line and Sarajevo sat in. As early as three minutes Celtic had a very legitimate call for a handball at the edge of the...