Celtic FC surprised many by reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League but it is less of a shock that their supporters won over an army of new admirers.
Even in defeat, FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández was moved to say: "The stadium is a marvel, the fans, the people, how they support their side. It is an example for every team." With two-time European Cup winners Juventus in Glasgow on Tuesday, I have picked my own top five UEFA Champions League games at Celtic Park. For sheer drama and excitement, these will take some beating. Let me know what you make of my choices using the comments box at the foot of the page.
07/11/2012: Celtic 2-1 FC Barcelona
Celebrating the club's 125th anniversary on the eve of the match, manager Neil Lennon felt "something special" might be in the air. Yet considering the Scottish champions had lost to an added-time Jordi Alba goal at the Camp Nou, few expected Celtic to win back on their own patch – especially without striker Gary Hooper and captain Scott Brown. However, Victor Wanyama's first-half header and substitute Tony Watt's composed late finish gave Celtic one of their greatest European nights and reduced the watching Rod Stewart to tears.
03/10/2007: Celtic 2-1 AC Milan
[PHOTO src="1917933" size="smallLandscape" align="right" caption="Scott McDonald celebrates against Milan" ]The European champions left Glasgow in defeat after Gordon Strachan's team plundered a late winner. What had been a cagey group-stage affair exploded into life on 61 minutes when Stephen McManus bundled the ball over the line to put Celtic ahead. Kaká levelled from the spot seven minutes later but, driven on by another full house, the hosts' Scott McDonald found the net in the penultimate minute after Dida failed to hold Gary Caldwell's shot.
29/08/2007: Celtic 1-1 FC Spartak Moskva (agg: 2-2, Celtic win 4-3 on penalties)
Goalkeeper Artur Boruc was the hero as Celtic qualified for the group stage after an epic third qualifying round tussle with Spartak. With the sides level at 1-1, and with both having missed penalties that would have decided the tie inside 120 minutes, the game went to a shoot-out. Shunsuke Nakamura surprisingly missed for Celtic, yet Boruc denied Yegor Titov and Maxym Kalynychenko to ensure the Hoops progressed.
21/11/2006: Celtic 1-0 Manchester United FC
Few games can match this one for late drama. United had dominated possession without scoring when Nakamura curled a wonderful free-kick past Edwin van der Sar with ten minutes remaining. Sir Alex Ferguson's charges could have equalised in the final minute when they were awarded a spot kick, but Boruc saved Louis Saha's effort. That meant that Celtic, under one of Sir Alex's former pupils – Strachan – advanced from their group to the last 16 for the first time.
31/10/2001: Celtic 4-3 Juventus
Two spectacular strikes from Chris Sutton and a virtuoso display from Lubomír Moravcik inspired Celtic to this heroic showing in their maiden UEFA Champions League campaign. Alessandro Del Piero gave Juventus the lead before goals from Joos Valgaeren and Sutton fired Celtic in front. Although David Trezeguet equalised, Henrik Larsson's penalty and a stunning Sutton volley restored the Hoops' two goal-advantage. Trezeguet halved it but could not deny Celtic victory – though they still exited the competition owing to FC Porto's win against Rosenborg BK.
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