Brendan Rodgers bared his shiny teeth, as the Green Brigade sunk in theirs into the fat of Man City’s bacon. 3-3 it ended, tell your friends about it, how spirits stirred and Celtic Park vibrated under your feet and under your skin. Tell it how it was: a textbook Champions League night at Celtic Park, 11 men out there, buzzing around, lightning rods for miracles, the seats around a cauldron of static, converting all that energy like dynamos of flesh and blood, churning out more electricity for their men to feed off of.
There were lessons learn by one and all, here are T4O’s.
#1 Big Bhoys To Men
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. Especially, when your club is Celtic FC. Their greatest European glories are languishing in record books and almanacs, gathering dust. 1966-67 was the season that Jock Stein’s Bhoys did a clean sweep of the Scotland, winning the League Championship, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup, and the Glasgow Cup. The proverbial cherry on top of the cake was winning European Cup beating Helenio Herrera’s mighty Inter Milan, becoming the first ever British club to claim the distinction. The last time Hoops have come to European glory was in 2002-03, when FC Porto ended the UEFA Cup dream.
Those days may not be all in the past, as Brendan’s Bhoys threw their weight around as easily as City throw their fat sacks of cash around, marking 50 years to the day, of the 2-0 victory against FC Zurich, that led them to the dream final in Lisbon. His team may not have won in respect to the scoreline, but in due respect to the performance, it won hearts and captured imaginations. Can Brendan make sure this wasn’t just a blast from the past?
#2 Dembele Was Possessed
It could have skewed wide easily by some embarrassing distance when he executed that overhead kick. But instead, it nestled into the net. It was just meant to be. The ball that was swung in towards him took an awkward bounce right in front of Kolarov, the full-back completely missing his clearance. When Dembele did oblige, it hit his obliging shin. It could have ballooned anywhere, but it seemed like it was some invisible picking it up and putting it where it ought to be. It was eerie.
#3 Kieran Tierney – The Roberto Carlos from Douglas, Isle of Man
In an alternate universe, Roberto Carlos has a poster of Kieran Tierney in his living room.
The 19-year-old has shown all the traits and qualities of being Scotland’s premier left-back for a considerable future. Coming through the ranks as a youngster, displacing Emilio Izaguirre, he has added another feather to his cap, running around the Manchester City defence with fearless, furious adventure. Celtic will have it all to do, if they are to keep him and Dembele from the lures of the brighter lights. But in the meantime, breathe, close your eyes, and exhale. It just smells like the olden, golden days.