Where does Tuesday night’s thrashing rank amongst Celtic’s worst in Europe?
Celtic’s humbling by seven unanswered goals at the hands of Barcelona Tuesday night will rank as the worst European defeat in the club’s history. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez are responsible for inflicting another night of misery upon a club who have failed to translate their domestic dominance onto the European scene since 1967.
Take a look at five of the other worst Celtic performances in living memory:
11th December 2013 – Barcelona 6-1 Celtic
It comes as no surprise that Barcelona were the last team to inflict a defeat of such magnitude, as Celtic conceded six in European competition for the first time in over 50 years.
Since losing to Celtic in November 2012, the Catalans have now scored 13 goals against the Scottish giants in their two visits to Nou Camp.
The crushing loss in December 2013 equalled their worst ever European defeat, and Neymar was once again the orchestrator, helping himself to a hat-trick. Gerard Pique, Pedro and Cristian Tello also got on the scoresheet, making Georgious Samaras’ late intervention a mere consolation.
An irate Neil Lennon later claimed that some of his ‘weak’ and ‘half-hearted’ players didn’t do his jobs.
27th July 2005 – Artmedia Bratislava 5-0 Celtic
Gordon Strachan endured a baptism of fire as he took charge of his first Celtic game in Slovakia, overseeing a wretched display which all but saw Celtic’s Champions League campaign end in July.
Juraj Halenar scored a hat-trick, while Blazej Vascak and Martin Mikulic bagged a goal apiece as Artmedia ran riot against a haphazard Celtic defence in this Champions League qualifier first leg.
The shell-shocked Scots would stage something of a fight-back in the second leg, scoring four unanswered goals, but it proved to be in vain as they were forced to contend with an early European exit.
12th July 2016 – Lincoln Red Imps 1-0 Celtic
It will come as something of a blot on Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers’ copybook that he has been in the job less than six months and has overseen two of the club’s worst European displays in living memory. His first game in charge yielded a 1-0 defeat at Gibraltan to part-timers Lincoln Red Imps, with policeman Lee Casciaro bagging the only goal of the game after half-time.
Rodgers was keen to downplay the humiliation, however, refusing to put blame on his players and confirming that the club would make amends in the second leg. They did just that, with three unanswered goals.
28th August 2002 – Basel 2-0 Celtic
Celtic looked assured of qualifying for the Champions League group stages following a 3-1 first leg victory over Basle at Celtic Park. However, the Swiss side took the lead at the St. Jakob Stadium through Christian Gimenez, before deadly predator Hakan Yakin scored four minutes later.
In truth, the scoreline could have been far greater in favour of the Swiss outfit, as they ran the visitors ragged for much of the game.
This game would, however, prompt the club to use the disappointment as a springboard to reach the UEFA Cup final that season, where they narrowly lost out to Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto.
30th July 2014 – Legia Warsaw 4-1 Celtic
Celtic were dismantled by Legia Warsaw in this Champions League qualifier first leg. The home side even missed two penalties.
Callum McGregor had fired the visitors into an early lead, but Miroslav Radovic replied with two well-taken finishes before Efe Ambrose was sent off before half-time. Despite Ivica Vrdoljak’s two failed spot-kicks, Celtic did end up on the receiving end of a thrashing via late goals from Michal Zyro and Jakub Kosecki.
They would go on to lose the tie 6-1 on aggregate, but were extraordinarily granted a reprieve when it emerged that Legia had fielded an ineligible player and were duly suspended.