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1970-03-18: Fiorentina 1-0 Celtic, European Cup
|Match Pictures | European Cup 1969-70 | Matches: 1969 - 1970 | 1970 Pictures|
- First Leg Match
- Second leg, Celtic won first leg 3-0, overall 3-1 win in aggregate.
- Celtic became the first British team to beat an Italian team over two legs in European senior competition.
- "Murdoch is the Papa of the team, the rest are the sons around him." - Fiorentina manager Bruno Pesaola on Bobby Murdoch after their European Cup two leg defeat
- Stein's master-stroke was playing George Connelly in midfield.
- Stein is scathing of the performance of the Swiss referee.
- Johnstone earns the favour of the Florence crowd by presenting his jersey to a ball boy after the final whistle in a fine gesture.
- Stein brought Cattenach and Davidson and gave them seats on the bench in an attempt to have them take encouragement from Hay and Connelly's presence in the team.
ReviewFrom State of the Game: link
AC Fiorentina 1-0 Celtic (Celtic win 3-1 on aggregate)
The second leg in Florence was played at a less frenetic pace than the previous match a fortnight earlier. Celtic’s midfield got on top of their opposition and the Italians failed to make enough chances for their forwards.
In the 34th minute Fiorentina were awarded an indirect free-kick inside Celtic’s penalty area. Inexplicably, the experienced Chiarugi blasted the ball straight into the net. Fiorentina players and fans exploded with delight. The Celtic keeper Evan Williams simply placed the ball for a goal kick as the Italians realised the goal would not stand.
Moments later Fiorentina got themselves back into the tie. Celtic, for the only time on the night, failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to that man Chiarugi again. He hit a low shot which gave Williams no chance.
Unlike in Lisbon when Benfica began their fightback, there was not a hint of panic in the Celtic defence. They simply tightened up at the back, as Fiorentina became dejected.
Auld and Johnstone stood out in the middle of the park; Williams in goal had a sound game while Billy McNeill and George Connelly were at their best in defence.
The final whistle sounded on a 1-0 win for the Italian champions, but it wasn’t enough and Celtic were in the semi-finals.
Although they went through Jock Stein was furious in the dressing room afterwards. “I have never known worse refereeing in all the games I have seen in Europe. I’m not surprised that British teams find it almost impossible to win in Italy.” He wasn’t finished there. “Everything was for the Italians, nothing for us. He played four minutes over time. I thought the game was never going to end, and some of his decisions could have cost us goals. In these circumstances I rate this as our finest performance in Europe.”
No British club had ever knocked an Italian side out of the European Cup over two legs, until this aggregate victory.
Where next for Celtic with the semi-final draw looming? Jock Stein had this to say, “Now I’ll settle for Feyenoord in the semi-finals and then look for a final against Leeds in Milan.” But it was not to turn out that way.
Superchi, Rogora, Longoni, Eposito (Cenetti 80), Ferrante, Brizi, Chiarugi, Merlo (Rizzo 46), Maraschi, De Sisti, Amarildo
Fiorentina scorer: Chiarugi (37)
Williams, Hay, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Johnstone, Connelly, Wallace, Auld (Callaghan 74), Lennox Subs: Fallon Craig Hood
Referee: Rudolf Scheurer (Switzerland)
- Match Report (see end of page below)
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