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1974-04-24: Athletico Madrid 2-0 Celtic, European Cup
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1973 - 1974 | 1973-1974 Pictures|
TriviaAtletico had actually sanctioned the atrocities which they passed off in the name of football which themselves could have started a riot. Surely UEFA would have to take drastic action? Not a bit of it. Atletico were fined £14,000 - little more than the average bribe for a match official in those days - and six of their cloggers were banned for the second leg.
- Celtic urge their fans not to travel due to the ill will between both clubs. Only officials, players and press are allowed on the official chartered flight.
- Only a handful of Celtic fans were in the stadium on the night.
- Jimmy Johnstone and Jock Stein were the victims of death threats before the game. The team were given a police escort everywhere they went during their time in Spain.
- 1000 armed police were in the stadiums armed with tear gas and water guns.
- Celtic party advised to stay in dug out at all times but Atletico party sat on bench close to pitchside.
- Cheapest tickets were £2. Gate receipts were in excess of £150,000.
- Atletico were on £5000 per man bonus to reach final.
- Celtic flew back immediately after game, arriving back in Glasgow at 3am. There were actually fans at the airport to cheer them home !
- Atletico went to Brussels to play Bayern in the final and for a while it looked as if they were going to win the trophy. 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes, the Spaniards scored with six minutes of extra time to play. But, mercifully, the Germans scored in the final minute to take the game to a replay, which Bayern won by 4:0.
- Liverpool 'keeper Pepe Reina's father was in goal for Atletico during both legs.
Jock Stein made a shock change beforehand when he replaced the 29 goals striker Dixie Deans with Bobby Lennox.
Celtic started well and had four corners in the first 15 minutes. Their tactics were to hold Atletico and play long balls for the speedy Lennox and Johnstone to run on to. In 12 minutes McNeill's header skimmed the bar from a Lennox corner and in 15 minutes a fine run by McGrain set up Dalglish and his shot was just touched round the post by the diving Reina.
Atletico now pushed forward and Connaghan made a magnificent save from Capon's swerving shot. Celtic still threatened and in 23 minutes Lennox raced on to a McNeill clearance and pulled his shot wide.Before half time Atletico had more pressure with Connaghan again saving from Capon.
In 47 minutes Johnstone headed a Lennox corner over the bar and seconds later Dalglish wasted Celtic's best chance when he delayed his shot and was then blocked out.
After that it was all Atletico and Connaghan made the save of his life from a Luis free kick. Celtic had their backs to the wall and McNeill headed a Garate shot off the line.
In 77 minutes Atletico got the breakthrough when Garate scored from close range with Celtic defending too deeply. In 86 it was all over after a swift Atletico break and Adelardo volleyed in the second.
This was a tragedy for the Celts who had shown great courage on the night, none more so than the brilliant Denis Connaghan.
At 1-0 Celtic could still have gone through on away goals had they scored. Despite extreme provocation over the two legs Celtic had emerged with their dignity intact.
Justice was done when Bayern Munich beat Atletico 4-0 in the final after a replay.
An article in World Soccer provided as good a summary of events as any:
What a shame it is a team from Madrid who have to leave the fans with such cruel feelings and agonising memories. Up until the Parkhead first leg fiasco Madrid had always thrown up visions of the legendary Real with di Stefano gliding through the centre, Gento sweeping magnificently down the wing, Puskas and his lethal shooting power, the towering defensive work of Santamaria. One giant, ugly, clumsy foot has trodden these cherished memories well and truly into the dirt.
TeamsCeltic: Connaghan; McGrain, Brogan; Hay, McNeill, McCluskey; Johnstone, Murray, Dalglish, Hood, Lennox Subs: Hunter Callaghan Deans Wilson
Athletico Madrid: Reina Benegas Heredia Eusebio Capon Adelardo Ufarte Luis Garate Irureta Becerra
Scorers: Garate 77 Adelardo 86
Referee: R Scheurer (Switzerland)
- Match Report (see end of page below)
Quotes“Any time that we got the ball, they fouled, they fouled, they fouled, not so much me as a defender, but the front players got slaughtered. Wee Jimmy got massacred, and it was a warning of what was going to happen...every time Jimmy got the ball, they just kicked him.”
Billy McNeill, speaking in the STV documentary ‘The Football Years: Celtic’s War with Atlético’. (2010)
“Real Madrid were the aristocrats of European football. Their neighbours Atlético were the scum. Even now, 37 years after their scandalous conduct in the European Cup semi-final at Celtic Park, the mere mention of Atlético fills me with revulsion.”
Billy McNeill (2011)
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, May 9 2013, 7:58 AM EDT
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