If You Know The History: 5th March: Celtic 2 Real Madrid 0

5th March 1980 Celtic 2 Real Madrid 0

On this day in 1980, there was a crowd of 67,000 packed into Celtic Park for a European Cup quarter-final tie. They were happy, noisy and excited; full of hope that their heroes would do well on the night but also well aware that the visitors would be worth watching. As the teams came out of the tunnel and on to the field, the noise grew to a crescendo, the stands and terracings covered in green-and-white, only the south-east corner displaying the colours of the evening’s opponents, the pure white of Real Madrid.

The first half turned out to be full of incident. In 22 minutes, left winger Lawrie Cunningham’s fine strike almost gave Real the lead, his cracking shot hitting the post. Then, in 33 minutes, a cross by Johnny Doyle clearly hit the arm of midfielder Del Bosque but the referee waved away Celtic’s protests. As the whistle went for half-time, both teams were still pushing for the first goal.

Above: George McCluskey

That strike eventually fell to Celtic the 52nd minute, when George McCluskey pounced on a blunder by Real keeper Garcia Ramon; and 16 minutes from the end, an Alan Sneddon cross from the right was met perfectly by Johnny Doyle, who leapt high to head home. 2-0 to Celtic, a result which delighted the home support…..but would it be enough in the return leg?

Jim Craig


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