If You Know The History – 24th April 1974 Atletico Madrid 2 Celtic 0 European Cup Semi-Final Second Leg

The first leg of this tie, held at Celtic Park on 10th April 1974, had turned into a brutal contest, the actions of the Atletico Madrid players quite inexcusable. Managed by Juan Carlos Lorenzo, himself notorious for his conduct, the visitors viciously kicked and maltreated the Celtic players, particularly Jimmy Johnstone, with the result that there was little football played and the match ended in the 0-0 draw Atletico had come for, even at the expense of three players sent off and seven booked.

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On this day in 1974, the teams came out at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in front of a crowd of 64,000 for the second leg. Six Atletico players had been suspended for this match by UEFA but it seemed to make little difference to their form as it was a very competitive match. As the game progressed, however, the Spanish side appeared to become the stronger of the two and took the lead in 77 minutes when outside-left Becerra sent a simple cross into the middle and centre-forward Garate tapped the ball home from close range.

Nine minutes later, the tiring Celtic defence was caught out by a simple cross right down the middle and Gerate flicked it on to midfielder Adelardo who slammed his volley high into the net. 2-0 to Atletico Madrid on aggregate and a place in the European Cup final to face Bayern Munich. Disappointment for Celtic, the second time in three years that they had exited the European Cup at the semi-final stage.

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