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Martin O'Neill knows all about earning historic victories at Celtic Park

Let’s hope he can take his form at the Scottish ground on Friday.

IT’S OVER NINE years since Martin O’Neill left his role as Celtic manager but he is sure to receive a warm reception from the Hoops fans at Celtic Park on Friday night.

The Ireland manager had five trophy-laden seasons with the Old Firm giants, winning three SPL titles, three Scottish Cups and a League Cup as well as that incredible journey to the UEFA Cup final in 2003 where they were beaten in the final by Jose Mourinho’s Porto.

Celtic v Anderlecht O'Neill's famous leap. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Coincidentally, his opposite number in the Euro 2016 qualifier between Ireland and Scotland will be the man who succeed him in the Celtic hotseat — Gordon Strachan. And although a draw would be a decent result for both teams, an away win over the Scots would put Ireland in a great position ahead of the next set of fixtures in March.

And O’Neill has enjoyed some great nights at the Glasgow ground, as the list below details.

Celtic 6 Rangers 2 –  SPL, August 2000

Rangers had been dominating Scottish football when O’Neill jumped at the chance to take over from Kenny Dalgleish and John Barnes in 2000.

His first Old Firm derby got off to the perfect start as recent arrival Chris Sutton opened the scoring with Paul Lambert, Stiliyan Petrov and Henrik Larssson all getting their names on the scoresheet in an incredible 6-2 win.

The Gers may have reversed the result when the sides met next but O’Neill went on to win a domestic treble in his first season in charge.

Source: MikesBhoy/YouTube

Celtic 4 Juventus 3 – Champions League, October 2001

The Hoops faced a Juve team containing star names such as Edgar Davids, Pavel Nedved and Alessandro Del Piero at home in their final group game of the Champions League in 2001.

The legendary Del Piero put the Old Lady of Turin in front with a trademark free-kick from 25 yards on 19 minutes. But the home side responded with goals from Joos Valgaeren and Christ Sutton.

Substitute David Trezeguet then came off the bench to beat Rab Douglas with a low drive but Henrik Larsson dispatched from the spot after Mark Iuliano had pulled down Sutton in the box.

Sutton added a second before Trezeguet did the same as Celtic claimed a memorable 4-3 victory and although it wasn’t good enough to send them through to the knockout stages they did take the UEFA Cup spot.

Celtic v Juventus Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Celtic 3 Stuttgart 1 – UEFA Cup, February 2003

On the way to the 2003 UEFA Cup final in Seville, Celtic got the better of Liverpool, Blackburn, Celta Vigo, Boavista and Stuttgart.

The Bhoys faced German opposition in the fourth round and found themselves behind to a Kevin Kuranyi header after 27 minutes. At that point, the visitors were already a man down due to Marcelo Bordon’s early red card for a professional foul.

Celtic v VFB Stuttgart Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

With the advantage of an extra man, Paul Lambert and Shaun Maloney put the Hoops back in the driving seat and, after the break, Syiliyan Petrov sealed the win. The tie finished 5-4 on aggregate after the second leg and they progressed to a tasty quarter-final meeting with Liverpool.

Have you a ticket for Scotland v Ireland? Where are you sitting?

Have you a ticket for Scotland v Ireland? Where are you sitting?

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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