A Kris Commons penalty nine minutes from time took Celtic FC into the UEFA Champions League round of 16 for the first time in five seasons as a narrow victory against FC Spartak Moskva secured second place in Group G.
The Scottish champions kicked off level with SL Benfica on seven points but needing to better their Portuguese rivals' result to go through for the first time since 2007/08. All looked promising when Gary Hooper fired them into a 21st-minute lead only for a delicate Ari chip to bring eliminated Spartak level before the break. With time running out, Celtic pushed for a winner and were rewarded when Giorgos Samaras was impeded by Marek Suchý, Commons smashing his spot kick in off the underside of the crossbar to earn a result that, combined with Benfica's draw in Spain, sparked joyous scenes at the final whistle.
This has been a great learning experience for us. Now we are more than just the team who beat Barcelona, we are the team who beat them and qualified. It is the best night of my career as manager of this club.
Neil Lennon, Celtic manager
I want to congratulate Celtic, it is a great achievement for them. If we ignore our one costly mistake, we produced one of our best performances both in defence and attack.
Valeri Karpin, Spartak caretaker coach
|1||Forster (GK)||30||Pesyakov (GK)|
|23||D. Kombarov (C)|
|24||Załuska (GK)||31||Dykan (GK)|
|Neil Lennon (NIR)||Valeri Karpin (RUS)|
|Felix Brych (GER)|
|A||Dinamo Zagreb||Dynamo Kyiv|