Former Celts

Last gasp Hartson claims cheeky assist

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John Hartson has claimed a cheeky assist for one of the key goals on the road to Seville.

Sixteen years ago tonight Celtic were in action at Blackburn against the EPL superstars defending a 1-0 lead from the infamous ‘Men against Boys’ first leg.

Martin O’Neill’s side had been written off by the English experts ahead of the return leg but 7,000 Celtic fans made their way confidently to the dark hole of Lancashire.

During the first half Celtic pushed into attack, one Blackburn defender instructed to follow Hartson did exactly that as the striker hit the deck.

Larsson didn’t need a second chance, with the English jibes ringing in his ears he sent his shot beyond Brad Friedel. 1-0 Celtic, Hartson assist!

A second half header put the issue beyond Graeme Souness’ side who were relieved that they weren’t on the end of a heavier defeat.

In the next round Celtic squeezed past Celta Vigo on a 2-2 target with Hartson scoring the crucial away goal that took Celtic past Christmas in European competition for the first time in 22 years.

Unfortunately injury was to rob Hartson of a place in the final against Porto but his contribution to the run including an assist against Blackburn won’t be forgotten.

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