Atletico v Celtic 1974: why there's history
Video of the infamous match in Madrid when Atletico turned ugly.
Celtic face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League on Wednesday evening but as Neil Lennon’s side prepare to face the La Liga side, an infamous encounter between the sides 37 years ago is still being talked about.
Dubbed by some Celtic fans as “the dirtiest game Celtic have ever been involved in”, a 0-0 draw at Parkhead in the semi-finals of the 1973-74 European Cup makes for grim viewing even now.
Atletico approached the game with a ferocity that even spilled over into their pre-match training, when two of their players were reportedly separated as they started fighting each other.
In the stadium, they turned their attentions to the Celtic players and conceded no less than 50 free-kicks in a match where “the beautiful game” was unrecognisable to those in the stands.
The Spanish side had seven players booked and three sent off, with Celtic having two players booked for retaliation. A 0-0 draw was the final result but there was little football to be talked about in the following day’s reports.
Celtic keeper Denis Conaghan said of the ill-tempered match: “It was one of the prime tournaments but they'd been disgraceful. There was no attempt to play football.
"Then as we were heading towards the tunnel a fracas broke out. There were punches thrown, not just the players but certain police followed in too from what I could see.
"There was hair being pulled, kicks being thrown, it was virtually a free for all."