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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Chick Young's view
Chick Young
By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

Such was the horizontal condition of AC Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper in the pandemonium of Celtic Park, I thought he was dead as a dodo. Or dead as a Dida as it will henceforth be known.

Celtic celebrate Scott McDonald's winner against AC Milan
Celtic defeated AC Milan with a late goal in Glasgow on Wednesday
His behaviour in reaction to the fruitcake who slapped his shoulder was a disgrace.

However, that sadly is an irrelevance. In one act of lunacy, the idiot who invaded the park stole Celtic's finest moment in many a year like a thief in the night and granted Uefa the opportunity to licence bail to the other teams in Celtic's Champions' League group.

Here was a team who toiled for another result that piled higher still this country's towering reputation.

They shrugged off a ludicrous penalty decision that made you wonder if the Mafia were now in the business of delivering horses' heads to the pillows of referees.

And it could all be snatched from them by the actions of one individual whose idea of retribution was to play tig with the Brazilian goalkeeper of the European Champions in front of watching millions. What a plonker.

Where is all of this going to end, this remarkable rebirth of our national game?

Given the chance, he would be strung up by the very people he no doubt professes to idolise, the players who could now see Uefa plunder their points or their right to perform in front of packed houses.

Celtic, understandably and quite rightly, are fire fighting already, pointing to Carlo Ancelotti's insistence that he was not concerned, had no intention of appealing and that, in any case, the incident affected the result not at all. Bravissimo, but Uefa may have other ideas.

But, before anything is taken from Celtic, we owe a vote of thanks to the management and players. They beat the champions of Europe fair and square and kept a remarkable dream alive - that of Scotland flourishing at the highest level of club and country football.

Although the Old Alliance must be due for review. France, I suspect, may want to have a look at our terms of endearment.

The historic agreement that says we come from the same strain, that we share something we never did with our nearest neighbours, is looking a little stressed. Relationships tend to go that way when you keep kicking your chums in the teeth.

First Paris with the national side. Now Lyon with Rangers. Bonnet de douche, as Del Boy Trotter would say.

It was another "I was there" moment for Scottish football. Only 2,000 of their fans actually were.

But, don't worry, in a decade or so there will be another 50,000 or so recalling how they were in attendance the night Rangers rocked Europe.

Lyon, the champions of France, 0 - Rangers, the second best team in Scotland, 3.

Brahim Hemdani and Nacho Novo celebrate Rangers' victory in Lyon
Rangers left France with a 3-0 win over Lyon on Tuesday

Astonishing. Remarkable. Breathtaking. You choose the adjective. They all fit.

It was fantasy football and I had a recurring scary thought in the back of my mind as I commentated on the match for BBC Scotland that I was actually making it all up, that I was hallucinating.

But there in the corners of the Stade Gerland were my comfort blankets, the huge electronic scoreboards that confirmed that, indeed, we were witnessing the carving up of a quality French side by a Scottish team on their side of the Channel, the likes of which hasn't been seen for, well, three weeks actually.

Rangers were awesome. I will not have it that they merely humbled an ordinary team, although, in the end, that is exactly what Lyon looked like.

They looked tortured souls, ripped asunder by the energy and rhythm, the fitness and drive, the shrewd tactics and management technique of Walter Smith and his swaggering stars.

Where is all of this going to end, this remarkable rebirth of our national game?

In the last 15 months, I have commentated on a Scottish team in the final of a European Championship - our under-19s - stood aghast behind Smith's technical area as France were beaten at Hampden and witnessed us take wings through the Fifa rankings.

And then there was this week's glory in the highest for the Old Firm.

In the race to Switzerland and Austria for the wee shindig next summer, no-hopers have become group leaders. There is something in the air.

But only if the good Lord saves us from idiots like that one at Celtic Park, Scottish football's own weapons of self-destruction.



SEE ALSO
Strachan hails Scottish revival
04 Oct 07 |  Celtic
Celtic 2-1 AC Milan
03 Oct 07 |  Europe
Glory night in Lyon
03 Oct 07 |  Europe
Lyon 0-3 Rangers
02 Oct 07 |  Europe
World Cup boost likely for Scots
27 Sep 07 |  Internationals


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