Hero Georgios snatches first EVER Champions League away victory
GEORGIOS SAMARAS hit a 90th-minute winner as Celtic recorded their first EVER Champions League away win in Moscow.
Spartak played for the last half-hour with 10 men after Argentine Juan Insaurralde was sent off.
But the Hoops left it late to grab a vital win, with Samaras (right) heading in Emilio Izaguirre’s cross.
Gary Hooper’s neat finish on the run from Mikael Lustig’s pinpoint centre had given Neil Lennon’s men a 12th-minute lead.
But two tap-ins from Emmanuel Emenike – either side of half-time – put the Russians in front and firmly in command. His first came when Brazilian Ari was picked out with an excellent ball over the top. He knocked the ball first time across for Emenike to finish with ease.
His second was again set up by Ari after Hoops keeper Fraser Forster had failed to hold a shot. The game turned on the red card. Insaurralde at first looked to have got away with clipping Hooper when he was the last defender.
But after the referee had consulted with his assistants, he dismissed the Spartak defender and handed Celtic a huge chance. The Russians reorganised as Charlie Mulgrew’s effort from the free-kick was punched away by Moscow keeper Sergei Pesiakov. But Celtic didn’t have too long to wait to haul themselves level, although the goal came in bizarre circumstances.
Mulgrew’s cross was dummied by Samaras, leaving sub James Forrest with a sight of goal.
His shot was blocked by the foot of Pesiakov but ricocheted back into the net off Dmitri Kombarov.
Celtic could sense this was their big chance and surged forward on the artificial turf at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Hooper tested Pesiakov with a long-range shot before Samaras came up with the heroic final act.
Izaguirre’s cross gave him the chance and his header looped over Pesiakov and into the Spartak net.
It was a great night for the Hoops, whose next European tie is in the Nou Camp.