5 minutes with: Dom Sullivan, after CWTV I may go to Turin.. need to check first

Posted: February 12, 2013 in 5 minutes with....
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DOM SULLIVAN says Celtic must get the job done against Juventus at home on Tuesday night — or face a terror test in Turin.

Sullivan played when Celts were knocked out of the European Cup by the Italian champions in 1981.

Having won 1-0 at Celtic Park, Billy McNeill’s side crashed out 2-0 in Italy.

And Sullivan remains adamant that second-leg ref Alexis Ponnet was SCARED out of giving Celtic a crucial penalty by the home supporters.

Sullivan has refused to travel to Italy for the March 6 return clash because he still has horror memories of the intimidation Celts fans faced at the hands of Italian hooligans over 30 years ago.

And he insists that contributed to the Hoops’ exit.

Sullivan, now a publican in Stirlingshire, recalled: “The second leg was crazy.

“There were almost 70,000 there, in their old Stadio Communale. You could taste the intimidation.

“They had a canopy coming on to the park from the tunnel behind the park at the Juve end, which stopped four or five yards from the bye-line.

“When we walked out it was like hand grenades going off because of the things hitting the canopy.

“When we got out from under it we looked back and saw it was apples and eggs — anything that would make a noise.

“Behind it, it was a mass of flames caused by flares and firecrackers, with giant flags covering the terracing.

“We looked round when we came out and so did the referee – and I can still remember the look on his face.

“He was definitely intimidated – we all were. I’ve no doubt he was affected by it because we were denied a stonewall penalty in the first two minutes.

“George McCluskey was scythed down right in front of the Juve fans at the end we’d come out of.

“To give a penalty at that end so early would’ve taken a brave man and he waved play on.

“It was a big moment because if we’d scored, we’d have been 2-0 up in the tie.”

First-half goals from strikers Paolo Virdis and Roberto Bettega wiped out Celtic’s first-leg lead.

But there was to be half-time proof of the Italians’ win-at-all-costs mentality.

Sullivan said: “We played well in the game. It was a bit of a bombardment and they were in the ascendency but we were containing them.

“Danny McGrain didn’t play through injury. Davie Moyes played at right-back.

“Davie did well but Danny was such a big player for us. He was the best leader any team could have and that strength of mind was missing. Just before half-time Frank McGarvey, who was being marked by their notorious hardman Claudio Gentile, had a swing at him and was booked. Frank was lucky because today he would have been sent-off.

“At the break big Billy was furious at him and Frank kept trying to interrupt him. Eventually physio Brian Scott pulled Frank’s jersey up and his body was covered in big red welts – about 40 of them.

“It looked like Gentile was pulling his jersey but he was actually nipping his skin and that was why Frank reacted!

“In the end they held on to beat us but we gave our all. When you look at their team, it had guys like Dino Zoff, Bettega, Gentile, Marco Tardelli and another great defender, Gaetano Scirea – about five or six Italian internationals, as well as Liam Brady.

“They were a superstar team. I remember before the game looking at them and they all had their cardigans draped over their shoulders.

— article from thesun.co.uk — click HERE for original article —
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