Celtic’s domestic treble success in season 00-01 under Martin O’Neill didn’t just see the Bhoys return to the top of the Scottish League, it saw the club have a chance of reaching the Champions League group stages for the very first time. That ambition would be tested to the limit though by the play-off against Ajax Amsterdam.

Ajax were multiple time European champions, and had the likes of Shota Arveladze, Cristian Chivu and Rafael van der Vaart in their starting line-up, with a young Zlatan Ibrhaimovic on the bench.

That line-up didn’t deter Celtic though, and after only 19 minutes the Hoops had raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to Bobby Petta and Didier Agathe. Ajax did pull a goal back in the 40th minute thanks to Arveladze, but the Celts lead at half-time.

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Then in the 55th minute, came the moment that helped secure one of Celtic’s best ever European away wins.

Some nice passing by the Hoops ended with Chris Sutton laying the ball off to Agathe. He took the ball and crossed it into the penalty box where Sutton had made a dynamic run.

The ball landed firmly on Sutton’s head and it crashed into the back of the net via the crossbar to spark wild celebrations among the players and the fans in the Amsterdam Arena.

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The goal really should be considered one of Celtic’s best ever in Europe. Sutton, Paul Lambert and Neil Lennon all played their part with some nice passing and moving.

The goal has to be considered as one of the best that Sutton ever scored for Celtic. Some fans might be fond of one of the many goals he scored against Rangers, but the header against Ajax showcased everything that was good about the former Blackburn man.

His ability to link the ball up in the middle of the park was vital to the goal, and his movement in the penalty box was too much for the Ajax defence to handle. Then there is the header. A towering effort that hit the bar and bounced into the corner of the net, far out of the reach of goalkeeper Bart Grim.

YouTube: Ajax 1 ~ 3 Celtic: Chris Sutton Header; full build up

It was the sort of goal fitting to win any game, and Celtic left Amsterdam with a very impressive 3-1 victory. The Hoops endured a nervous second leg, losing 1-0 but still qualifying for the Champions League group stages.

Those group stages included memorable nights against the likes of Porto and Juventus, but none of those games would have happened if it wasn’t for Sutton’s emphatic header.

It was the moment which signified that Celtic were once more a forced to be reckoned with in Europe, and it should be remembered as one of Celtic’s best ever European goals.