NEIL LENNON knows a thing or two about defeating Barcelona. As a player, the current Celtic boss was part of the side that dumped the Catalonian giants out of the UEFA Cup in 2004 before masterminding a famous 2-1 win over the same opposition as a manager in 2012.

The results are some of the greatest in the Parkhead club's recent European history and will live long in the memory of supporters.

Back in 2004, the season after Martin O'Neill's side reached the UEFA Cup final, Celtic were paired with Barcelona in the last 16. A narrow 1-0 win was recorded in Glasgow thanks to Alan Thompson's late strike but O'Neill had a dilemma to solve for the return leg.

Rab Douglas and Thiago Motta were sent off after a bust-up in the tunnel at half-time at Parkhead, leaving the Celtic manager to turn to the relatively untested David Marshall. With just six first-team appearances under his belt, the 19-year-old keeper would face a trial by fire in the Camp Nou.

But rather than wilting under the pressure of playing against one of Europe's most famous clubs, Marshall thrived. The goalie made a string of impressive stops to deny Frank Rijkaard's superstars and Celtic returned to Scotland with a 0-0 draw and a place in the last eight.

It is a night that Lennon will not forget in a hurry, as he played his part in his usual central-midfield berth. And, the Northern Irishman says, he will always remember Marshall's resolute display between the sticks.

“That was another great performance,” he told the club's website. “The first game at Celtic Park, we played really well and we deserved to win the game, but in the second game at the Nou Camp, it was backs to the wall for a lot of the time.

“David Marshall came in as goalkeeper for that game and really made his name that night. He had an unbelievable performance in goals for us that night, and to knock out Barcelona over two games was spectacular.”

Fast-forward eight years and Lennon was facing the same opposition once again. This time, however, he would be watching on from the dugout at Celtic Park.

This was a Barcelona side not far from the peak of their powers; Pep Guardiola had left during the off-season and was replaced by his longtime assistant Tito Vilanova. They would go on to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League and finish 15 points ahead of Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid in La Liga.

The challenge facing Lennon was an unenviable one, but his side pulled off a remarkable 2-1 win at Parkhead thanks to goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt. You might have heard about it.

Having played a key role in both triumphs, few are better-placed to judge which of the results was more impressive than Lennon. And for the 48-year-old, there is one clear winner.

“As a manager, I think you get a lot more pride and satisfaction out of it,” he said. “As a player, you’re part of the team but as manager, you select the team obviously, and you try to get them to play the way you want them to play, and you have to pick your way through the game.

“The fitness levels of the players has to be at a certain level as well because of the speed Barcelona play at, and the players in 2012 showed great fortitude because two weeks earlier we had lost in the 93rd minute in the Nou Camp after another great defensive display.

“That was galling for them but the way they responded was magnificent. So you take a lot of pride in that as manager.

“The Barcelona night was really what Celtic is all about and where we wanted to take the club, back on to that stage and make us respectable again in Europe.

“It was our 125-year anniversary, there was the incredible display all around the stadium, and then the players stretched every sinew and gave everything on the night in what was probably one of our most memorable ever results.”