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Celtic hit for six by Barcelona

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Barcelona handed a footballing lesson as the Catalan giants inflicted one of Celtic’s heaviest losses in their European history, after Neymar inspired a 6-1 victory over Neil Lennon’s side.

Gerard Pique opened the scoring for the La Liga side, before Barca added two more goals late on in the first half through Pedro and Neymar.

Neymar added two more in the second half to complete his hat-trick, Cristian Tello piled more misery on Celtic with Barca’s six, before Greek striker Georgios Samaras scored a late consolation for the visitors.

The margin of defeat matches that of Celtic’s loss to Artmedia Bratislava back in 2005, in former manager Gordon Strachan’s first match in charge.

Early on in the match, Celtic gifted possession needlessly away in their own half, but despite Barcelona failing to take advantage of Celtic’s slack play, the writing was on the wall.

An Alexis Sanchez shot, taking a deflection off Efe Ambrose, was saved by Forster but the rebound was knocked in by defender Gerard Pique inside Celtic’s six yard box to give Barcelona the first goal of the game.

Despite Celtic regrouping of sorts, Barcelona were still dominant but took until the closing stages of the first half to double their lead.

As Celtic failed to play to the whistle, claiming handball against Pique, Neymar left Ambrose in his wake before laying the ball off to Pedro, who tapped in past Forster from close range.

Moments later and great play from Barcelona opened up Celtic again. Sanchez lifted the ball over the Celtic defence for Martin Montoya whose pass was despatched into the back of the net by Neymar.

The fourth goal for Barcelona was an exquisite piece of football, a back heeled one-two between Xavi and Neymar, saw the Brazilian curl his shot past Forster from the edge of the box.

Forster denied Barcelona through a Xavi free kick, before Barcelona scored their fifth as Neymar nutmegged Ambrose and secured his hattrick as Adam Matthews failed to clear the ball off the line.

Barcelona finished the rout off on the 72nd minute as a Tello shot was deflected past the helpless Forster.

Samaras scored a consolation goal for Celtic as he headed home a Kris Commons free kick in the final minutes of the game.

With this defeat Celtic finish bottom of the group and on their lowest points total ever in Europe’s elite club competition with just three points amassed.

CELTIC (4-5-1) Forster; Lustig, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Matthews (Stokes 82); Boerrigter, Brown, Biton (Commons 69) Ledley, Samaras; Pukki (Mulgrew 46)
Not Used: Zaluska, Balde, Atajic, Fisher

BARCELONA (4-3-3) Pinto; Montoya, Mascherano, Pique, Adriano; Sergi Roberto, Busquets (Song 73) Xavi; Sanchez (Tello 63) Neymar (Dongou 82) Pedro
Not Used: Olazabal, Puyol, Iniesta, Alba

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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