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2008-02-20: Celtic 2-3 Barcelona, Champions League
|Match Pictures Pt 1 | Matches:2007 - 2008 | 2007-2008 Pictures|
- Champions league 2007-08
- Robson's first goal for Celtic in Europe
- No Scott Brown as he was suspended!
- Caddis' first European Game (did well at Right-back).
ReviewWhen playing against a side of the quality of Barcelona, there can be little that you can do. However, Celtic came out fighting and took the lead twice, but Barcelona were too strong for us. Truthfully, some basic errors by defenders cost us a draw or potential win. Onwards to the next leg, but exit looks ominous.
Boruc, Caddis (Wilson 61), Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Hartley (Donati 65), Robson, McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras 55), McDonald.
Subs Not Used:- Mark Brown, Sno, Killen, O'Dea.
Booked:- Hartley, Samaras.
Scorers:- Vennegoor of Hesselink 15, Robson 38.
Valdes, Puyol, Milito, Marquez, Abidal, Iniesta, Toure Yaya, Deco (Xavi 65), Messi, Henry (Gudjohnsen 88), Ronaldinho (Eto'o 73).
Subs Not Used:- Pinto, Sylvinho, Giovanni, Thuram.
Booked:- Messi, Deco.
Goals:- Messi 18, Henry 52, Messi 79.
Ref: Peter Frojdfeldt (Sweden).
|3||Shots on goal||9|
|23' 40''||Ball. Poss. (time)||39' 5''|
|37%||Ball. Poss. (%)||63%|
Gls: Goals scoredSP: Shots hitting postSC: Shots hitting barST: Shots on targetSW: Shots wideFC: Fouls committedFS: Fouls sufferedOF: OffsideAS: AssistYC: Yellow cardsRC: Red cards
Celtic 2-3 BarcelonaBy Julian Taylor
Barcelona displayed their class to end Celtic's formidable home European record with a deserved win in Glasgow.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink put Celtic in front in 15 minutes with a powerful header only for Lionel Messi to clip home an equaliser three minutes later.
Barry Robson burst forward to loop a header over Victor Valdes to give battling Celtic an interval lead.
Barca levelled through Thierry Henry, before dominating the second half, and Messi tucked in a 79th minute winner.
Interview: Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Interview: Celtic player Gary Caldwell
Celtic - who had won their last three Champions League home matches - included Paul Caddis and Robson for their Champions League debuts.
Caddis appeared in place of the cup-tied Andreas Hinkel, while Robson replaced the suspended Scott Brown in midfield.
Paul Hartley was also included in the starting line-up at the expense of Massimo Donati.
Ronaldinho and Messi both started for Barcelona and Samuel Eto'o was named among the substitutes.
The Catalan giants, the last side to have defeated Celtic in Glasgow on European duty with a 2004 Champions League win, started with plenty of confidence.
And Boruc was quickly called into question with a smart save from an Andres Iniesta volley, before Caddis headed a goalbound Henry drive clear.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink celebrates heading Celtic in front
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed Celtic in front
Yet, it was Gordon Strachan's men who went in front with their first real raid.
Scott McDonald did well initially to hold the ball up in the penalty area, with Naylor then swinging in a perfect ball, finding Hesselink to power home a header.
It was, indeed, a timely way for the Dutchman to end a run of 15 European games without scoring.
The elation for the home fans didn't last, however, with the Spaniards responding in the right fashion, crafting a superbly-worked leveller.
Messi managed to elude Naylor on the edge of the area, and, upon receiving a perfectly weighted return from Deco, the Argentine instantly fired into the roof of the net for his fifth goal of the tournament.
In the 22nd minute Ronaldinho flighted a free-kick just over the bar as Celtic felt the force of Barcelona's pressing game.
Celtic had due cause to feel fortunate for their Hesselink's opener, but nevertheless, Henry could only squander an opportunity for Frank Rijkaard's men by blasting over the bar.
The Hoops showed a determination to resist being swamped and, once more, surged into the lead, with McGeady the orchestrator.
The Republic of Ireland international cut inside and his cross found Robson, with the midfielder timing his run perfectly into the danger zone to head over the exposed Victor Valdes.
With McGeady dangerous, it was a rather wasteful Barcelona who trooped off at the break.
If the hosts were expecting an urgent repsonse from Barca in the second half, their fears were well-founded, when Henry took centre stage.
With Gary Caldwell losing possession midway inside his own half, Ronaldinho slipped the ball through to the pacy Frenchman, who had time to tee up a right foot effort which effortlessly eluded Boruc to find the top corner.
Giorgios Samaras replaced Hesselink and Mark Wilson came on for Caddis, as Celtic attempted to regain the initiative.
And with Barcelona showing more of their customary verve, Henry slipped the ball just past the post in the 62nd minute.
Valdes denied Donati - a replacement for Hartley - in a rare Celtic threat as the game wore on.
Barca's ominous strength in depth was illustrated when Eto'o replaced Ronaldinho.
A 74th-minute Puyol header was gathered by Boruc with the visitors dominant - and it was no surprise when Messi made his second and Barcelona's third.
With the Celtic defence failing to clear a loose ball, Messi outfoxed Caldwell with a drag-back to guide the ball into the net, leaving Boruc helpless.
The Scots simply could not display their usual fluency as they chased an unlikely equaliser in the closing stages.
Barcelona will now welcome Celtic for the return hot favourties to progress to the quarter-finals, courtesy of the clinical Messi.
Celtic: Boruc, Caddis (Wilson 61), Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Hartley (Donati 65), Robson, McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras 55), McDonald. Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Sno, Killen, O'Dea.
Booked: Hartley, Samaras.
Goals: Vennegoor of Hesselink 15, Robson 38.
Barcelona: Valdes, Puyol, Milito, Marquez, Abidal, Iniesta, Toure Yaya, Deco (Xavi 65), Messi, Henry (Gudjohnsen 88), Ronaldinho (Eto'o 73). Subs Not Used: Pinto, Sylvinho, Giovanni, Thuram.
Booked: Messi, Deco.
Goals: Messi 18, Henry 52, Messi 79.
Ref: Peter Frojdfeldt (Sweden).
Celtic 2 - 3 Barcelona: Messi's magic leaves battling Celtic's hopes in tattersThe Scotsman
Published on Wednesday 20 February 2008 22:52
CELTIC'S visit to Barcelona in 12 days' time will undoubtedly serve to provide them with more experience of the giddying heights of European football, but it seems extremely unlikely to yield entry to the quarter- finals of the Champions League.
Despite leading twice in the first half last night through Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Barry Robson, Gordon Strachan's side once again capitulated to the star-filled Catalans, who came back with a double from Lionel Messi and one from Thierry Henry.
Not even the Scottish champions' renowned home record in the tournament was proof against the pace and power of Bara, although they would be required to produce optimum work after Vennegoor of Hesselink had ignited another dazzling night at Celtic park.
That opening goal from the big Dutchman must have felt to Barcelona as if the gun they were pointing at their victim's head had backfired into their own face. They would have been staggered to find the same thing happen again, when Robson restored Celtic's advantage after Messi's equaliser.
Both goals had been preceded by periods of sustained pressure by the visitors, during the first of which they would have established a potentially conclusive advantage but for the intervention of the Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
But, after the setback of Vennegoor of Hesselink's strike, Bara demonstrated the recovery powers of an amphibian who regenerates lost limbs by equalising within two minutes, in truth giving the scoreline a more appropriate look, even that early in the match.
That Frank Rijkaard's team should have been generally in control for the opening 15 minutes seemed to owe much to an apprehension among the Celtic players that, at times, bordered on timidity.
Happily for the huge support, the affliction proved to be temporary, the Scottish champions shrugging off the anxiety as the match progressed.
Even so, they could have sustained serious damage during the time they were beset by nervousness, most notably when Paul Hartley, playing a dangerous game of tippy-tappy with Lee Naylor on the edge of his own penalty area, had the ball stolen from him by Thierry Henry.
The great Frenchman cut the ball back to Andres Iniesta and the midfielder's drive forced the first of Boruc's saves.
The second was completed within seconds, this time from a volley by Henry as the red-and-blue stripes swarmed around the home goal, clearly intent on strangling Celtic's challenge almost before it had a chance to come to life.
In fact, it exploded into existence with the first of their goals, from their first concerted move in the direction of Victor Valdes in the away goal.
It was after Aiden McGeady was stopped in his run on the left that Scott McDonald took possession and played the ball out to Naylor.
The left-back's cross was perfectly measured, allowing Vennegoor of Hesselink to move forward and then dive to bullet the header past Valdes from about the six-yard line.
The elation would last only two minutes before Messi equalised. If there was an element of luck about the finish, there was only brilliance about the build-up.
Messi moved inside from the right and supplied Deco before driving towards the bye-line in anticipation of the return.
The Brazil-born Portuguese did not disappoint his team-mate, sliding the pass into his path. But Naylor, who had tracked Messi, appeared to reach the ball first, having the misfortune to see his attempted clearance hit the ball off the foot of the Argentine, from where it drifted high into the far corner.
Even allowing for Celtic's spirit and the occasional moments of accurate passing and intelligent moments they had produced, their regaining the advantage before the interval would have stunned their own support.
McGeady came inside from the left, peeling back defenders as he went and, suddenly, played a delicate chip forward to Robson.
The midfielder, a surprise selection in place of Massimo Donati, seemed to search for support before deciding simply to loop the header from 14 yards over the desperately stretching Valdes.
Having completed the remaining seven minutes to the interval without further harm, Celtic – or, more precisely, Gary Caldwell – then fell to the most frustrating aberration in the game, giving opponents who need no help from anyone a gift of an equaliser.
Caldwell, completely free of a challenge with the ball at his feet about 30 yards from goal, tried to slip a casual pass to Nakamura and simply played the ball straight to Ronaldinho.
The Brazilian quickly supplied Henry and the Frenchman relived his Arsenal days by coming in from the left and chipping the ball high into the far corner.
Nobody could possibly have argued with Barcelona's right at least to be level, but that would not prevent Strachan from reflecting ruefully on the old principle that, if opponents of the Catalans' class are to score, make them earn it.
But the visitors, showing implacable aggressiveness, had dominated the opening eight minutes of the second half as emphatically as they had the first and their equaliser would have been, in any case, surely a matter of time.
Indeed, it would be the 68th minute before Celtic would have their first attempt on Valdes's goal since they scored their second.
It would come from Donati, the Italian midfielder having replaced the struggling Hartley in midfield just five minutes after Mark Wilson returned from a long injury absence to take the right-back role from the teenager Paul Caddis, who had often been outnumbered by Ronaldinho and the marauding left-back, Eric Abidal.
Georgios Samaras also came on for Vennegoor of Hesselink, but it was one of the visitors' substitutions that proved to be most productive. Samuel Eto'o, who had replaced Ronaldinho, made a run on the right before plating the ball inside to Messi.
The Argentine once again enjoyed the break of the ball, when he was challenged by Stephen McManus, and exploited his luck with a deadly finish, stroking the left-foot shot low to the right of Boruc from 12 yards.
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