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2008-03-04: Barcelona 1-0 Celtic, Champions League
|Match Pictures | Matches:2007 - 2008 | 2007-2008 Pictures|
- Champions league 2007-08
- A lesson in how to play the game at various pts.
- 4-5-1 formation, looks like we were never even trying!
- It may have been near the start of spring in Spain, but it was absolutely freezing on the night of the game, with massive wind chills for all in the unroofed stadium.
- Regarded by most its seems as the coldest game they have ever been to, see link.
- Celtic fans generally well received in Barcelona in spite of Rangers fans behaviour there a few months back.
- A journalist tried to stoke problems by sending a video of Celtic fans to UEFA, which was lauged "out of court" as you can say, and the Celtic officials to their credit released a strongly worded statement (see bottom of this page).
ReviewGame effectively over after conceding a 2nd minute goal to Xavi, 2nd half saw a much improved performance, with Naka going close to scoring with a long range effort just before injury time. Disappointing end to the whole campaign, but we were never really in this match. WGS decided to put pragmatism ahead of romanticism and we had a relatively defensive formation even though we were looking to score twice to try to make it through to the net round. Add in the possession that Barca had over us, and it was a real footballing lesson for the team.
Can't pass without noting two things
1) it was freezing! It may have been Spain, but the stadium has no roof and there was a major chill wind blowign around and it was the coldest many of us have been at a football game.
2) Barcelona must be the most unhelpful club in the world at giving tickets to away fans. The official tickets were in a stand way up the top, whilst the rest of us were not allowed to buy tickets via the unhelpful ticket offices! We all had to buy them off of touts for around €150.
Valdes, Zambrotta, Thuram, Puyol, Sylvinho, Toure Yaya (Edmilson 67), Xavi (Gudjohnsen 82), Deco, Messi (Henry 36), Eto'o, Ronaldinho
Subs Not Used: Pinto, Iniesta, Abidal, Bojan.
Goal: Xavi 2
Celtic team (4-5-1) first half:-
Boruc, Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Hartley, Donati, McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Second half (4-4-2):-
Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Hartley (McDonald 78), Donati (Sno 46), McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras 55).
Subs Not Used:- Mark Brown, Pressley, Robson, O'Dea.
Ref: Pieter Vink (Holland)
- Match Report
- Manager Interview
- Celtic fans give an example of civility/politeness (Metro Directe, Spanish newspaper) (Mar 08)
|6||Shots on goal||3|
|37' 55''||Ball. Poss. (time)||23' 24''|
|61%||Ball. Poss. (%)||39%|
Celtic Football Club statement
No uefa investigation into media claims
UEFA have confirmed today that there will be no investigation into media allegations concerning the behaviour of some Celtic supporters during their recent visit to Barcelona for the Champions League tie between Celtic and FC Barcelona.
A Celtic spokesperson commented: “As we said on Friday, we never felt that there was any case to answer and we welcome confirmation of this from UEFA today.
“This was simply an attempt by a journalist to manufacture a story and tarnish the good name of Celtic Football Club.
“Celtic and its supporters enjoy a unique relationship with FC Barcelona and our recent visit to the city was very well received once again by the club, the people of the city and the Catalan police. Indeed, the conduct of our fans was also applauded by UEFA.
“Celtic Football Club states quite clearly that as a club open to all, it stands firmly against all forms of bigotry and sectarianism. This can be seen from the great volume of work which Celtic carries out in this area.
“The club condemns anyone who chooses to indulge in any form of negative or offensive behaviour.”
Barcelona 1-0 Celtic (agg: 4-2)By Julian Taylor
Celtic's Champions League ambitions were extinguished by Barcelona - who produced a slick show at the Nou Camp.
The Spanish side got off to a perfect start when Xavi Hernandez flicked the ball over Artur Boruc and into the net after only two minutes.
The Scots struggled to contain Barcelona for long spells, but improved as the second half progressed.
Boruc thwarted Ronaldinho and Deco while Celtic's best effort by Shunsuke Nakamura was saved by Victor Valdes.
Media conference: Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Barcelona made no mistake in accounting for the other half of Glasgow's Old Firm, having beaten Rangers earlier in the same competition.
Celtic needed their first Champions League away victory in order to progress after losing the first leg 3-2 in Glasgow.
Scott McDonald, the Glasgow club's top scorer, was the surprise omission as manager Gordon Strachan opted for a conservative formation, with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink in a lone striker role while Paul Hartley came into in a five-man midfield.
Mark Wilson, recently recovered from a knee operation, replaced cup-tied right-back Andreas Hinkel for his first start since last September.
Lionel Messi returned to the Barca line-up after starting on the bench for the 4-2 La Liga defeat by Atletico Madrid at the weekend.
However, all of Strachan's good pre-match intentions were ripped up, when Barca, full of verve, caught Celtic cold to open the scoring.
Messi, driving forward, found Xavi who played in Ronaldinho, who, in turn, cleverly brought in Silvinho on the overlap.
The Brazilian defender clipped in an inviting cross, and with the Celtic defence hesitating, Xavi flicked out a boot to guide the ball over Boruc and into the net.
With the Scots falling victim to a quickfire blow, it was a portent of things to come, with Barcelona displaying their customary class and one-touch football.
Despite Barcelona enjoying the bulk of the initial play, Celtic managed to recover from Xavi's early strike.
Boruc did rescue his team-mates from conceding a second in the 27th minute, though, with an alert tip over the crossbar from a lob by the unlikely figure of Carles Puyol.
Messi had to leave the field with a hamstring injury shortly afterwards, to be replaced by Thierry Henry.
Barcelona demonstrated their quality in possession but, as the first half came to it's conclusion, they did not carve out the expected host of opportunities, much to the relief of their opponents.
Massimo Donati was replaced by Evander Sno at half-time as Celtic slowly began to improve.
Vennegoor of Hesselink should have done better with a glancing header from Aiden McGeady's inviting cross, before Giorgios Samaras came on for the Dutchman.
Barcelona eased into their stride again, forcing Boruc to make two excellent saves in succession, the Pole firstly stopping Ronaldinho's thunderous shot from 18 yards before scooping away a raking Deco effort.
Samuel Eto'o found himself unmarked in the six-yard area but the striker showed uncharacteristic hestitancy and his chance was gone.
Eto'o was in threatening mood in the closing stages, but Celtic, to their credit, were defending well.
Valdes was tested by substitute McDonald in the final minutes but it was, in truth, a rare moment of concern for the Barcelona keeper.
Boruc stood firm to deny Eidur Gudjohnsen, before Nakamura's long-range strike brought out a good late stop from Valdes.
And denied an equaliser on the night, Celtic exited Europe's premier competition at the same stage for the second successive season.
Barcelona: Valdes, Zambrotta, Thuram, Puyol, Sylvinho, Toure Yaya (Edmilson 67), Xavi (Gudjohnsen 82), Deco, Messi (Henry 36), Eto'o, Ronaldinho. Subs Not Used: Pinto, Iniesta, Abidal, Bojan.
Goal: Xavi 2
Celtic: Boruc, Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Hartley (McDonald 78), Donati (Sno 46), McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras 55). Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Pressley, Robson, O'Dea.
Ref: Pieter Vink (Holland)
Strachan upbeat despite Euro exitGordon Strachan
Strachan feels Celtic will learn from their games against Barcelona
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan insists his side can break through the barrier of the last 16 of the Champions League if they start trusting their ability.
The Scottish champions' interest ended at the same stage for a second season in a row after a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
"After playing AC Milan last season and now Barcelona, I know we can progress.
"I'm sure the players agree after coming up against Barcelona, the potential Champions League winners."
Media conference: Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
The Catalan club had led 3-2 from the first leg in Glasgow and Xavi's goal from a Sylvinho cross after three minutes effectively ended any hopes of an unlikely Celtic comeback.
However, Strachan believes his players can make the quarter-finals in the future.
"They will not be demoralised. They need to trust themselves and free ourselves from worry, thinking of what might happen instead of making it happen," he said.
"There was too much thinking, sometimes you need to play from the heart."
But while Strachan was disappointed at the loss of such an early goal, he was satisfied with how his players responded.
"When you make a plan, part of the deal is that you tackle and we didn't get that right for the goal," he said.
"We tried to consolidate in the first half and not lose another goal," he admitted.
"In the second half I thought we did quite well, we were braver and we got closer to people.
"I don't think many players played well in the first leg but a lot of them gave a better indication of themselves as the second half went on."
Football: Zam hails Celt spirit
BARCELONA star Gianluca Zambrotta last night told Celtic's gutted supporters to be proud of their Bhoys.
Celtic returned from the Nou Camp with respect intact to cushion the blow of Champions League elimination in Spain, but the Italian insists the damage was done in Glasgow.
He said: "It was always going to be difficult for Celtic to pull the tie around in our home game - the result in Scotland gave us a great position.
"I think they played a sensible game and came out of the Champions League experience with a lot of credit.
"They are still an inexperienced team in Europe and, for me, they looked like players who can learn from what they have been through and do even better next season.
"Our aim in the Nou Camp was to get forward in the wide positions and stop Celtic's wingers getting into our half.
"Without that width, they had few options.
"But their players never gave up and they kept to the game-plan although it must have been very difficult to stay motivated. Celtic did well."
(c) 2008 Mirror Group Ltd
The Sunday Mirror
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