Glasgow Celtic 0-1 FC Barcelona

Pre match we all knew it was going to be hard, but we always get a good time at home in Europe
Pre match we all knew it was going to be hard, but we always get a good time at home in Europe

The game started and from then on it was all Barcelona, in the first 10 minutes we had two half chances, a Commons shot and a Samaras chip over the keeper, apart from that, it was backs to the wall for most of the night. Barcelona as I said in the pre-match would I hope be kept to long shots and we did well, we pressed fairly high up the park forcing them to throw balls over the top, if truth be told Barcelona kept the ball well, but were not as good as last year, I think the first half the players just didn’t want the ball, everyone was kicking it blindly up the park, as an attacking force not so good, in defence, Lenny must have been delighted at half time

The second half started pretty much the same as the first ended, as expected, Barcelona with £200M worth of talent on show just kept the ball, no panic, heads always up, pinging it about like a training match. Then on 58 minutes Scott Brown got a red card, I have seen it a few times now and I can’t decide if it was play acting that got the ref or did the ref see Brown put his foot or leg near Neymar? I will leave you to be the judge, just brutal for Celtic and Brown now misses the next 2 games, or is it one?  Someone can keep me right later

Brown sees red
Brown sees red

So it was 10 men against 11 and for some reason we came to life, Samaras who I thought had a good game started to run at players, I also though Van Dijk had a very good game, Izzy again for the goal, could he have done better? Before their goal we had to wonderful chances, first Forrest took the ball well and hammered a shot top left for the goalie to save for a corner, from the resulting corner the goalkeeper misjudged and all Mulgrew had to do was hit it towards goal, it went wide, I could hear loud groans 60 mile away in Glasgow, I think we all thought it was in, Mulgrew knew there and then THAT was the chance, a man down and a chance to hold onto something, gone, but he was as gutted as a few hundred thousand people worldwide also

Then the unthinkable, very harsh on us, a Barcelona goal, could Izzy have done better, the cross came in and there was Fabregas to head home unmarked, the Irony was, Barcelona were waiting to take him off!

We huffed and puffed but in reality we were up against some side, even weak they strong, yeah that makes no sense, but it’s true

Goal
Cesc Fabregas wins the game with a free header

We are 1 point behind Ajax, we need to now focus hard and 3rd place is now more realistic. Ajax were 1-0 up with AC Milan scoring late to make it 1-1 in the other match. Harsh, we tried, we can be proud of the side, but I still say, it is better to be here than not, we have 12 points to play for, we need a few now

TCN reporter Man of the match: Virgil Van Dijk, did brilliant, I like this lad, Forster was a close 2nd

UCL Group H

1 thought on “Glasgow Celtic 0-1 FC Barcelona

  1. Hi Shaun

    It has been a bit hectic today and this is me just getting a peep at things on here. You are some man posting a summary now after all the commenting you did yesterday. I wish I had your energy.

    Anyway to last night. I am just too tired right now to go into too much detail but I will give my overall impression of tactics and performance. Can I say to begin with that I had little more than a despairing hope for a victory or even a draw last night. Barcelona on their day are so far ahead of us in talent and ability we should not even see their dust-trail. However, we have shown over a few seasons now that given an oddball opposition they can get flummoxed and lose their way. Both games last season proved that beyond doubt and my belief is that Bayern did the same to them as we had done but with a much greater degree of skill.

    And so I come to tactics. Rightly or wrongly, I am a great advocate of the best defence being attack. I do not mean by this that we go cavalry charging all over the park. I watched too many games against Ferguson’s Aberdeen to know where that gets you. Right up the Swanee on most occasions. However, if you are to disrupt a team like Barcelona you can not simply try to snuff them out. There has to be an element of disruption about your play so that they do not have the time and space to “do as they please”. For most of last night, that is exactly what we allowed them to do. We set up a supposed brick wall about thirty yards from goal and defended like a barricade. This meant that almost everything that bounced off us landed back in their hands. The few returns that gave us some forward thrust were the times when Sammy managed to dominate the defenders. However, because of the mix of no support most of the time and Sammy’s inexplicable maniacal one man forays which have become more and more frequent since someone put the notion in his head that he is in line for FIFA player of the year, any so called attacks generally fizzled out somewhere around the middle of the Barcelona half. It is a freak result when a vastly inferior team manages to withstand the barrage of a better opposition. We witnessed the very same at Parkhead very recently when Greenock Morton did exactly that. But, as I say, this is very much the exception and the teams that catch us out more regularly are those that “have a go” as they say. This is mainly because they stun us and can often be ahead before we realise they are not the brick wall we expected. So should it be with us and Barcelona. If we are to achieve anything, as we did at Parkhead and in the Camp Nou last season, we must put them in shock mode from the start. A solid mid own half defensive lineup is not doing that. Instead it is providing them with the very situation they prepare for week in, week out and twice over again. It is almost totally irrelevant to them and certainly gives little chance of counter play. If that is what Neil Lennon had in mind, he had, for me, about three players too many in the defensive barricade. Consequently we saw little or nothing of players who could have created forward movement such as Commons, Matthews or Mulgrew. In the second half we came off the barricade a little and gave them more than a few worries but, and I do not think Brown’s ordering off altered this that much, we only did it in spurts.

    I apologise, Shaun, but i have to rush off again. I will try to follow up later. If not I think I think I will have little more time tomorrow. Can I just end by saying that this is not intended to be criticism of a club that sits on the crest of a wave with the minimum of ballast in comparison with these big clubs. Last night after the game and this morning, I was simply fed up with the whitewashing that goes on. Part of our maturing has to be an honest appraisal and critique of our performance. Anything else is delusional and there is enough of that in scottish football without us adding to it.

    I have no time to do a check over so i apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors. That is neither efficient nor polite. But sometimes needs must, as they say.

    Cheers till, later

    H H
    Arthur

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