Champions League - Group C
Celtic0Barcelona2

Celtic 0-2 Barcelona

Lionel Messi scores
Lionel Messi (centre) converted a floated Neymar ball to put the visitors ahead

Celtic were eliminated from European competition as Barcelona won to secure top spot in Champions League Group C.

Lionel Messi struck the opener from Neymar's sumptuous pass, and only a stunning Craig Gordon save prevented Luis Suarez from heading home a second.

Moussa Dembele spurned Celtic's best chance before Messi scored a penalty.

Though Celtic can still draw level on points with Borussia Monchengladbach in third, the German side have a superior head-to-head record.

Brendan Rodgers' side remain on two points, having lost twice to Barca - who opened the group stage with a 7-0 win over Celtic - and at home to Gladbach.

Moussa Dembele heads towards goal
Dembele (far right) could not bring Celtic level

The Scottish champions, who came through two rounds of qualifiers and a play-off to reach the group stage, visit Manchester City on 6 December, when Barcelona host the German side.

City and Barca have qualified for the last 16, with Gladbach dropping into the Europa League in the New Year.

Celtic come out firing

Rodgers said his team learned all the bitter lessons from the annihilation in Barcelona, and it showed in the early minutes.

Celtic were focused and aggressive. Scott Brown dumped Sergio Busquets on the floor to the roars of the home crowd and there was an aggression about their work that suggested there would be no repeat of the embarrassment of the Nou Camp.

Class won out, though. Barcelona's threat grew as the opening half wore on. Ivan Rakitic and Andre Gomes went close before the breakthrough came, a familiar act of ruthlessness from two of the planet's most unforgiving talents.

Celtic players
Celtic will play their final European match of the season early next month

Messi strikes

Barcelona scored their first goal courtesy of a classic piece of telepathy between Neymar and Messi. Celtic did not seem to be in much danger mere seconds before the ball was in their net. They had nine defenders behind the ball and, seemingly, everything under control.

When Neymar took possession on the left their problems began. Nobody pressed him quickly enough. The Brazilian had time to take a look and size up the situation. What he saw was four Celtic defenders waiting for his cross, then a corridor of space, then another five Celtic men behind the corridor.

Into the space ran Messi, as he does. At the precise moment he began his run, Neymar dinked in his delivery, a thing of weighted precision that Messi lashed past Gordon at his near post.

It could have got worse for Celtic very quickly. Messi put in a cross from the right just before the break and, from point-blank range, Suarez could not put it home. Gordon made a terrific save to delay the pain.

Luis Suarez and Craig Gordon
Suarez was denied by Gordon, but won the penalty that clinched Barcelona's win

Two pivotal moments

James Forrest came on for the injured Scott Sinclair at the break and it was the winger who created a golden chance of an equaliser. His cross was met by Dembele, but the striker could not get enough power into his header to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It was a big chance, and how Celtic Park groaned in that moment.

Their angst only intensified a few minutes later when Emilio Izaguirre pulled down Suarez and conceded the penalty that Messi converted. It was his fifth goal against Celtic in two Champions League matches this season and his 92nd in the competition overall. Otherworldly.

The rest of it was a procession for Barcelona. Neymar, on a yellow card following a clash with Mikael Lustig, was a bit fortunate not to be sent off before he was taken off, having gone in rashly in a separate challenge on Lustig. The Celtic Park crowd let him have it as he went. Neymar could not have cared less.

One of the last acts was another glaring miss from Suarez from more sumptuous build-up play from Messi. It hardly mattered. Celtic were out of the game, out of the Champions League - and out of Europe.

Lionel Messi scores
Messi took his season's tally of Champions League goals to nine

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigBooked at 71mins
  • 5Simunovic
  • 28SviatchenkoBooked at 23mins
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forRobertsat 71'minutes
  • 14ArmstrongBooked at 87mins
  • 18RogicSubstituted forBittonat 64'minutes
  • 11SinclairSubstituted forForrestat 45'minutes
  • 10Dembele

Substitutes

  • 2K Touré
  • 6Bitton
  • 12Gamboa
  • 24de Vries
  • 27Roberts
  • 49Forrest
  • 53Henderson

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20RobertoBooked at 63mins
  • 3PiquéSubstituted forSantosat 72'minutes
  • 14Mascherano
  • 18AlbaBooked at 41minsSubstituted forDigneat 66'minutes
  • 4RakiticBooked at 88mins
  • 5Busquets
  • 21André Gomes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11NeymarBooked at 71minsSubstituted forTuranat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6D Suárez
  • 7Turan
  • 12Rafinha
  • 13Cillessen
  • 17Alcácer
  • 19Digne
  • 33Santos
Referee:
Daniele Orsato
Attendance:
57,937

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home6
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 0, Barcelona 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 0, Barcelona 2.

André Gomes (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Foul by Luis Suárez (Barcelona).

Mikael Lustig (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Celtic. Nir Bitton tries a through ball, but Moussa Dembele is caught offside.

Booking

Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona).

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

Offside, Celtic. Erik Sviatchenko tries a through ball, but James Forrest is caught offside.

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikael Lustig.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Nir Bitton.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Arda Turan replaces Neymar.

Foul by Lionel Messi (Barcelona).

Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Marlon Santos replaces Gerard Piqué.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Patrick Roberts replaces Callum McGregor.

Booking

Mikael Lustig (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Neymar (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

Mikael Lustig (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikael Lustig.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Neymar.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Lucas Digne replaces Jordi Alba.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Delay in match Moussa Dembele (Celtic) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Nir Bitton replaces Tomas Rogic.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSG5320115611
2Arsenal5320145911
3Ludogorets5023413-92
4FC Basel502328-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli52219728
2Benfica52219818
3Besiktas51409817
4Dynamo Kiev502326-42

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona54011641212
2Man City522111928
3B Mgladbach512258-35
4Celtic5023415-112

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atl Madrid550071615
2Bayern Munich530213679
3FC Rostov5113612-64
4PSV Eindhoven5014411-71

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Monaco532094511
2B Leverkusen51405417
3Tottenham511335-24
4CSKA Moscow503248-43

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund54101971213
2Real Madrid5320148611
3Sporting510457-23
4Legia Warsaw5014824-161

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester541071613
2FC Porto52214318
3FC Copenhagen51315236
4Club Brugge5005212-100

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Juventus532092711
2Sevilla531173410
3Lyon52125327
4Dinamo Zagreb5005013-130
View full Champions League tables

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