Champions League Liveblog: FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC

Yes, Virginia, there will be a LiveBlog today, hosted by our good friend Vj. Be nice to him!

By blitzen

Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.


  1. I think we all know how Celtic will play, so I’m curious what Martino does, if anything, to counter it. We lost there last year. I hope for a better result this time.

    1. Really looking forward to this. Couldn’t get a ticket – they were like gold dust.

      Instead I’ve got glass of good Malbec reserve in hand waiting for the singing and the atmosphere. Just gonna enjoy it. I can’t lose tonight. I want Barca to win but I’ll be delighted for Scottish football if Celtic do it.

      This is NOT a night for us to accept end to end play. Trust me…

  2. OT: with Bale injured again, i found a funny comment on Marca,

    “RM spent 100 kilo’s on crystal”.

  3. Valdes
    Alves Pique Bartra Adriano
    Xavi Busquets Iniesta
    Pedro Cesc Neymar

    Should be enough to get past Celtic in my opinion.
    I would like to see Tello and Sergi Roberto get half an hour in the second half if the match is in our favor at that stage

  4. What a monster save by Valdes but then exposed his weakness at set plays. Haih.

    What a smart header by Cesc.

    That bald guy who was sent off had it coming. He has been really aggressive all night long.

    1. Yeah, Brown’s an animal. Not sure there was a lot in that one though. Difference has been we’ve gone like milk bottles whereas Celtic have just got up and got on with it.

    2. The replay clearly showed the kick in the back, and it was not in stride. Brown got frustrated and lost it. Case closed.

    3. Have another look. The referee pulled a yellow card out of his pocket and it was only when Neymar kept rolling about he changed it to a red. At most it was as Strachan says a little clip.

    4. It was right in front of the ref. He pulled a yellow the moment Ney went down, and changed it to red after the kick. It’s difficult to make decisions against the home team in a stadium like the Celtic Park, the episode happened right before the ref’s eyes, and can’t be called controversial.
      Brown stopped the dangerous break by pulling Ney down, then got mad, jogged up to him and kicked while he was down. At this point, it doesn’t matter how hard the kick was – behaviour like that has no place on a football pitch.

    5. The thing is that I’m not so happy about is that he had yellow in his hand. And only seemed to change to a red card after hearing one of our players telling him about the kick.

      What I don’t understand is why he needs someone telling him and then only change it to red. Why not consult with his assistants instead?

    6. Referee didn’t consult anyone. Nearest linesman was about fifty yards away. He was ten feet away, saw everything, pulled a yellow and for whatever reason changed it to a red.

    7. Sorry but you are wrong. The whole incident is completely over before you can even see the colour of the card. Neymar sees it’s yellow, the yellow card can clearly be seen, but then he rolls about until the ref changes it to a red. The sending off is for violent conduct. Not sure how much violence was involved and I certainly saw more in other tackles.

      Not defending Brown who I hate as a player but I’m fed up of our players trying to influence decisions when we are good enough to win on our own merits. Those crybaby antics tonight from Neymar do our reputation no good in Scotland. Hopefully he will learn and man up in future.

    8. The card was for the kick more than the tackle, I think. Tackling is part of the game. Kicking a player when he is down and the play is stopped is something else. Agree with the man up part, though – hopefully he’ll cut it out as he matures and bulks up a bit.

    9. Again, the foul is a yellow. The kick is either another yellow or a straight red. There was nothing accidental about the kick.

      It’s the correct decision.

    10. Deliberate kick in the back – STRAIGHT red (even if Brown missed, which he didn’t)

    11. It was not a hard kick, but it was a kick. And the foul before that was a yellow card offense too. A fully justified red.

      Too bad Neymar missed that 1-on-1 at the end, he worked hard this game and deserved to score.

    12. We’ll have to agree to differ then. I thought Neymar played well – especially when he played through the middle – but let himself down again with his play acting. Shown brilliantly in the standing ovation for Iniesta and the constant boos for Neymar. They know their stuff.

    13. Can’t really fault the crowd for booing Neymar. They didn’t see the replay, in slow motion.

    14. Watched the match with a bunch of Celtic fans, They are disgusted at their captain’s stunt, as seen in replay.

    1. Earlier in the match when they said that Celtic are playing in their 50th CL match, I was kinda shocked. I thought that they should get a wild card if they are not able to qualify, simply because of their fans. It’s a great advert for football.

      I remember a match in 1996 or 97 between Celtic and Liverpool. That was when I first found out about the Celtic and Liverpool fans. Amazing atmosphere! And the game was electric too! Do you remember Jim? I remember McManaman being on fire that night.

    2. I do. I’m old enough to remember another similar night when they were drawn against the great Leeds Utd side with Bremner, Clark, Eddie Gray et al. Unbelievable nights.

    1. Alexis and Ney missed a bunch of one-on-ones, though. The result wasn’t really in doubt after the red card and Alexis sub.

    2. They didn’t miss. They did their job right. It’s just that it’s nearly impossible to beat Forster. I admit to only watch him vs Barca but he has away performed admirably. I wish Wenger would sign him up.

    3. Yeah, he’s been phenomenal against us. One of those guys you need a miracle play to beat. Apart from Brown and his little stunt, all Celtic players fought admirably, I thought.

  5. When it was live it looked like he kicked Neymar’s back. Replay from another angle looked like he just took a nudge on the forearm but in the 2nd replay, from the live angle but in slow mo, it was very clear that he kicked Neymar’s back.

    I kinda already expected him to lash out and it was clear he had cruel intentions as he looked down (same as Pepe on Messi).

    I do agree on our players being soft. It’s nothing new though but I wonder why no manager or board member has told them to man up. If it’s at the end of the match, I can understand as it is a tactic but the players do it from the get go.

    Or is it a cultural thing? Mediterranean/Latin thing.

    1. I agree on our players being soft. It’s really frustrating at times, but I’m afraid it’s just part of the package for a team built around short, slight, tricky and somewhat fragile players, challenging for all trophies every year. Our stars can’t win too many physical duels, push opponents off the ball or burst through defenses with power, but they can be pesky and draw fouls. These fouls need to be called for us to have a chance at level playing field against physical teams.

  6. Few things I noticed today :
    1. Dani is a wide forward [nobody dare label him fb]
    2. Hey, we can defend. [who knew]
    3. Neymar makes scary things happen if he stays up.
    4. VV is badass, they should start a new comics about him.
    That about it )

    1. Good thinking. I’d recommend single malt …. Laugavulin would do. However, evidently, you cannot make informed opinions on this blog whilst drinking. First there was drinking in public, then you couldn’t drink and drive, now you can’t drink and blog. Next, it’ll be that you can’t drink in your own home.

  7. Ha. Great that you remember. That was one heck of a match. One of the best matches I’ve ever seen. Everyone was 100% and the speed of the play was 100kph. Break neck speed. Amazing stuff! McManaman was amazing!

    I can’t remember Leeds match. Don’t even recall them playing Leeds. I don’t really remember much about Celtic besides Larsson time except for that match vs Liverpool. I followed SPL a bit due to Larsson, van Bronkhorst and Michael Mols.

    1. Damn. The reply function hardly ever works for me. Supposed to be a reply to Jim above.

  8. Holy Christ!! Ajax just got robbed Elche/Muñiz high style!!

    People, I implore you never to forget that name. We must name and shame these kind of referees. Ajax were totally robbed in blind daylight. Absolutely ridiculous!!

    I’ll be back with that referee’s name later. I’m watching MD2 highlights now.

    1. Okay. I’ve found the culprit:

      This man should be put into the Muñiz Refereeing School of Shame — the Muñiz Museum.

      Absolute disgrace of a referee. Totally unprofessional. Total disgrace. There should be a Royal Commission into this one too. First Muñiz. Then Eriksson.

      Never forget the names people. And remember, name and shame — including their families for generations before and after — for they have neglected their fiduciary responsibilities.

    2. including their families for generations before and after

      Dude..calm down..dunno why their families have to be sounded out…

    3. Literary license. Directorial interpretation. Not to be taken literally.

      It’s for effect 😉

  9. The decision not to sign a center back seems marginally less insane in this light. We could use a world class defender (one Thiago Silva) to improve our starting backline (Mascherano hasn’t put a foot wrong, but is just a tad too short, while Pique hasn’t quite hit the same dizzying heights without Puyol at his side). But if this Bartra is what the coaches saw, and Puyol has a dozen matches left in his knees, we have decent backup. Clean sheets speak for themselves, and we even look assured in defense lately. Then again, Tata can coach defense as well as offense, as he has shown with Paraguay.

    1. Honestly?? Consider the competition. (edited for content)
      Bartra played well today. But Celtic were beaten recently by world beaters Grennock Morton … at home.

      We still need a big time CB when the going gets tough … Miranda anyone??

    2. Excuse me, did you read my comment? It said “marginally less insane” and “decent backup”, not “we are all set in defense for three competitions”. The second half of the comment was about our defensive improvement as a team, not our depth. Honest excitement about a prospect who has many question marks about him, but has been our best defender and MOTM consideration for two matches running deserves a slap in your world? Next time, please read and give it a thought or two before attacking someone. Cheers.

    3. I think the ‘read/comprehend’ statements could be a little harsh though no? It’s never nice to read that.

      All lea meant was that our CB situation might not be as bad as we all thought (myself included) if only because Bartra seems to be holding his own as opposed to before where many of us thought so little of him as to not even consider him an option outside of some liga games and the copa.

  10. Can we play 3 cbs ? It’d be such a shame to keep bartra on bench. All those ariel duels.

  11. Last year we had more shots on target (Forster had the game of his life), more possession, and Messi; we still lost. This time we had fewer shots on goal, less possession, and didn’t have Messi: ended up winning.
    I like that and especially the clean sheet.

    1. Is it just me, or did it seem Tata’s plan had been to start off more conservatively (with Pedro), kick the ball around, limit counterattacking opportunities, and then throw everything and the kitchen sink at them in the end, when legs are tired? Or did just work out that way because of the red card?

    2. It’s hard to know really, but their going down to ten gave us the boost we needed.
      With the positive victory and the clean sheet aside, I still think it was not really smart of Martino to start Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets against a parked bus. That will no longer work. Against 10 men behind the ball, I’d drop Xavi and Inista and play with Song and Busquets in front of defense.

    3. Ludicrous or not we have got to try something. Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets fared as well as you’d expect them against a defensive team, viz. lots of meaningless possession in harmless places, 900 sideway passes, and nonexistent vertical play.
      Why not try the trivote indeed? That’d be novel and unexpected. Why the hell not? Anything but the usual midfield trio.

    4. It just worked out that way. It was just circumstance. Who could have predicted Brown would have lost his rag? Well, some could, but it wasn’t an Old Firm match …

  12. Boy, Neymar pisses off defenders with his fancy-pants dribbling and big endorsement contracts. They just can’t wait to give him a kick.

    1. No clue what you’re talking about. Seems pretty reasonable conversation to me, from what I can tell.

    2. Roberto Senyera, you are riding a very thin line here. You may be joking but some of your comments read like personal attacks to me and they are, as you say, “not fitting of this blog.” Dial down your hostility level, and stop with the “you need a slap” comments. They aren’t funny and they aren’t acceptable in this space.

  13. Roberto Senyera. Every last one of your offending comments have been edited. I will fight vehemently to keep people such as you from dragging the level of commentary in this space down to the level of a mere message board.

    We had trouble with you last year, and stopped short of banning your URL. One more such incident, and I can assure you that we won’t stop short this time. This space will be policed by myself, if not the other mods. Every last content (not just by Senyera, but ANYONE) will be edited and/or deleted.

    I have no interest in seeing this space degenerate into what made it so unpleasant and quite honestly, made most of us decide it wasn’t worth continuing. We decided otherwise, also making a decision that it would be policed.

    Roberto Senyera, you owe this space an apology. Whether you decide to offer it or not is up to you. But you do. Without a doubt. And you will be watched. Your behavior is mean, mean-spirited and completely unacceptable to me, or anyone else in this space. You canNOT abuse a member of this space. Period.

    To the members of this space:

    I have said it before and will say it again: We WIL NOT tolerate anti-social behavior here. If such an incident comes up, do not respond. I know it’s difficult, because personal attacks would seem to warrant a response. But leave it to us to take out the trash.


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