Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Champions League

Lionel Messi © Reuters Images

Barca 'relaxed' after Celtic shock



Barcelona's players reacted calmly to Wednesday's surprise 2-1 Champions League reverse at Celtic when the favourites squandered a chance to qualify from Group G with two games to spare.

Barca suffered only the second defeat of the season in Glasgow, the other a 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup in August.

However, they remain top of the group on nine points, two ahead of Celtic in second. Benfica have four points and Spartak Moscow are bottom on three after the Portuguese side won 2-0 at home to the Russians on Wednesday.

"We are still in first place and we are relaxed," Barca's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who netted in added time and earlier struck the frame of the goal, told reporters.

"I think we did everything well, we got into goal-scoring positions but the ball just didn't go in," added the Argentine, who became a father for the first time when his son Thiago was born on Friday.

"They were comfortable closing ranks in defence, waiting for a chance to counterattack, a corner or a freekick and that's how they managed to score the two goals."

Barca coach Tito Vilanova and his players were generally gracious in defeat and there was a sense they had even enjoyed the electric atmosphere at Celtic Park despite the defeat.

"It's a marvel, an example," Xavi told reporters.

Celtic's victory ended Barca's run of 17 away games in the Champions League group stage without losing.

They last fell at Chelsea, 1-0 in October 2006, and had since won 11 and drawn six.

They have another chance to seal their passage to the last 16 away to Spartak on November 20 before they host Benfica on December 5.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Premier League preview - part 1
Maybe it is a sign of my age, or an indication of how the last two seasons have been for the club I...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref's job becoming more difficult
What you are about to read may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s true.

Segun Odegbami
Sunday's foreign choice
If a foreign coach is undesirable, what makes a foreign assistant acceptable?

Carol Radull
Is this Gor Mahia's year?
Gor Mahia is having a bit of a dream season. A total of 18 games into the season, they are unbeaten.

Sunday Oliseh
Super Eagles job: an uphill task worth taking
It is definitely the most delicate football job on the African continent and the most demanding.

Neil Tovey
Why I answered Safa’s call
I am pleased to have agreed to a deal in principle to serve as Safa’s technical director for the...