Celtic 0 - 2 Barcelona: How Celtic’s players rated

The Celtic starting XI prior to kick-off. Picture: SNS

The Celtic starting XI prior to kick-off. Picture: SNS

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Despite a valiant effort, Celtic went down to Barcelona by two goals to nil after a double from Lionel Messi. Here’s how the home players marked out of 10

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Craig Gordon - 8

The goalkeeper made a tremendous save from Luis Suarez towards the end of the first half which kept Celtic in the game beyond the interval. He could do little to stop either of Barcelona’s goals.

Mikael Lustig - 6

The right back had plenty of space to run into in the first half as Callum McGregor continually drifted inside, but the Swede struggled to cover both his attacking as defensive responsibilities as he had to adopt a cautious mentality when dealing with the threat of Barcelona.

Jozo Simunovic - 7

Making his first ever Champions League start, the Croat showed himself to be solid at the elite level. Given an unenviable task of limiting the Barcelona attackers, he made a couple of crucial blocks.

Erik Sviatchenko - 6

Slow on the turn a couple of times, he couldn’t get across quickly enough to deny Lionel Messi at the opening goal, though he would have expected better cover from the tracking midfielders.

Emilio Izaguirre - 6

Was enjoying a strong evening on the left side of Celtic’s defence as he tore into tackles and won his defensive duels. However, he blotted his copybook by fouling Suarez inside the penalty area, giving Messi the chance to kill the game from the spot.

Scott Brown - 8

Messi made him a meme with a filthy piece of skill which left the Celtic captain on his backside. Well-shared GIFs aside, Brown enjoyed a strong evening in the centre of the Celtic midfield as he helped his side compete, possession-wise, in a manner few expected before the match.

Stuart Armstrong - 6

The ex-Dundee United man helped Brown by getting in the faces of Barcelona attackers and helped drive his side forward from deep. However, too often he committed a sloppy pass or touch in the final third.

Callum McGregor - 5

Was a surprise pick on the right side of midfield and never really justified his selection ahead of Patrick Roberts and James Forrest, though he did bring energy and helped clogged the centre of the park by continually drifting inside on Barca attacks.

Tom Rogic - 5

Frustrating night for the playmaker as Barcelona shackled him effectively. Even when he did manage to pry himself from an attentive defender, few things came off for the influential attacker.

Scott Sinclair - 6

Looked his usual lively self and contributed to a stellar pressing game before a foul from Jordi Alba, which halted a promising counter, saw him pick up the injury which forced him from the action at half-time.

Moussa Dembele - 6

Initially struggled to hold up play and, even though he would grow into the game, will forever lament the opportunity that came his way with Celtic still in the match at 1-0.

Substitutes

James Forrest (for Sinclair, 46 mins) 7 - Added much-needed direct running and purpose in the final third. Should have started.

Nir Bitton (for Tom Rogic, 64 mins) 5 - Couldn’t do much to changes things as the game slipped away from Celtic.

Patrick Roberts (for McGregor, 77 mins) 5 - Tried to be direct and run at Barca’s defenders, but often easily dispossessed.

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