CELTIC were blown away by a scintillating second-half performance by Villareal striker Gerard Moreno who netted four goals in 25 minutes at the El Madrigal last night.
Scorers: Villarreal - Gerard (55, 59, 71, 80); Celtic - Kayal (26), Berget (36)
The reigning Scottish Premiership champions were on the Spanish coast for a charity match in aid of raising money and awareness for children cancer sufferers – a special bond between the two clubs having formed after a Uefa Cup clash in April 2004.
Former Villareal player Ernesto Boixader lost his son to the disease not long before the European showpiece ten years ago and was so taken back by the generosity of the Celtic supporters he decided to work on the now famous Submari Celtic Supporters’ Club.
The club has now almost raised €150,000 which will fund a future research project for children suffering from the disease all over Spain.
The celebratory match saw Celtic field a strong starting XI and they were two goals to the good at the interval courtesy of Beram Kayal’s header on 27 minutes and Jo Inge Beret’s unstoppable strike from 30 yards just ten minutes later.
But 22-year-old Gerard went on the rampage after the interval and netted his first of four within ten minutes. The hosts equalised just before the hour mark when Gerard slotted home in similar fashion before the impressive talisman won it with two further strikes.