Thumbs down from new father Messi

Lionel Messi, right, was disappointed with the loss
Lionel Messi, right, was disappointed with the loss
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Lionel Messi admitted he had suffered extra disappointment as Celtic wrecked his baby celebrations.

The Argentine magician became a father for the first time last Friday, and had hoped to dedicate a Barcelona victory to newborn son Thiago.

But Barcelona lost for the first time this season as Celtic enjoyed a sensational win, thanks to Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt’s goals.

Messi managed an injury-time consolation, and performed a muted thumb-sucking celebration in his baby’s honour.

He admitted: “My goal did not help matters at all. At least there are plenty of games left for me to be able to dedicate goals to Thiago.

“We played all the football. Celtic just arrived in our penalty area twice, and scored two goals – from a corner and a long clearance by their keeper.

“In the end the ball played tricks on us, and refused to go in. We got into the danger area, but couldn’t put it away.

“The problem is Celtic’s players are bigger than ours, and that is why they scored from a corner. But we tried our best. They had no problems with the idea of getting into our area and waiting for counter-attacks or fouls.

“It was the same story when we played Celtic at the Nou Camp. They played defensively, and waited to hit us on the break. We wanted to win to ensure our place in the last 16. But we are fine, as we are top of our group and we have two games left to qualify. I am calm about it.”

Barca’s ex-Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas lamented: “Almost every team plays this way against us. But we still manage to get plenty of wins. We have to keep on playing our way, and moving forward.

“We have no excuses. We controlled possession, but we lacked depth. We did not have many clearcut chances. We knew Celtic could score from corners and counter-attacks, and that is what happened. We had chances, but they took theirs and we did not take ours. But we have two games left, and we will try to win them.”

Defender Jordi Alba said: “We keep coming up against sides like Celtic, who close ranks. We’re finding it hard to get into opposing penalty areas, but we have no cause for concern. Celtic created chances from set pieces as they know we are not a tall team. We also made lots of chances, but their keeper Fraser Forster was superb.”

Playmaker Xavi added: “I was amazed by the atmosphere at the game. It was an example for any club. As for the result, the main thing is that our destiny lies in our own hands.”