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UEFA Champions League
December 11, 2013
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: S. Karasev
• Attendance: 54342
Neymar 44', 48', 58'
G. Samaras 88'
Celtic bow out of the competition having conceded six goals in Europe for the first time in their history, and it could have been plenty more. Whatever people say about Barcelona, no one will want to face them in the last 16. Despite many of their senior players being missing, they put on a footballing masterclass this evening. I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
The full-time whistle blows and Celtic's have been put out of their misery. Neymar's hat-trick has helped seal Barcelona's place at the top of Group H, and in truth they full deserved their heavy win.
90' + 1'
Celtic again pose a threat as Samaras is sent clear and rounds Pinto, only for Pique to get back to head the Greek's effort off the line. Much better from the visitors.
Tello has caused some problems since coming on and he almost bags himself a second as he cuts in from the left, only to drag his shot wide of the near post.
Almost a second for the visitors as Commons runs through the midfield before firing in an effort that Pinto has to get down smartly to parry. Celtic coming to life eventually.
Assist Charles Mulgrew
Goal Georgios Samaras
GOAL!!! Celtic have a consolation as Mulgrew whips in an excellent free-kick and Samaras has the simple task of nodding it into the net.
There is certainly much less urgency from both sides now as the Champions League group stage begins to draw to a close. This is not the way Celtic wanted their campaign to end.
At last a prolonged period of possession for Celtic as they look to pass the ball from one side of the field to the other. Still no real incisiveness though.
A final change for Celtic as Stokes comes on for Matthews.
A standing ovation for hat-trick hero Neymar as he is replaced by teenager Dongou for the final ten minutes.
Pinto finally has a save to make as some neat interplay sets up Boerrigter on the edge of the box, but the former Ajax man's effort is a weak one and the goalkeeper can pick up with ease.
Tello almost has a second as van Dijk first blocks his effort before using his strength to win the ball back. The Dutch centre-back has been impressive amongst the carnage this evening.
A first real error from van Dijk sees him lose the ball to Neymar, and after some more trickery, he sees Forster save with his feet. The Brazilian could have had five or six on another night.
A change for the home team too as Song replaces Busquets.
GOAL!!! Yet another for the hosts as Adriano picks up his second assist as he feeds Tello. His effort isn't the best, but a deflection off van Dijk carries it past Forster.
Yellow Card Adam Matthews
Matthews picks up a yellow card for simulation in the box, though it looks slightly harsh. It wasn't a penalty, but by no means was it a dive. Commons on for Biton for the visitors.
The home side win another corner but Pedro's effort is blocked after it is taken short.
Barcelona should have a sixth as Neymar runs clear of the Celtic defence before rounding Forster. He then looks to shoot but Pedro gets in his way before van Dijk deflects the Spain winger's effort over the bar.
Finally an effort on goal from Celtic as Mulgrew tries his luck from distance, but it flies well over the top.
The first change for the hosts as Tello replaces the impressive Sanchez.
Camp Nou is far from full this evening but those who have made the journey are certainly enjoying themselves as the hosts pass the ball around with ease.
Neymar is human after all as he tries to find Sanchez breaking into the box, but Lustig reads it and cuts it out.
Goal Neymar Jr.
HAT-TRICK!!! Neymar has lit up Camp Nou this evening and now he has secured the match ball. He again leaves Ambrose for dead with some wonderful skill, and though Matthews gets the last touch on the line, Neymar will be claiming this one. He has been sensational.
Celtic are starting to get a foothold in this second period, but still do not look like troubling Pinto in the Barcelona goal. This has been so disappointing for the visitors.
Neymar is on the prowl again as Adriano plays a lovely through ball looking for the Brazilian, but Forster is off his line quickly to deal with the danger.
Barcelona are just toying with their visitors now as they languidly pass it around in midfield and defence. They have been imperious at times this evening.
SAVED! Xavi hits it well but Forster is equal to it and can parry it over the top. The resulting corner leads to nothing.
Another opportuntiy for Barcelona coming up as Neymar wins a free-kick around 30 yards from goal. Xavi is over it...
Goal Neymar Jr.
GOAL!!! Like London buses, Neymar has waited for a Champions League goal for six matches, and now he has two in four minutes. This time he trades passes with Xavi before slotting home from the edge of the box. Just too good.
Celtic kick-off having made a change, with Mulgrew replacing Pukki.
The players are back out on the field and we are about to get back underway...
Barcelona were by no means at their best in the opening 45 minutes, but turned it on enough times to be out of sight by the break. How many will they score? It could get embarrassing if they continue to run through the gears.
That goal was the final action of the first half as the hosts dominated. Celtic have huffed and puffed but have no cutting edge in attack. It may well be a case of damage limitation for Lennon in the second period.
Goal Neymar Jr.
GOAL!!! The wait is over as Neymar finally breaks his Champions League duck. Some wonderful one touch passing leads to Sanchez feeding Montoya in the box, and in turn he finds Neymar, who has an empty net to tap into. Barcelona are heading for the top of Group H.
Neymar looks to turn into the box but Ambrose is able to keep pace with him this time and can eventually make the clearance. The Nigeria man has had a tough first half but did well there.
Yellow Card Scott Brown
Yellow Card Sergi Roberto
We have the first booking of the evening as the Russian referee takes Sergi's name for a foul on van Dijk. Brown is also booked for showing his disgust at the midfielder's challenge.
Assist Neymar Jr.
GOAL!!! Barcelona haven't been at their best tonight, but the odd bit of attacking play has been brilliant. Neymar is the architect as he takes on Ambrose before squaring for Pedro, and the winger can't miss from six yards. Big mountain to climb for Celtic now.
Matthews runs another ball out of play as yet another Celtic move breaks down. They certainly haven't just come to defend, but they are struggling to break the hosts down.
Samaras wins a corner on the left, and though Barcelona clear, Biton is able to get a shot away from 25 yards. Mascherano doesn't know much about it but manages to get a block in.
Neymar has shown some glimpses, and he almost gets a sight of goal after slaloming through two Celtic challenges. Better from the Brazilian.
Another half-chance for Celtic as Xavi gives the ball away and Ledley can break down the left. He looks for support but his cross is too heavy for Boerrigter and Brown.
Boerrigter and Pukki are two players who really need a good game tonight for Celtic, but the pair sum up their early careers at Parkhead as they both leave the ball for one another on the edge of the Barcelona box. The visitors need to start testing Pinto when they get a sight of goal.
Pique has been a thorn in the Celtic defence when he has come forward, and he almost has a second as Xavi's free-kick finds him at the back post. The defender gets a shot away but Ambrose, who fell over in trying to win a previous header, blocks the effort on the ground.
Celtic have half a chance as Samaras picks up the ball on the edge of the box, but he lacks the strength to hold it up. Sanchez then wins a free-kick as the hosts counter.
The home side threaten again as Neymar gets a shot away, but Ambrose blocks well. The big defender then almost throws away his good work with a yet another poor clearance, but Pique cannot take advantage this time.
Despite Barcelona's good start Neymar has been a little quiet. He is still looking for his maiden Champions League goal, but thus far he has been outmuscled by van Dijk whenever he gets the ball.
Celtic have played some nice stuff in the middle third but when they come forward they have misplaced too many passes. Ledley is the latest to play the ball straight out of play as yet another promising attack fizzles out.
Sanchez is causing no end of problems, and he is almost in behind as he plays a lovely one-two with Neymar. Van Dijk is alive to the danger though and clears.
Lustig and van Dijk have certainly been busy in the opening 15 minutes, with both cutting out crosses in quick succession. The Spanish champions certainly look in the mood this evening.
Some better play from Celtic leads to Boerrigter swinging in a cross from the right. He misreads the run of Pukki though and the ball rolls harmlessly out of play.
Barcelona continue to dominate as Sanchez wins a corner from Matthews. The hosts are having plenty of joy down the right-hand side, with Montoya bombing forward at every opportunity. The corner, though, comes to nothing.
Celtic are trying to get a foothold in this game, with Samaras looking to run the ball down the left-hand side. He cannot beat Montoya, though, and eventually the hosts win a goal kick.
GOAL!!! It has been coming and Pique is the man to find the net. Ambrose loses the ball on the edge of his own box, and after Forster saves with his feet from Sanchez, the centre-back can poke home the rebound. This could be a long evening for the Scots.
Celtic have struggled to keep possession in the early moments, and their frustrations are summed up as Brown's ball forward is too heavy for Samaras to latch onto.
Celtic living dangerously here as Matthews gives the ball away inside his own half, and he has van Dijk to thank for bailing him out with an excellent challenge on Xavi after Neymar's through ball.
The hosts come forward early on and Neymar almost has hist first Champions League goal. The forward looks to get his head on Xavi's cross but it is just too hight for the Brazil man.
Barcelona kick-off and we are underway...
Xavi, who is skippering Barcelona this evening, is also breaking a Spanish record as he overtakes Raul as the most capped player in European competition for those from the country. Tonight is his 159th appearance in continental tournaments.
The instantly recognisable Champions League anthem reverborates around Camp Nou before the players exchange the customary pre-match handshakes. We are almost ready to go in Spain...
The two teams are in the tunnel and we are now very close to kick-off. Can Celtic spring another surprise? Or will Barcelona return to winning ways in Europe? We'll know very soon...
Despite Celtic notoriously giving Barcelona some difficult evenings in the recent past, the lack of anything to play for for the visitors could leave them open to embarrassment from the front three of Neymar, Pedro and Sanchez. Their pace and movement will be key to the hosts' success as they look to latch onto the passes that Xavi will look to provide.
There are just over ten minutes until kick-off in Camp Nou and there is already quite an atmosphere building. Plenty of supporters have made their way to the match from Glasgow as the visitors look for another famous win to round off their European participation this season.
Gerardo Martino has had a realtively straigtforward first Champions League campaign as coach of Barcelona, though defeat to Ajax last time out has meant they must still at least draw tonight to make sure they avoid drawing the likes of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in the last 16. The hosts could still finish top with a defeat this evening, though they would need the other match in the group to end in a draw for that to happen.
Celtic cannot even qualify for the Europa League this evening, with Milan and Ajax already out of sight, so the Bhoys are already playing for just pride. Lennon will be hoping his side can stay in the match for as long as possible, however, with creative players Commons and Mulgrew waiting to make an impact from the bench.
Meanwhile Celtic have captain Scott Brown available after sitting out the three European matches since he was sent off in the reverse fixture at Parkhead. Full-back Adam Matthews also returns after missing seven weeks of action.
Barcelona welcome Xavi back into their side after he recovered from a calf injury while Andres Iniesta makes the bench. Lionel Messi remains sidelined while Pinto continues in goal in Victor Valdes' absence.
Celtic: Forster, Lustig, Matthews, Ambrose, van Dijk, Brown, Biton, Ledley, Boerrigter, Pukki, Samaras.
Barcelona: Pinto Colorado, Montoya, Adriano, Mascherano, Pique, Xavi, Busquets, Sergi, Neymar, Pedro, Sanchez.
Before we contnue with the build-up to tonight's encounter in Catalonia, let's take a look at the two starting elevens...
Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the Champions League encounter between two former winnners, Barcelona and Celtic. The two sides have had varied campaigns in Group H, with the Camp Nou outfit looking for the point they need to finish top of the group while Neil Lennon's team are already out of the competition. Fixtures between these two are rarely dull, though, so we should be in for an exciting evening. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through proceedings.
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