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The Argentine said his side played better in the defeat to Celtic than they did in their victory over the Glasgow side a fortnight ago, but that luck was not on their side

Lionel Messi claims Barcelona's performance could not be faulted after losing their first Champions League group stage match in three years.

Goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt ensured the Blaugrana's advantage at the top of Group G was cut to two points and prevented Tito Vilanova's side from securing an early passage through to the knockout phase.

After the game, the Argentina forward reflected on a night where missed chances, the woodwork and another inspired performance from goalkeeper Fraser Forster cost his side the game.

"We did everything well, played better than two weeks ago against them, but the ball didn't go in," he told reporters.

“The same thing happened at the Camp Nou. They played defensively and they waited to make fast counterattacks. They are very comfortable on corners and set-pieces, and that’s how they scored their two goals.”

Messi scored in the 90th minute and celebrated with a thumb-sucking gesture, five days on from the birth of his son, but it proved too little too late, with the 25-year-old having earlier hit the bar and Alexis Sanchez the post.

"In the end, the goal didn't mean anything, the game was already lost. There are enough games left to dedicate goals to Thiago," he added.

Barca coach Vilanova agreed that his player's efforts could not be criticised and reserved special praise for the Celtic keeper.

"We interpreted the game well, knew what we wanted to do, created many chances, but didn't finish well and their keeper was great," he said.

"I don't like to lose, but if we have to lose, let it be this way."

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