In Barcelona last night, Neil Lennon’s Celtic was “just a handful of seconds away from claiming a draw against the most talented group of football players ever to kick a ball,” writes The Daily Record. A draw in the Camp Nou “would have been Lennon’s masterpiece,” the paper continued, and he was so close “he could almost touch it.”
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. In the dying seconds of injury time, Barcelona left back Jordi Alba stole into the box to tap home the go-ahead goal that made it 2-1 to the Catalans in their UEFA Champions League Group G clash.
Afterward, an exhausted Lennon conceded: “You are never comfortable and the top teams go right to the end ... Barcelona are just a quality side. They were always going to keep coming on to us. They are a different animal from the games we are used to.
“But my players were brave and I couldn’t ask any more of them,” he continued. “The next game is Barcelona at home and we have to be very mindful of that as well because if we go too gung-ho they will pick us off very easily. We will have a big crowd supporting us and I hope they will spur us on.”
With 9 points from 3 games, Barca has now all but qualified for the second round. Celtic, currently second in Group G with 4 points, still has a lot to do to qualify for the Round of 16, starting with the visit of Barcelona to Parkhead on November 7.