Celtic were beaten but not disgraced as they warmed up for their crucial Champions League match against Astana with a loss to Barcelona in Dublin. Barca took the lead in splendid style, Arda Turan placing a marvellous finish beyond Craig Gordon after 10 minutes. A defensive blunder from Jose Antonio Martinez gifted Leigh Griffiths a leveller, but Efe Ambrose diverted a cross into his own net a minute later. Munir Mohamed made it 3-1 to secure a comfortable win for Barca.

There was no suggestion of Brendan Rodgers fielding a weakened side ahead of their crucial Champions League third round second leg qualifier on Wednesday. Seven of the team who secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg against Astana in midweek started in Dublin. New signing Kolo Toure was not deemed ready for match action. Barca were without the likes of Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Neymar for their first pre-season match, but Luis Enrique did include the towering talents of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

James Forrest was on the bench for the match in Kazakhstan and may wish he had been on the sidelines at the Aviva Stadium after being embarrassed in the build-up to Barcelona’s opening goal.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here