A sensational Messi brace inspires Barcelona to another remarkable victory at Glasgow on Wednesday night, thrashing Celtic 2-0, as the advance to the knockout stage of the champions league.
- FT: Celtic 0-2 Barcelona
- Barca win Group C
- Celtic to finish bottom
- Messi double (24, 55 pen)
- Champions League Group C
Football is a complicated sport but sometimes it doesn’t have to always be. If your team is better than the opponent on at least two of the three phases of football – offense, defense, probably with exceptional Player like Messi in your team – then the odds are you’re going to win. If you’re superior in all three phases then you’ll not only win, but probably blow them out too. For the Blaugrana, Wednessday night was an example of the latter.
After last Month's disappointing loss at Manchester, Blaugrana needed to bounce back quickly. Lucky then that they faced one of the most consistently terrible teams in the Champions leaque this season – Celtic.They are arguably ‘not of Champions League’ standard and would probably be bested by any member of second division sides today.
Lionel Messi's 91st and 92nd goals in the UEFA Champions League ensured Barcelona's progress to the last 16 as Group C winners as they thrashed Celtic 2-0 in Glasgow.
Two goals by a superbly in-form Lionel Messi – a half-volley from a terrific Neymar-lofted assist, then a calmly dispatched penalty in the second half – were the hallmarks of a wonderful night from the Argentinian. His assist also resulted in Luis Suárez hitting the post with eight minutes left. CREDIT:UEFA.COM
More devastating still, Borussia Mönchengladbach have now pipped Brendan Rodgers' men to the UEFA Europa League, even if Celtic beat Manchester City on match day six. CREDIT:UEFA.COM
Lionel Messi (Barcelona), The fulcrum of Barcelona's famous trident had been doubtful with a stomach bug but he showed no ill-effects here. From the outset he buzzed around with creative intent and intuitively he seemed to know where Neymar was directing his delicate, chipped pass for the opener. The little Argentinian did the rest, half- volleying into the bottom corner, and he later sent Craig Gordon the wrong way from the spot. It was business as usual from Messi, who took his overall competition haul to 92, closing the gap on Cristiano Ronaldo to three.CREDIT:UEFA.COM
Alex O'Henley, Celtic (@UEFA.com Alex O)
In the end this was a comfortable win for Luis Enrique's side as they progressed to the knockout stage, although the hosts fairly matched them in the first period. Indeed, had Dembélé converted his opportunity, the outcome might have been different. Instead, Messi was quickly putting Barcelona into an unassailable position with a spot kick at the other end. The free-flowing Blaugrana then emerged, and Messi and Suárez should have made it more emphatic. For Celtic, another learning experience.
Graham Hunter, Barcelona ( @BumperGraham)
I've been Barcelona correspondent in every single one of Messi's UEFA Champions League campaigns and it's clearly attention-grabbing that he's never been this prolific in this competition before. Nine goals in four games is more than many of his seasonal tallies across the years. But it's my firm assessment that there's something else for Barcelona's future rivals to consider – Messi is back enjoying his football. None of the pain or frustration of the summer or last season's elimination by Atlético. His work-rate, assists, movement, vision and creativity aren't simply further demonstrations of his class but an indication that he's "enchufado" as they say in Spain. Switched on. And dangerous.