After the two drubbings at the hand of Paris St Germain, I read how they were among the best teams ever to visit Celtic Park. In the next round of the Champions League they lost home and away to Real Madrid (currently 15 points off the pace in La Liga). The truth is, we flattered the French champions-elect.
PSG are not on the level of any of the Barcelona teams we have faced in recent years, or the Milan or Juventus teams who eliminated us from the Champions League knock out stages. They have abundant talent, but this is not a team who should be beating us 0-5 and 7-1.
The Milan team we faced in 2007, who were on their way to winning the Champions League, contained Maldini, Gattuso, Seedorf, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Ambrosini and Kaka. Celtic held them to two 0-0s over 90 minutes, with Telfer, McManus, O’Dea, Naylor and Sno in the side, none of whom would get into the current side.
Truth is, we have better players than at any point under Gordon Strachan and Neil Lennon. The current crop have and will continue to achieve more domestically than their predecessors, but we cannot go toe-to-toe with Europe’s moneyed elite any more than Morton can at Celtic Park.
This season’s Champions League group was a five defeat and one win success. We eliminated a higher seed – progress in anyone’s book. But conceding five, six and seven goals needs to stop. Defending against overwhelming talent is an art. Let’s learn it.