Barca don’t cope well with British teams


Football fans the world over know Barcelona better than any other team, apart from their own personal favourites.  We have all marvelled at how this side redefined the game at club level, before carrying their modus operandi and success to the Spanish national team, with an even greater win ratio, but the devil is in the detail, and the details point to a vulnerability in Barcelona.

They have won European trophies three times in the last nine seasons but only once in the other six seasons have they been eliminated by a non-British team.  Five times in nine seasons they have passed, jinked and outplayed British opposition without creating enough clear-cut chances to win the tie, or by protecting their goal sufficiently well.

Inter parked the bus in the 2010 Champions League semi-final, as only Inter can, but all others across continental Europe have been swept aside, no matter how defensively, flamboyantly or aggressively they play.

The pool of teams capable of beating over two legs Barcelona is admittedly small but any opponent who reaches the knock out stage of a competition from France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy or Spain itself would take their chances seriously.  The Russians, Ukrainians and Belgians would have a go too.  None of these countries have a single team better than Barca by any objective measure, but the same is true of British teams.

There is something about the high-tempo nature of the British game this team just doesn’t cope well with.  If they did, they would have won at least twice as many European trophies as they have in the last nine seasons.  If it’s objective evidence you are looking for, you don’t need to look too far for a style of football Barcelona don’t cope with.

Chelsea triumphed twice during the period while Liverpool and Manchester United both won once.  The sequence started when Celtic drew 0-0 at the Camp Nou after a 1-0 win in Glasgow in 2004.  Liverpool also knocked Barca out three years earlier and don’t ask a Dundee United fan about their exploits at the Camp Nou unless you have an hour to kill!

Play your own game, Celtic.

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  1. Paul67



    I said this morning that upon reading the quotes they seem far more anxious about tonight than we do.



    In saying that, we would require one of the greatest performances from a Celtic team to win tonight.




  2. We will get a chance or two tonight, we simply have to be clinical when we do. So far in Europe we have been, i’m cautiously opTIMistic.

  3. “Play your own game, Celtic”



    That sums it up for me. This young team of ours has grown in confidence over the past few months and should fear no-one.

  4. Paul67…..great stuff!!



    C’mon the hoops.



    Not been on for a long while but still lurking.



    Hail Hail!!



    Barca 1 Celtic 1…..

  5. Tooting Tim



    The board for Southend Airport says you should be away by 12.55. If yours is the Barcelona flight, you should be fine. If it’s the Alicante one, more of a problem.



    I’m assuming it’s the Barcelona one.



    If you get stuck for time, take the train from the airport to Sants station and leave your stuff in the left luggage there. Then get the metro to Maria Cristina (line 3, direction Zona Universitaria) and go to the game. After the match, do the same in reverse to get your bags and then you’ll have all the time in the world to get some dinner and check into your hotel.



    Even if you get through passport control an hour before kick off (kick off is 8.45 local time) you’ll make it.

  6. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Time for the Celts to throw some sand in the gearbox of the Barca machine.



    Hustle, hustle, hustle.

  7. Don’t bet as a rule, but put on a combo Celtic to win and both teams to score at least once (as a banker)



    Got me a tidy sum with the Spartak game.



    Will watch in the same Aberdeen boozer….Malones. Full of Tims and a great atmosphere assured.

  8. Good advice, Paul.



    ‘ Play your own game, Celtic.’





    Tonight is a great occasion in Celtic history, no matter what the result.


    Just being at the home of the world’s finest football team in a CL group is a privilege.


    Being there with a squad of youngsters who are only beginning to gel as a team is more than we could have believed possible even one short year ago.


    This is one to savour.


    One where being there is ALL that matters.


    Of course it would be lovely to get something out of it but I don’t care how the game pans out so long as Celtic go out there & ‘play their own game’.


    No parked buses.


    No Wattenaccio.



    Get in about them, Celtic.

  9. voguepunter



    It’s a wee tourney they have every year for the charity.


    usually competed for by local teams.Although as you say,you obviously don’t mingle in the elite athletes section of the Vogue!

  10. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I was away for the week-end so I have just seen big Efes goal celebration what an a athlete that Bhoy is.Tonights game for me is a no stress no worries game we are not expected to do anything so even if we nick a draw it will be a great result and if we get beaten that is what is expected so im going to sit back relax and marvel that we are playing the best club team in the world come on you Bhoys in green.H.H.

  11. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    ……now where are those sedatives…..????

  12. rolo tomassi



    I can honestly say,never seen an elite athlete in Vogue,does a dartist count?


    Well done,kilbryde hospice a great cause.

  13. Papua New Guinea CSC on

    Kilbowie Kelt says –



    “Just being at the home of the world’s finest football team in a CL group is a privilege.”



    I thought Celtic are playing away from home? I better get on the tram to Parkhead then!

  14. Please stop these positive posts Paul. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable with this cautious optimism. It’s Barca in the Nou Camp!, we’ve no chance. But the stats don’t lie. I’ll still be watching from behind the sofa.

  15. Spanish press worried about our pace on the counter attack against their stand in CB’s.



    Some predict a 3-2-2-3 formation from Barca to build deep and swamp us before we get near their box.

  16. Wisla Cracow beat FC Barcelona 1:0 in 2008 in the CL qualification.


    Technical players don’t do well when the game physical.

  17. RogueLeader, aye, maybe.



    ASonOfDan, this is one of the rare occasions we need not be anxious about.



    Fin75, thanks.



    Kilbowie Kelt, that’s all we can do.



    southside, hide behind the sofa later. Enjoy the build-up now.

  18. Paul67 – Spanish press saying likely Centre Half pairing of Mascherano and Adriano tonight. 5’7″ and 5’8″ respectively.



    Joy could be had from set pieces. Charlie, Mikael and Izzy need to be on top form with delivieries

  19. Once A Bhoy..... on

    We have a punchers chance. Close them down quick and hard all night and when we get the ball move it forward quickly.



    Big games required in the middle of the park tonight to protect the back four.




  20. Voguepunter



    cheers – I think they are up to £3M now and will start building the new hospice early next year.

  21. Cumbernauld No 1 on



    Akinpelu Kayode on Twitter: “Yes, anything can happen, but I’m not convinced Celtic have what it takes in quality, experience and grit to do a Chelsea.”



    Stevie Rooney on Twitter: “Interesting to see levels of ignorance and disrespect re Celtic on here. We will give Barca a game tonight. C’mon the hoops.”



    Fahad Khan on Twitter: “Celtic should take heart from the fact that Barca under Tito are no longer the clinical and ruthless force they were under Pep.”



    Nick Grant on Twitter: “Are people forgetting Celtic beat Barcelona in the Uefa Cup in 2004?”



    Colin Mathie on Twitter: “It’s going to be a humiliation for them at the Nou Camp, 5-0 Barca.”




    Conflicting beliefs about Celtic,

  22. RL



    Wanyama has been great all season at getting into the right positions in the box when set pieces are played in. Hoping for some of the same tonight.