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‘PENATY MISS SO CRUCIAL,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS claimed that Celtic’s first-half penalty miss was a turning point in their 7-0 thumping by a rampant Barcelona.

The Hoops went a goal down to the magical Lionel Messi in only three minutes before they were given the opportunity to equalise.

But Moussa Dembele’s spot-kick was too close to keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his right hand side and the German dived to push it to safety.

Inside three minutes, Messi had doubled the Catalans’ advantage and the Hoops caved in during a one-sided second-half.

Rodgers, though, suggested his side could have got something had Dembele, scorer of three goals at the weekend, had netted.

He said: “I credit the goalkeeper.That was a moment for us that needed to go our way.

“When the ball hits the back of the net for us it would have given us a lot of energy. So, I think that was a turning point.

“My players couldn’t have come to a more difficult place in world football.

“To have had hardly any preparation time really to come up against the world’s best at keeping the ball and tiring you out is always going to be difficult, really.

“The experience will show you that when you’re measuring yourself against the world’s best. They wouldn’t have worked any harder than our players but their confidence and technique was impressive.

“They’re lifted by that front three, but when you’re on the other end of it it isn’t so nice.

“No professional likes to lose like that – even if you’re playing against a team of world-class players.

“I look technically at the game. You need to conserve the ball.

“Tonight clearly the top-class team won, but I couldn’t have asked any more of my team.”

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