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Toe-to-toe with the best

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Rolling-over St Mirren easily tells you nothing about what will happen at the Camp Nou.  As it is, we performed as well as any team in Europe would have last night.  Inter Milan and Chelsea won the Champions League in 2010 and 2012 respectively after putting on a similar performance to Celtic in the most testing theatre in football.

The manager, players, supporters and everyone at the club deserve enormous credit for their part in this.  Celtic’s achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider they live within their means, and this is not a dig at some former domestic rivalry, the most consistent trait of those currently regarded as uber-teams, including Barcelona, is a refusal to limit expenditure to match income over any business period.  We can admire the art of this Barca team while looking forward to the day Financial Fair Play regulations inhibit their expenditure to the £200m-or-so a season more than Celtic’s income.

Barca will know they face a difficult task at Celtic Park in two weeks.  Our goal came, as I predicted on Sunday, after a free kick inside the Barcelona half was dropped onto an elevated Celtic head inside the box.  When the game is analysed I’m sure the coaches will conclude that we should have invited more challenges in similar areas – on the wing, circa 35 yards from goal. This is an easier area of the field to get possession in than the penalty box and, for Celtic, equally as dangerous.

Messi, Xavi and Iniesta got everything right for their first goal immediately before half time.  The passing was fast, tight and each first touch was excellent, but this was a rarity.  On all other occasions Celtic forced them into a pass which was too tight or too fast, or to simply make another safe pass and try again.

The second Barcelona goal was a consequence of defending too deep to press the cross.  It was the kind of goal you lose in the 94th minute on a huge pitch.

Celtic successfully defended corner kicks zonally.  For 70 minutes Barca took short corners, almost always to an unmarked player on the wing, Celtic didn’t mark this player all game, which brought a complaint from me every time, but they defended the zones the needed to inside the penalty area.  Conceding possession outside the box looked like a conscious decision.  Eventually Messi was reduced to pitching corners down the throat of the Celtic defence with predictable results.

There is still have a hard job ahead to qualify for the knock out stage or for the Europa League but we have gone toe-to-toe with every team in the group and have competed admirably with each – which was regarded as an objective as recently as last month.  I’m enjoying my football this season.

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  1. THE conduct of Sir David Murray and the Rangers board in the three years before its administration is being examined by the Government’s insolvency investigators.

     

     

     

    The Insolvency Service’s Investigations & Enforcement Directorate are also looking at the role played by Craig Whyte, who bought the club from Sir David for £1 in May 2011.

     

     

     

    Other key figures under the microscope reportedly include Ibrox legend John Greig, a director from 2003, former chief executive Martin Bain and chairman Alistair Johnston.

     

     

     

    An Insolvency Service spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that, since Rangers has entered a form of insolvency, an insolvency practitioner (IP) is required to report on the conduct of the directors. The IP has reported and so the Investigations & Enforcement Directorate are considering the matter.”

     

     

     

    It is understood that administrators Duff & Phelps, who took control of the club on February 14, completed the report.

     

     

     

    Shortly before Rangers went into administration Mr Johnston called on the Insolvency Service to investigate Mr Whyte’s takeover, but the Government agency could not confirm if it was acting upon this request.

     

     

     

    The regulators can take action against company directors for a range of offences, including failure to keep proper accounting records or failure to pay tax. It has the power to disqualify directors for up to 15 years.

     

     

     

    The report is likely to be confidential

  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    THETIMRIEPER

     

     

    Aye-hip injuries frequently are.

     

     

    I cannot believe the decision was taken to let him play through it.

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Sofa- I won’t be going, but if I had been I’d ask him to play ‘Different Drum’.

  4. Rangers FC has partially disclosed information about the backers who rescued the club. As is not unusual in modern football, they include trusts located in offshore financial havens.

     

     

    The largest shareholder is Dubai businessman Arif Naqvi. The chief executive of private equity firm Abraaj Capital, he owns 4 million of the 25.5 million shares through a vehicle called Blue Pitch Holdings.

     

     

    The second biggest holding is thought to be based in the Turks and Caicos Islands which coincidentally shares the distinction of having the worst international football team in the world with San Marino. A fund called Margarita Funds Holding Trust has 2.6 million shares.

     

     

    Finance company Zeus Capital has the largest stake if the shares of three individual shareholders are aggregated. Imran Ahmad, the commercial director, owns 2.2 million shares. Manager Ally McCoist holds one million.

     

     

    Five investors are reluctant to have information about them revealed.

  5. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    itsabouttim- welcome back, stay well.

     

     

    We are livin’ through the ole interestin’ times!

  6. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    If im right and I think I am that is the third time big Efe Ambrose has played against Messi and Messi has been unable to score in any of the three games.We have signed a real class act in the big guy.H.H.

  7. tigertim

     

     

    I take it there is no blame on FF for the second goal last night? What happened to anything in the 6 yard box is the keeper? The ball bounced 3 yards out.

     

    In all honesty, lets blame no body, defensively we were brilliant, even the first goal is unplayable, he slips as he shoots fgs.

     

     

    ———

     

     

    Agree, the big man should be controlling his 6 yard box more and should have been out, let’s hope he works on this part of his game as he has done in the other elements as he is developing into something special. Some of his saves last night were unbelievable.

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

  8. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    BADA BING

     

     

    Last I heard,the board said his job was safe!

     

     

    Shame for the fella,seems he couldnae get his players to back the style of play he wanted.

  9. asonofdan

     

     

    13:42 on

     

    24 October, 2012

     

    Rangers FC has partially disclosed information about the backers who rescued the club. As is not unusual in modern football, they include trusts located in offshore financial havens.

     

     

    The largest shareholder is Dubai businessman Arif Naqvi. The chief executive of private equity firm Abraaj Capital, he owns 4 million of the 25.5 million shares through a vehicle called Blue Pitch Holdings.

     

     

    The second biggest holding is thought to be based in the Turks and Caicos Islands which coincidentally shares the distinction of having the worst international football team in the world with San Marino. A fund called Margarita Funds Holding Trust has 2.6 million shares.

     

     

    Finance company Zeus Capital has the largest stake if the shares of three individual shareholders are aggregated. Imran Ahmad, the commercial director, owns 2.2 million shares. Manager Ally McCoist holds one million.

     

     

    Five investors are reluctant to have information about them revealed.

     

     

    And the five in reverse order are

     

     

    1. Murray

     

    2. Bain

     

    3. Whyte

     

    4. Greig

     

    5. Salmond

     

     

    Nest of vipers

  10. celticrollercoaster loves Wee Oscar, our Celtic Warrior on

    Summa of Sammi….

     

    13:37 on

     

    24 October, 2012

     

     

    Falkirk Bhoy is a Bhoy from Falkirk. He is allowed an opinion like the rest of us.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    CRC

  11. BMCUW

     

     

    Its probably got a lot to do with broonies make up,

     

    he would run through brick walls to play for celtic

     

    and scotland. Someone has to take the decision

     

    out of broonies hands

  12. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    CAN I HAVE RASPBERRY ON THAT

     

     

    Careful-you may be impugning the reputation of these fine fellows.

     

     

    Doh,what am I saying?

  13. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Ally Mccoist has demanded to kno’ the names of the ‘5 mysterious investors’.

     

     

    Ever eager to help the Adipose Agitator here are the names he’s lookin’ for:

     

     

    1/ Sir Richard Byrne, mysterious music mogul

     

     

    2/Craig Whyte, Motherweell born billionaire and all round good egg

     

     

    3/Prince Fano Piano Kano III, Nigerian potentate with wealth ‘off the scale’ [ just as soon as he can solve his temporary cash flow problem]

     

     

    4/ Sir Guy of Gisborne. Feudal knight of fearsome ferocity, not a man to be crossed in maters financial

     

     

    5/ Rick Astley. THat’s right, the one and only. Believed to be the final piece in the gigantic warchest jigsaw which will bankroll many years of Euro-glory for the Galacto-diddies.

  14. I sometimes read comments on here, listen to them in the pub or on the supporter’s bus and think to myself, those people don’t deserve Celtic.

  15. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    THETIMRIEPER

     

     

    Apart from the disgraceful allegation about a manly Scot(t) wearing make-up,I agree!

  16. Blindlemonchitlin

     

    12:37 on

     

    24 October, 2012

     

     

    Great story – I need to stop reading CQN at work – in London this week in our Head Office and laughed out loud when I read that. Brilliant

     

     

    Thought the bhoys done great last night – watched on Sky Go in the hotel room only to realise it was about a minute behind when 8 year old son called me to say Sammi had scored. All to play for – just a pity Scottish Football is heading for Armageddon!!!!!

  17. From UEFA’s web site.

     

     

     

    Wednesday 24 October 2012 9.04CET

     

     

    UEFA.com Spanish newsdesk:

     

    Jordi Alba’s last-gasp winner in Barcelona’s dramatic 2-1 victory against Celtic not only had last night’s match commentators on Spanish television roaring “goal”, it also led to this morning’s headline writers looking for the best description to sum up the dramatic finale to events at the Camp Nou. Catalan daily Sport opted for “What a thrill” as it painted a picture of a Barça team that “managed to turn a game they dominated almost from start to finish and in the dying throes in a manner that still seems miraculous”.

     

     

    El Mundo, meanwhile, opted for “Alba on the whistle” as they described an “anxious win for the Azulgrana against a well-organised, defensive side”. The national daily said that Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster “frustrated Lionel Messi, who had an off night,” while they believe that “after three games, Barça have almost secured their passage through to the next phase”.

  18. South Of Tunis on

    DBBIA .

     

     

    Different Drum .

     

     

    A good choon .

     

     

    I think the best version was The Stone Poneys 45 .

     

     

    A mate of mine went to see Michael Nesmith at a club in the West Midlands in the early 70s . He said there was people in the audience screaming for I’m a Believer / Last Train to etc .

     

     

    Pearls Before Swine CSC

  19. pedrocaravanachio67 on

    Blindlemonchitlin & Ernie

     

     

    Just reading back and saw that both of you mentioned Michael Marra also.

     

    My sister worked with him quite a bit over the years and managed to meet and converse with him…he was a great story teller and seemed to love the romance of Celtic.

  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    HAMILTON TIM

     

     

    You should try going on a bus with more than one supporter.

     

     

    Sorry,just missing the pedantic posts……

  21. “after three games, Barça have almost secured their passage through to the next phase”.

     

     

    Who knows? Maybe at Celtic Park we can put a wee spanner in the works!

  22. Marrakesh Express on

    Reading back the plaudits our support received last night;

     

    Yet again we go abroad and give club and country a good name.

     

    Compared to a former club’s record of shame on their travels it really is a case of night and day. Ask the Barcelona public, police and council.

     

    And yet the Scottish msm wont go there. They are’nt slow to bum up the Tartan Army but when it comes to a certain Scottish club, ‘well they’re just as bad as the other lot’. (Traynor, Keevins et al). Why is that?

  23. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt would be the version I’m most familiar with.

     

     

    Wee Linda has led an interesting life.

  24. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Can I have raspberries, Sir Guy may not be a hun, but he is a Norman, which is just as bad.

  25. gallowgate mad squad on

    May i just say, i thought Sammi was absolutely gorgeous last night. His hazel eyes, peering through his Samson-like hair, why he was like a study in beauty. One can only imagine him sitting with his foot up, ankle swollen. Oh to hold his hand in his hour of need!! To whisper to him, ‘Sammi, we love you. We are here for you, you lovely handsome Greek God you!’

  26. Barcelona – Celtic 2-1 – 23/10/2012 – Match page – UEFA Champions League 2013

     

     

     

     

    Pre-match

     

    MatchCentre

     

    Post-match

     

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    Overview

     

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    Barcelona vs Celtic

     

     

     

     

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    Timeline

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    43′ – James Forrest for Giorgos Samaras

     

     

    62′ – Kris Commons for Scott Brown

     

     

    76′ – Beram Kayal for Charlie Mulgrew

     

     

    90′ – James Forrest

     

     

    70′ – Javier Mascherano

     

     

    75′ – Christian Tello for Pedro Rodríguez

     

     

    79′ – Adriano

     

     

    79′ – David Villa for Alexis Sánchez

     

     

    Goal

     

     

    Goal

     

     

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    Match times and Game events

     

     

     

    Half time: 18:45

     

     

    Full time: 20:30

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Vilanova: Barcelona win not lucky

     

     

    Published: Wednesday 24 October 2012, 0.13CET

     

     

    FC Barcelona needed a last-gasp goal to beat Celtic FC 2-1 but Tito Vilanova said: “We did enough beforehand to merit the victory.” Neil Lennon mixed disappointment with pride.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    45

     

     

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    9

     

     

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    80

     

     

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    90+4

     

     

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    80

     

     

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    13

     

     

    Pinto (GK)

     

     

    24

     

     

    Załuska (GK)

     

     

     

     

    4

     

     

    Fàbregas

     

     

    2

     

     

    Matthews

     

     

     

     

    7

     

     

    Villa

     

    80

     

     

    7

     

     

    Fedor

     

     

     

     

    12

     

     

    Dos Santos

     

     

    15

     

     

    Commons

     

    63

     

     

     

     

    19

     

     

    Montoya

     

     

    25

     

     

    Rogne

     

     

     

     

    28

     

     

    Sergi Roberto

     

     

    33

     

     

    Kayal

     

    76

     

     

     

     

    37

     

     

    Tello

     

    76

     

     

    49

     

     

    Forrest

     

    43

     

     

    90+1

     

     

     

     

     

    Coaches

     

     

     

     

    Tito Vilanova (ESP)

     

     

    Neil Lennon (NIR)

     

     

     

     

     

    Referee

     

     

     

     

    Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

     

     

    .

     

    Details

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Press kits

     

     

    Lineups340.1 KB

     

    Half-time report337.1 KB

     

    Full-time report501 KB

     

    Players statistics307.3 KB

     

    Team statistics63.7 KB

     

    Team/Players passing distribution426.2 KB

     

    Tactical lineups781 KB

     

     

    Last updated: 23/10/2012 22:54 CET

     

     

     

    Media services

     

     

     

     

     

    Standings

     

     

     

     

    Group G

     

     

     

     

     

     

    P

     

     

    Pts

     

     

     

     

     

    1

     

     

    Barcelona

     

     

    3

     

     

    9

     

     

     

     

    2

     

     

    Celtic

     

     

    3

     

     

    4

     

     

     

     

    3

     

     

    Spartak Moskva

     

     

    3

     

     

    3

     

     

     

     

    4

     

     

    Benfica

     

     

    3

     

     

    1

     

     

     

     

    Last updated: 24/10/2012 08:28 CET

     

     

     

    Legend:

     

    P: Played Pts: Points

     

    Full standingsAll groups

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Matches

     

     

     

     

    23 October 2012

     

     

     

     

     

     

    G

     

     

    Spartak Moskva

     

     

     

     

     

    2-1 .

     

     

     

     

    Benfica

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    E

     

     

    Nordsjælland

     

     

     

     

     

    1-1 .

     

     

     

     

    Juventus

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    F

     

     

    LOSC

     

     

     

     

     

    0-1 .

     

     

     

     

    Bayern

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    G

     

     

    Barcelona

     

     

     

     

     

    2-1 .

     

     

     

     

    Celtic

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    E

     

     

    Shakhtar Donetsk

     

     

     

     

     

    2-1 .

     

     

     

     

    Chelsea

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    F

     

     

    BATE

     

     

     

     

     

    0-3 .

     

     

     

     

    Valencia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    H

     

     

    Galatasaray

     

     

     

     

     

    1-1 .

     

     

     

     

    CFR Cluj

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    H

     

     

    Man. United

     

     

     

     

     

    3-2 .

     

     

     

     

    Braga

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    24 October 2012

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    All matches

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Also from Uefa.com tried to do a link but just can’t manage it, sorry,

     

     

     

     

    Tito Vilanova, Barcelona coach

     

    We scored at the death but we did enough beforehand to merit the victory. We brought all of the weight to this encounter; we had the chances and the possession. They were strong on the counter and in their aerial game. We know that if you don’t persist, you don’t win games.

     

     

    We knew the risks we were taking, they could have scored a second, but you have to keep going until the end. We knew a week ago that [youth-team defender] Marc Bartra would play this game. He’s really quick and has good vision for high balls. We knew he could help us. We could have signed another central defender but it was my decision not to.

     

     

    [After 100 days in charge] I am happy with how the players are competing and training. It’s not easy to play these type of games when you are facing ten or 11 men in their own area. Their goalkeeper did very well, while we also hit the post. It was a difficult encounter, but I don’t think we had all of the luck we might have had tonight.

     

     

    Neil Lennon, Celtic manager

     

    While I’m disappointed for the players I’m also immensely proud of them. They were brave and stuck to what we asked them to do. We conceded ground when we had to, but we defended brilliantly and at times, on the counterattack, we looked dangerous. This is the best team in the world, so to come here to the Nou Camp and play like that doesn’t surprise me about these players. Everyone had written us off, but I know the quality and the character of the team.

     

     

    We’re playing it game by game and although we didn’t budget for anything from tonight, we came very, very close to getting something. Fraser [Forster] is top class and he’ll go really far in the game. But as a group, all 14 of them, I can’t speak highly enough of them. We were tiring towards the end. It is physically and mentally demanding, but I thought we’d done enough to see the game out.

  27. RalphWaldoEllison fights ALS on

    pedrocaravanachio67

     

     

    Michael Marra.

     

     

    His song “Reynard in Paradise” is playing now.

     

     

    A wee story about the fox that ran onto the pitch during the Celtic V Liverpool game at Celtic Park.

     

     

    That lovely line ” A working model of the one big thing”

     

     

    A bit like last night in the Camp Nou.

     

     

     

    The last line…

     

    “Men can be graceful,

     

    This much I know”

     

     

    A bit like last night at the Camp Nou.

     

     

    RIP Michael Marra

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