Juventus took a huge step towards the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday night by beating Celtic 3-0 away, and although French outfit Paris Saint-Germain also won away, 2-1 at Valencia, it came at a cost.
PSG got the breakthrough after 10 minutes. Ezequiel Lavezzi played a one-two with Javier Pastore. The former Napoli winger, sending a fierce shot past the Valencia ’keeper. PSG then doubled their advantage just before the break. Lucas Moura, breaking down the right flank before squaring the ball in the area for Pastore to make it 2-0. Then in the 90th minute. Diego Costa found Adil Rami in the area and pulled one back for Valencia. PSG however saw star Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off. he will now miss next month’s second leg tie.
Things were much more straightforward for Juventus in Glasgow, however. They silenced the raucous home crowd within three minutes as a mistake by Nigerian defender Efe Ambrose — perhaps still feeling the effects of his country’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph on Sunday — let in Alessandro Matri for the opener.
Further goals late in the second half from Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic ensured Juventus were well and truly home. Celtic manager Neil Lennon was not happy with the referee, but accepted that his decision to play Ambrose had backfired.
“The scoreline flatters Juventus,” he said. “For 70-odd minutes we were by far the better side but you can’t give away sloppy goals. We took a gamble on Efe Ambrose but he was poor for the first goal and he missed a great chance to equalise. We switched off for the second and third goals,” added Lennon.