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'The ball would just not go in'

Lionel Messi claims Barcelona’s performance could not be faulted after losing their first Champions League group stage match in three years.

Goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt ensured the Blaugrana’s advantage at the top of Group G was cut to two points and prevented Tito Vilanova’s side from securing an early passage through to the knockout phase.


Heroic save: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster (left) denies Barca ace Lionel Messi (centre). Pic/Getty Images

After the game, the Argentina forward reflected on a night where missed chances, the woodwork and another inspired performance from goalkeeper Fraser Forster cost his side the game. “We did everything well, played better than two weeks ago against them, but the ball didn’t go in,” he told reporters.

“The same thing happened at the Camp Nou. They played defensively and they waited to make fast counterattacks. They are very comfortable on corners and set-pieces, and that’s how they scored their two goals.”


Celtic players celebrate a goal. Pic/Getty Images

Messi scored in the 90th minute and celebrated with a thumb-sucking gesture, five days on from the birth of his son, but it proved too little too late, with the 25-year-old having earlier hit the bar and Alexis Sanchez the post. “In the end, the goal didn’t mean anything, the game was already lost. There are enough games left to dedicate goals to Thiago,” he added. 

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Proudest night of my career, says Celtic boss Neil Lennon
Celtic sent shockwaves around Europe as they produced a stunning 2-1 Group G win over Barcelona at Parkhead on Wednesday. Barca, who hadn’t previously lost in the group stages for over three years, dominated possession but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. The Hoops held on for a famous win the day after the club celebrated its 125th birthday to leave coach Neil Lennon a happy man. “It is one of the proudest nights of my career,” the Celtic manager said. “Just beaten the best team in the world and, on the anniversary of the club, it is a very special occasion.” 

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