Oct 1, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Celtic Park

Lustig (44'), Samaras (77'), Izaguirre (85')
Brown (59')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Fabregas (75')
Fabregas (55'), Busquets (75'), Sanchez (90')

Live Commentary: Celtic 0-1 Barcelona - as it happened

Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Champions League Group H clash between in Glasgow as Barcelona beat Celtic 1-0.

Celtic welcomed Barcelona to Glasgow in the Champions League on Tuesday hoping to repeat last season's 2-1 win over the Spanish outfit.

Unsurprisingly, the away side dominated the possession in the first period, but could not make the breakthrough with the scores level at the interval.

Celtic had their moments in the second half, but they were undone 15 minutes from time when Cesc Fabregas found the top corner with a cushioned header.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.46pmEvening all! Our focus switches to the Champions League this evening as Celtic welcome Barcelona in Group H. Celtic will certainly enter the match as the underdogs against the Spanish champions, but Barcelona are without a certain Lionel Messi this evening, with the Argentine out of action for the next couple of weeks with a hamstring injury.

6.49pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: No real surprises in the Celtic XI this evening with of Georgios Samaras, Anthony Stokes and Kris Commons also selected for the home side. However, James Forrest is only among the subs. Barcelona, meanwhile, go with a front three of Neymar, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro. Adriano also starts despite fears he would miss out through injury. Full teams to follow.


CELTIC: Forster; Lustig, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Matthews, Brown, Mulgrew, Samaras; Commons; Stokes

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Bartra, Pique, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Neymar, Fabregas, Pedro

6.55pmSo there we have it. Nir Biton and Teemu Pukki both miss out in the Celtic XI with the pair named on the bench. Meanwhile, it appears that Adam Matthews will be deployed in a midfield role this evening. Barcelona leave Alexis Sanchez on the bench, but the rest of the team is as expected with Fabregas taking Messi’s position in the side.

6.58pmAs mentioned, the two sides met in the group stages of the competition last season, with Celtic recording a 2-1 win on November 7. It was not a result purely for pride, however, with the three points helping the Scottish outfit into the knockout stage of the competition, but they were beaten by Italian side Juventus in the round of 16.

7.01pmThe success last year was Celtic’s first win against Barcelona since the pair first met in the 2003-04 UEFA Cup fourth round. Now Celtic boss Neil Lennon was a player that evening as Martin O’Neill’s team overcame a Barcelona side that boasted the likes of Victor Valdes, Carlos Puyol and Xavi. It is a result that will be fondly remembered by the Celtic supporters.

7.04pmThe two sides also met in the 2004-05 Champions League campaign, with Barcelona 3-1 winners at Celtic Park. Barcelona were also victorious when they made the trip to Scotland in the 2007-08 season, with Messi scoring twice in a 3-2 win. Celtic might have won the battle, but overall, Barcelona are certainly winning the war.

7.07pmDespite the odds being stacked against Celtic this evening, they can call upon a recent impressive record at home in European competition. Of their last nine fixtures in Glasgow, they have won seven, with their only defeat in that spell coming in last season’s round-of-16 meeting with Juventus. If they can make it out of the group this season, it will surely go down as one of Lennon’s biggest achievements.

7.10pmOverall, Celtic’s record against Spanish opposition is fairly strong with seven wins, two draws and four defeats from their 13 matches. Barcelona, meanwhile, have won two, drawn one and lost three of their six fixtures in Scotland. The statistics will hand Celtic hope, but much has changed at both clubs over the last decade.

7.13pmBarcelona’s recent away record in Europe has not been too impressive, however, with the Spanish outfit failing to win any of their three away matches in the knockout rounds of the competition last season. A certain Messi struggled with injury during their European campaign last season and as mentioned, the Argentine is unavailable this evening due to a hamstring problem.

7.16pmCeltic began their Group H campaign with a 2-0 defeat to AC Milan on matchday one, but they were unlucky not to take something from the San Siro after dominating for long periods. The performance would have pleased Neil Lennon, but they are already playing catch up. Their form in Scotland is sure to determine whether or not they make the latter stages this season.

7.19pmThe Scottish outfit have made a positive start to their domestic season, however, with six wins from seven matches leaving them in second position in the table. The only surprise is that they are not lead the division with Inverness Caledonian Thistle sitting top on goal difference. They enter the match off the back of a 5-2 win over Kilmarnock at the weekend.

7.22pmBarcelona, meanwhile, opened their Group H campaign with a 4-0 win over Ajax on September 18. The Dutch outfit did cause them problems in the first period, but the Spanish side came through in the end as Messi inspired them to all three points. They are, as expected, the overwhelming favourites to top this particular section.

7.25pmThey enter the match currently sitting top of La Liga having won all seven of their fixtures to date. However, there is not clear daylight at the top of the league with Atletico Madrid matching their points total. That said, the Catalan outfit sit top on goal difference having scored 24 times in their seven matches, conceding just five times in the process.

7.28pmOne of the most incredible statistics in the Champions League last season came from the two group matches between Celtic and Barcelona. During those two encounters, Barcelona completed 1,501 more passes than Celtic. A similar pattern should be expected this evening with the Spanish side certain to be in control of the possession for long spells.

7.31pm“It’s a difficult ground and the atmosphere is fantastic”, were the words uttered by Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets at a recent press conference. The Spanish champions are certainly not used to playing in such noisy stadiums on a weekly basis, which will be one of Celtic’s main tools this evening in their fight to secure a positive result.

7.34pmThe absence of Messi is certainly a plus for Celtic, but their boss Neil Lennon admitted at a pre-match press conference that a part of him was disappointed that the Argentine is not fit to take part. The Scot said: “It's obviously very good news for us because for me he's the best player in the world. But it's also tinged with sadness as it's always good to see the best players here in Glasgow."

7.37pmMuch emphasis has been placed on the shoulders of Samaras, who scored a hat-trick in their victory over Kilmarnock at the weekend. As one of the most experienced members of the squad, Lennon has called on the Greek to take centre stage. Lennon told reporters: “He's hugely influential in these European games. He enjoys the arena and the challenges these games bring. If we are to get something out of the game, I need Samaras to have a big game.”

7.40pmPREDICTION: Even the most ardent of Celtic supporters would not have expected their side to pick up all three points against Barcelona in this stadium last season. Can lightening strike twice? The Hoops will have an incredible atmosphere to call upon, but I do not think it will be enough. For me, Barcelona will be comfortable winners in Glasgow.

7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players emerge from the tunnel as that wonderful Champions League tune booms around this famous stadium. Safe to say that the stadium is packed to the rafters. Following the completion of the pre-match handshakes and the exchanging of flags, we will be ready to get the action underway. Can Celtic do it again?

0 minJust a reminder of he main team news. Celtic include Samaras, Stokes and Commons in an attacking lineup. However, Forrest is named on the bench. Barcelona are without Messi, with Fabregas playing through the middle. Adriano also starts despite a recent injury. Right, the away side get the action underway on this mild evening in Glasgow.

2 minAs expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the early stages with Iniesta and Xavi seeing plenty of the ball thus far. However, the pressing from Celtic is immediately apparent. Two minutes on the clock and the home side are yet to touch the ball. They might have to get used to that this evening.

4 minIncredible opening to this match with Barcelona passing and probing outside the Celtic box immediately from kickoff. The first corner of the match comes for the away side moments later, but Ambrose is on hand to clear the danger. Celtic finally have the ball in the Barcelona half with Commons, but he is a little anxious in the pass towards Samaras. Stunning tempo to the opening four minutes in Scotland.

6 minIt's brilliant from Iniesta as the Spaniard dances into the Celtic box, but Van Dijk just comes across to clear as the Spaniard was preparing to shoot. The resulting corner brings a half-chance to Alves outside the box, but he fires high and wide of the crossbar. One-way traffic in the opening six minutes, but that was also the case in the clash last year. The longer Celtic can keep it at 0-0, the more chance they will have.

8 minCeltic's first half-chance of the match comes to Samaras as Stokes feeds the Greek inside the box, but Valdes is out to smother his effort. The resulting corner is delivered towards Lustig, but the referee blows for a free kick. Valdes takes the goal kick short as Barcelona build from the back once more.

10 minGood spell of possession for the home side in the last couple of moments with Ambrose and Lustig seeing plenty of the ball. The latter finds Commons in the midfield moments later, but his attempts to thread a low pass to Samaras are quelled by Xavi. Barcelona work the ball from left to right outside the Celtic box moments later as the match starts to settle into a pattern.

13 minIniesta looks for the run of Alves down the right, but the Brazilian had just moved into an offside position. Barcelona continue to force the issue through midfield, but they have been unable to find that elusive pass thus far. Celtic will be content with their opening 13 minutes in this Champions League tie. Still goalless, but Barcelona are in utter control of the possession.

15 minSamaras attempts to raise the crowd as he dribbles between two Barcelona players, but Bartra is across to tidy up at the vital moment. Another deep cross comes into the Celtic box moments later, but Lustig is on hand to clear the danger. Fabregas drives a low cross into the box in the next attack, but Forster is equal to the danger. End-to-end football in Glasgow with Samaras leading the fight for Celtic.

17 minSamaras again lifts the crowd as he wins a free kick down the left. The resulting set piece is whipped into the box by Mulgrew, but the referee blows for an infringement inside the box. The normal pattern of the match resumes moments later as Barcelona pass and probe outside the box. Eventually Fabregas attempts to find Iniesta, but Ambrose is across to clear the danger.

20 minHalf-chance for Fabregas as the Barcelona attacker swings a left foot towards an Iniesta cross, but Ambrose manages to block at the vital moment. Neymar has possession outside the box moments later, but his low effort is wide of the post. Overall, it has been a very respectable 20 minutes for the home side, with Samaras certainly causing problems to the Barcelona defence.

22 minA miss-placed pass from Xavi hands possession to Samaras just outside the Barcelona box, but he is crowded out at the vital moment. Iniesta strikes one from outside the box down the other end, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Still goalless at Celtic Park, but the match is more even than many would have expected.

24 minIt just isn't quite happening for Barcelona in the final third at the moment as a serious extended possession leads to Xavi's long pass being cleared by Ambrose. Pedro and Neymar continue to stretch the play in the wide areas, but Celtic have been alive to the danger thus far. Not too much to report in terms of clear opportunities in the last couple of moments.

26 minIt's good work from Neymar as the Brazilian sets it wide to Alves, who delivers a dangerous cross into the box, but it is just too high for Iniesta, before Fabregas's header is cleared by Brown. The pressure is just starting to grow with Celtic simply unable to keep the ball for longer than a couple of moments.

28 minIt's clever combination work between the two Brazilians on the left for Barcelona as Adriano combines with Neymar before having an effort on goal, but he smashes it into the side netting. The home supporters continue to raise the atmosphere inside the stadium, but Barcelona continue to dominate the ball. That said, the longer it remains goalless, the more chance Celtic will have of nicking something. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

31 minIniesta attempts to force the issue with a curling cross towards Alves, but it moves over the head of the Brazilian. Samaras is doing his best to hold it up for Celtic, but he continues to run into traffic in the Barcelona half. Clear pattern to the match at the moment with Barcelona building through midfield. Still goalless with 31 minutes on the clock in Scotland.

33 minA quick counter-attack from Barcelona ends with Pedro whipping a dangerous cross into the box, but Ambrose is across to clear at the vital moment. The pressure continues with Iniesta, Neymar and Fabregas all moving outside the box, but Celtic continue to repel the danger. Samaras remains the battering ram in attack, but he continues to lose possession.

35 minSlight problem for Neymar as the Brazilian forward clashes with Izaguirre, but the referee tells the Barcelona attacker to get up, which is not well received by the former Santos man. Both sets of supporters continue to create a stunning atmosphere inside the stadium, but the chances have just dried up. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

38 minBarcelona continue to pass and probe outside the box, but once more the move breaks down with Pique firing straight out of play. Neymar does return following a brief spell of treatment, but he does not look too pleased with life at the moment. Celtic attempt to craft something down the left moments later, but Adriano is across to clear the danger at the vital moment.

40 minMatthews has the chance to break down the right for Celtic, but he loses concentration at the final moment, slicing his cross straight into the crowd. Commons has possession for Celtic down the opposite side moments later, but Izaguirre's pass towards Samaras is too strong. Still goalless at Celtic Park.

41 minCHANCE! The clearest chance of the match comes to Neymar as the Barcelona forward meets a cross from Alves, but he just lifts his effort wide of the post. The Brazilian has looked the most likely for the away side in advanced positions.

44 minThe pressure is just starting to grow as Barcelona up the tempo in and around the Celtic box, with a couple of white and green shirts out of position. Neymar turns a low pass round the corner for Fabregas moments later, but Ambrose is across to clear the danger. Not much time remaining in the first period in Glasgow.

45 minIt is so important that Celtic keep their concentration in the latter stages of the half with Barcelona passing and probing outside the box. One mistake and they will be punished. Barcelona have a free kick just outside the box moments later, but Forster just pushes Xavi's effort wide of the post.

45 minHALF-TIME: Celtic 0-0 Barcelona

8.31pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the half to an end with Celtic holding Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at the interval. It will come as no surprise to learn that Barcelona have utterly dominated the possession, but there have been few clear-cut chances. Celtic have been fairly poor on the ball, but they have managed to keep the Spanish champions out for the first 45 minutes.

8.36pmSTATISTICS: Barcelona had 82% of the possession in the first period. However, they have managed just five attempts, all of which have been off target. Celtic's only opportunity of the match came in the early stages when Samaras brought a smart save from Valdes. On the balance of play, a draw at this point is just about a fair reflection of proceedings.

8.41pmBENCH WATCH: Celtic have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Tomas Rogic, Teemu Pukki and James Forrest. Meanwhile, Barcelona have the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello and Sergi Roberto in reserve. It is the type of match that could ultimately be decided from the bench.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Barcelona have dominated the ball thus far, but will be keen to test Forster a bit more in the second period. Let's hope for entertainment at Celtic Park. The home side get the second 45 minutes underway.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. Unsurprisingly, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the early stages of the second period. Barca boss Martino will want more from his forward players in his half there is no question about that.

50 minHalf-chance for Neymar as the Brazilian dances into the Celtic box, but Ambrose is across to make the clearance. It is almost like watching an action replay of the first period as Barcelona continue to pass and probe outside the box. Can Celtic continue this level of concentration for the 90 minutes? One goal for the away side changes everything.

52 minSlight problem for Alves as the Barcelona right-back goes down holding his face, but he does return to the pitch moments later. The away side are forced long moments later as Valdes delivers into the Celtic half, but Ambrose continues to impress in the air. Not too much to report in terms of opportunities in the second period.

55 minHalf-chance for Celtic as Brown collects possession outside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Moments before, the home side had enjoyed their best spell of the second period with Commons delivering a couple of dangerous crosses into the box. A goal for the home side and this stadium would explode. Still goalless in Scotland.

57 minThe opportunities are just starting to arrive as Xavi strikes one from outside the box, it looks destined for the bottom corner, but Van Dijk manages to make the block. Stokes attempts to carry possession out of defence moments later, but he is felled by Fabregas, who picks up a booking for his troubles. The match is starting to heat up as Alves collides with Mulgrew in the Barcelona half.

59 minA poor header from Busquets almost presents a chance to Stokes just inside the box, but Pique shows some good pace to clear the danger at the vital moment. The home side continue to force the issue as Samaras delivers a dangerous cross into the box, but Pique is on hand to clear once more. Stunning noise with Celtic enjoying their best spell of the match by some distance.

59 minRED CARD! Brown (Celtic)

60 minCeltic are reduced to 10 men as Brown is adjudged to have kicked the back of Neymar after fouling the Brazilian. Only the Scot knows what he intended to do in that clash with the Barcelona attacker. Well, that has changed the feel inside the stadium.

61 minFrom the resulting free kick, Xavi fires high and wide of the crossbar, which sums up his night thus far. It would not surprise me if both manages started to think about changes as we enter the final 30 minutes in Glasgow. I would be astounded if this ended 0-0.

63 minThe noise is just deafening every time Neymar picks up possession, with the home supporters incensed with the part that the Brazilian played in the red card for Brown. The away side have just started to quicken the pace in the final third, but another cross from Alves moves out of play. It just has not happened for the Spanish outfit in advanced areas.

65 minAgain it's bright work from Samaras as the Greek wins a free kick some 40 yards from goal. The resulting set piece is delivered into the box by Mulgrew, but Valdes manages to turn it wide of the post. Not the most convincing of goalkeeping from the Spaniard. Still goalless with little more than 25 minutes remaining. Celtic would bite your hand off for a point now.

68 minNeymar has not got a single friend inside this stadium at the moment as the noise levels increase each time he has possession. Bartra tries his luck from outside the box moments later, but Forster is on hand to collect. Neither manager has looked to their bench thus far, but I would be surprised if that were still the case in the next five minutes or so.

70 minAnother half-chance for Barcelona as Fabregas strikes one from a wide position, but Forster is on hand to collect. The one-way traffic continues with Celtic simply unable to keep possession of the ball. Fabregas threatens to create space inside the box moments later, but Ambrose is across to clear at the vital moment.

72 minTwo changes for the home side as James Forrest and Beram Kayal replace Lustig and Stokes. Fresh legs, which will be vital in the final 20 minutes or so. Still no sign of any movement on the Barcelona bench, but Alexis Sanchez would be the obvious change. Can Celtic create another magical night this evening? A point would be a fantastic result there is no question about that.

74 minHalf-chance for Neymar as the Brazilian combines with Xavi inside the box, but he can only flash his effort wide of the post, which brings cheers from the home supporters. Barcelona have had 10 attempts thus far, but just four have been on target. Sanchez is imminent on the sidelines as the Chilean suits up. I suspect he will be introduced for Pedro, who has struggled this evening.

75 minCHANCES! Almost a wonderful moment for Forest as the Celtic winger collects a loose ball inside the box before thumping an effort on the half-volley, but Valdes makes the save. From the resulting corner, Mulgrew has the chance to find the back of the net with a header, but somehow it just dribbles wide of the post.

75 minBarcelona do indeed make the change with Sanchez replacing the ineffective Pedro. Couple of glorious moments for the home side in the last few moments, but they simply need to take their chances. Busquets enters the book moments later for a poor challenge on Kayal.

75 minGOAL! Celtic 0-1 Barcelona (Fabregas)

76 minBarcelona take the lead with 15 minutes remaining as Fabregas heads a Sanchez cross into the back of the net following wonderful work from Neymar. It is harsh on Celtic, but that is football at this level.

78 minSamaras becomes the latest player to enter the book for a poor challenge on Busquets. Still the home supporters continue to back their side, who could have been ahead with a couple of opportunities before Barcelona took the lead. Another change for the away side moments later as Tello replaces Fabregas.

81 minThe legs are just starting to go for Celtic with Barcelona now breaking with pace following the introduction of Sanchez and Tello. Neymar carries the fight down the other end as he bursts past Mulgrew, but the Celtic man is back to make the challenge. Little under 10 minutes of normal time remaining in Scotland.

83 minCeltic just cannot keep hold of the ball at the moment with Samaras isolated in the final third. The home supporters are doing their best to raise the atmosphere, but the intensity is just catching up with the home side. Neymar attempts to find Xavi in the box moments later, but Forster is out to collect.

85 minWithout question, Barcelona are the worst team to play against when you are down to 10 men and indeed in need of a goal. Not too much has happened in the last couple of moments, but that is Barcelona's doing as they continue to keep the ball. However, all it takes is a set piece and Celtic are back in this match.

88 minHalf-chance for Samaras as the Greek striker turns inside the Barcelona box before delivering a cross towards the back post, but there are no takers, with Alves is on hand to clear the danger. Celtic make their third and final change moments later as Pukki replaces Commons, who can be proud of his performance this evening. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining at Celtic Park.

90 minCHANCES! Stunning, just stunning from Forster. Sensational as the Celtic stopper first denies Neymar from distance before somehow clawing a Pedro effort away from goal. That is as good as you will see from the stopper.

90 min+1Barcelona make their third and final change of the evening as Iniesta is replaced by Alex Song, who will just tighten it up in the middle of the park. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes and we are indeed into the first of those.

90 min+3CHANCE! Another wonderful chance for Neymar to send his side into a two-goal lead, but Forster is down to make another fine save. Barcelona have three in the box moments later, but Sanchez is penalised for handball. Celtic throw the ball forward, but it just keeps going straight back.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Celtic 0-1 Barcelona

9.36pmSo there we have it. An eventful night at Celtic Park ends with Barcelona picking up all three points with a 1-0 win. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us again tomorrow for more Champions League football. Until then!

Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas in action during a friendly match against Thailand XI on August 7, 2013
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