Match Analysis: Celtic 0-3 Juventus

Match Analysis: Celtic 0-3 Juventus
© PA Photos
Sports Mole dissects an impressive 3-0 victory for Juventus at Celtic Park in the Champions League last 16.

Celtic look certain to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage after being picked apart on the counter by Juventus tonight.

Neil Lennon's side went into the first leg full of optimism but were behind after three minutes when Alessandro Matri made the most a mistake from the returning Efe Ambrose.

Despite a spirited response Juve put the tie beyond doubt in the closing stages thanks to clinical finishes from Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic.

Here, Sports Mole dissects what went wrong for the Hoops on their return to the Europe's biggest stage.

Match Statistics:

On Target 8
Corners 10
Fouls 12
Possession 53%

On Target 6
Corners 4
Fouls 11
Possession 47%

Was the result fair?

Celtic can feel hard done by after being undone in the closing stages when they had tired considerably. From the stats it is clear that the Hoops pressed the action and had numerous chances to deliver quality crosses from set pieces. Juve defended doggedly and ultimately their clinical finishing on the counter wrapped up an impressive victory.

Celtic's performance

The Bhoys outplayed the Italian champions for 70 minutes but created very few clear-cut opportunities. Gary Hooper cut an isolated figure in attack and some costly defensive lapses have left Celtic with a mountain to climb in Turin next month.

Juventus' performance

A below-par display from Antonio Conte's side lacked spark at times as their usual style of keeping the ball for long spells was frustrated. Luckily for the visitors their stamina and willingness to counter in numbers have once again marked them out as a team to watch in this season's Champions League.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Claudio Marchisio: The Italian international scored one and could have had two more in an impressive performance. Marchisio showed that he is a complete modern midfielder with a mix of strong tackling and incisive forward bursts that the Celtic defence struggled to contain late on.

Biggest Gaffe

Lennon will have to take this award for his decision to start with Efe Ambrose. The defender only returned from South Africa this morning and was caught napping for two of Juve's three goals. Ambrose also missed Celtic's best chance at the other end when he failed to test Gianluigi Buffon from close range with a tame header.

Referee's performance

Alberto Mallenco got his biggest decision of the match wrong when he turned down Celtic's continued appeals for a penalty after Stephan Lichtseiner wrestled Hooper to the floor on two separate occasions. Mallenco will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by Lennon and Celtic supporters, who he frustrated all evening.

What Next?

Celtic: The Bhoys return to Scottish Premier League action next week with a trip to St. Johnstone.

Juventus: Conte's side face a trip to faltering Roma this weekend as they look to maintain their advantage in the Serie A title race.

Juventus' Claudio Marchisio is congratulated by team mates after scoring the opening goal against Celtic on February 12, 2013
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Celtic 0-3 Juventus - as it happened
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