UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Celtic 0-2 Barcelona - Player Ratings
Barcelona seal the deal in emphatic fashion on a cold night in Scotland.
In what was yet another demonstration of the gulf in class between Spanish and Scottish teams, Barcelona beat Celtic 2-0 in Matchday 5 of the Champions League. Lionel Messi scored both the goals, as the Catalan side overran Brendan Rodgers’ hapless team at the Celtic Park in Glasgow. This win not only confirmed Celtic’s elimination from all European competitions, but also more or less ensured Barca as the winners of Group C.
Having been humiliated 7-0 in the reverse fixture at the Camp Nou, the home team tried their best to hold out Barca; they played a physical game for most of the match. However, despite their best efforts, they could not disrupt their opposition’s passing in the final third and were taken apart by some sharp interplay between Messi and Neymar for the first goal. A useless foul on Luis Suarez in the second half, meanwhile, led to the second goal.
The Spanish team could have scored a couple of more goals a well, but luck was not on their side and so Celtic were saved from humiliation in front of their home fans. Here are the player ratings from the game:
Craig Gordon: 7/10
The Celtic goalkeeper could do nothing to keep out either of the goals. However, he did make a few very good stops, including a point-blank save from a Suarez header which prevented further damage.
The left back had a torrid time containing Neymar, who was in his element last night. His delay in closing the Brazilian down led to the first goal.
Jozo Simunovic: 5/10
The centre-back had a decent game, especially in the second half. He appeared unfazed while facing Barca’s attacking trio, but his failure to track Messi’s run led to the first goal.
Erik Sviatchenko: 6/10
It takes great skill and composure to silence someone like Suarez, but the centre-back did just that yesterday night. He held his own against one of the best marksmen in the world.
Emilio Izzaguire: 4/10
The right back seemed undone by the occasion last night. He not only conceded a silly penalty by making a stupid foul on Luis Suarez in the 56th minute, but also offered almost zero attacking threat on his overlaps.
Scott Brown: 6/10
The holding midfielder put in a very disciplined performance yesterday. He was calm on the ball and distributed it very well when in possession. Could have helped his defence in coping with Messi a bit better, though.
Tom Rogic: 5/10
Worked very hard and picked the correct passes throughout the first half. However, he faded away after the break and was replaced on the hour mark.
Stuart Armstrong: 6/10
Played his heart out in midfield. Worked tirelessly throughout the match and was efficient with the ball at his feet.
Callum McGregor: 5/10
Was full of energy and worked hard off the ball, and didn’t allow the Barca midfield to gain the upper hand. However, his failure to deliver quality balls hurt his team’s chances.
Moussa Dembele: 5/10
He was the only player who took the game to Barca’s defence in the first half. In spite getting a handful of chances thanks to his clever runs, he missed them all, which reflects poorly on his composure.
Scott Sinclair: 7/10
Proved a real handful for a makeshift Barca defence with his pace and trickery. Unfortunately, he had to be replaced during the interval due to an injury picked up in the first half.
J. Forrest: 6/10
Replaced Sinclair in the second half. Put in some brilliant crosses as well, but Celtic’s forwards weren’t clinical enough to put them away.
N. Bitton: N/A
P. Roberts: 4/10
Came on when the game was out of reach, and unfortunately couldn’t do much to change it.