Register Login Scores


Barca Huff & Puff Without Messi

To the casual observer, Barcelona huffed and puffed and only just managed, without Lionel Messi, to blow Celtic’s house down last night.

Even when the Hoops were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of their skipper, it took one of Barca’s few shots on target during the whole game to break the deadlock.

Without the two stunning late saves from Victor Valdes, Barca could have paid for their apparent ambivalence when it comes to taking shots without La Pulga Atomica around.

Despite the narrow score-line, goal-scorer Cesc Fabregas and manager Tata Martino were crowing after the game.

Although it’s true that Barca were back to their ball hogging tendencies in front of a packed and passionate Parkhead, it’s surely a stretch to suggest that struggling to put away 10 men was their best match so far this season.

But that was exactly the post-match line from the Barca camp in Scotland.

“It was one of the most complete games of the season and the victory is totally deserved,” Fabregas said.

Martino concurred with him.

“We had the possession and we circulated the ball quickly. The only thing we lacked was that we were unable to clearly break into their area,” said Martino.

“Because of the characteristics of the game, because it was a Champions League match, I agree with him [Cesc] that this has been our most complete performance of the season.”

Martino also reserved special praise for young defender Marc Bartra and Neymar.

“He played an impeccable match. He went up against their best player [Giorgios Samaras] and he did a good job,” he said of Bartra.

“We didn’t need a game like this to know how good he is,” he added about Neymar.

But the fact is that, for all the pre-game assertions that Barca are still a powerhouse without Messi, plucky Celtic almost proved that the Catalans are a shadow of their normal selves when the world’s best player is away.

Read: Cesc Backs Neymar To Cover For Messi

Read: Cesc Sinks 10-Man Celtic

Barca Director: We Are Weaker Without Messi

Messi Sidelined For Eight Weeks

Neymar Is Missing Messi At Barcelona


Top 5

The Highest-Paid Player At Each EPL Club Revealed

8 Oct 26, 2020 07:15 PM in Cadbury

Chiefs’ CAF Itinerary After Swallows Shock  

37 Nov 26, 2020 10:51 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Courtois & De Bruyne's Messages For Anele

15 Nov 23, 2020 03:46 PM in Players Abroad

Gould Signs With PSL Newbies

23 Nov 26, 2020 09:45 AM in Siyagobhoza

Rest In Peace Anele Ngcongca!

163 Nov 23, 2020 09:42 AM in PSL

Insider Lifts Lid On Chiefs' Dax Drama

88 Nov 24, 2020 02:48 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Nurkovic Dazzles As He Shows Off Model SA Bae

14 Nov 23, 2020 04:28 PM in Footballers & Chill

Courtois & De Bruyne's Messages For Anele

15 Nov 23, 2020 03:46 PM in Players Abroad

Ngcongca's Heartfelt Moments With The World's Best Players

1 Nov 23, 2020 12:05 PM in The Best Of The Rest

Agent: I’m Not Surprised By What He Did Against Chiefs

17 Nov 26, 2020 01:33 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

14 Footballers Who Have Degrees

28 Sep 16, 2020 08:30 PM in World News

11 Footballers Who Went Broke

33 Jun 10, 2020 07:15 PM in World News

Memela: Why I Left Pirates…

19 Nov 26, 2020 01:15 PM in Orlando Pirates