Barcelona hits Hadrian’s Wall and loses 2-1

celtic vs barcelona 2012

Celtic took a leaf out of Chelsea’s books and ran with the method to beat Barcelona on the break by 2 goals to one at Celtic Park last night. The Celtic manager had been watching last year’s matches between Chelsea and Barcelona and wanted “in” on some of their success against the best team in the world.

Neil Lennon’s plan worked, too. He even said before the game that it would be difficult against a team that has 80% of the ball possession. He thus followed his Chelsea plan to the letter and it came up trumps. It didn’t make for pretty football but if was enough to sting the Catalans and get a 2-1 win out of it.

It was a case of hanging back and waiting for the counter attack. Celtic did just that and it worked. Barca seemed to wait til the end of the match to realize that they were on the end of a defeat and left it too late to do anything. Only Messi’s goal at the end of time saved some of the Catalan pride against this stubborn Scottish outfit.

Celtic’s goals came from Wanyama and Watt and they scored on the only two chances that Barca allowed them to have. Celtic stayed back, giving the ball away endlessly to Barca who were unable to penetrate Hadrian’s Wall that the Scots had built around their penalty area.

Barca has become accustomed to the fact that their rivals now park the bus and wait. nevertheless, it’s a tactic that not many teams have been successful with. Only Inter Milan under Mourinho, Chelsea under Di Matteo and now Neil Lennon’s Celtic have been fruitful against Barcelona using this method. We can all agree that it doesn’t make for exciting football and that Barcelona will eventually end up with 80% of the possession but if it gets you through to the next round of the Champions League then very few managers will complain.

Neil Lennon knew his team’s limitations who were therefore given instructions to pull back and wait for a counter attack or a free kick. With Celtic’s players over towering Barca’s, the Scots had a clear height advantage at any free kick or corner that may have come their way.

Monopolising the ball against Celtic

It seemed to serve for nothing the fact that Barca had the ball throughout the whole match. Barcelona was up against a wall of Celtic players and if that wasn’t enough, Forster, the Celtic stopper, played a very good game of keeping the ball out of his net, too.

The Scots exploited their virtues to the maximum and the first goal which came from a free-kick proved the point. The ball came over from the right side of the field from a corner by Mulgrew for Wanyama to head in beating Jordi Alba to the jump giving Valdés no chance at his near post.It was a terrific header from Wanyama and was unstoppable.

Barcelona seemed to be unfazed by the goal and the logical outcome for them was that there would be an equaliser in the bag shortly. Celtic had another virtue up their sleeve however; speed.Forster knocked the ball up field to 18 year old Watt who was having an amazing game.He collected Forster’s pass, ran past Mascherano with ease and slotted the ball past Valdés. It all happened in a question of seconds and if the first goal didn’t ruffle Barca’s feathers, this one certainly did. Barca were 2 nil down and were feeling the pain.

Barca then went into overdrive and stepped up the pressure but it was late in the game. Leo Messi came to the rescue in extra time but it was far too late to even get a draw out of this one. Maybe Barca were a too bit complacent against the Scots last night and too confident. Then again, this is the Champions League and this is where dreams are made. Good luck to Neil Lennon’s team, they deserved the win last night and deserve to go through to the next round. Barcelona wanted to make it happen last night but were up against Hadrian’s Wall.

About Barca Blogger

My name's Steve aka Barca Blogger and one of the founding members of the team at Barcelonafcblog.com. I've been around since the blog started and we aim to bring you the most up to date information on this great club.

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    Valora en Bitacoras.com: Celtic built their own Hadrian’s Wall last night to keep the Barcelona attack at bay and it worked. Neil Lennon’s men took a leaf out of Chelsea’s books and gave the Catalans little hope of penetrating their defense. Goals c…

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