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Barcelona 7-0 Celtic: It's men against Bhoys as Brendan's Hoops crushed in Nou Camp

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 14/09/2016

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez gestures after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez gestures after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Friends reunited: Former Liverpool players Kolo Toure of Celtic and Luis Suarez of Barcelona embrace after the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez shoots to score a goal beside Celtic's Irish defender Eoghan O'Connell (L) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Luis Suarez reacts during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebretes scoring his sides sixth goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebretes scoring his sides sixth goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (C) is congratulated by Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (R) and Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (L) controls the ball prior to scoring a goal beside Celtic's Irish defender Eoghan O'Connell (L) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar walks to shoot a corner kick during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi walks after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's French forward Moussa Dembele (top) vies with Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (R) during their Champions League football match between FC Barcelona and Celtic CF at the Camp Nou in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (up) celebrates a goal with teammate Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (L) is congratuled by teammates after stopping a penalty during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique (R) and other teammates congratulate Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (2nd L) after stopping a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona supporters wave Estelada or Catalan pro-independence flags distributed by separatists groups ahead of the Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, walks past his teammates Neymar, center, and Luis Suarez after scoring his side's first goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, celebrates with Barcelona's Neymar after scoring the opening goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, celebrates with Barcelona's Neymar after scoring the opening goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, takes on Celtic's Erik Sviatchenko during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Celtic's Moussa Dembele, top, jumps above Barcelona's Gerard Pique during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Celtic's Scott Brown back heads the ball during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, left, and Celtic's Moussa Dembele vie for the ball during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Celtic's players warm up before their Champions League football match against FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters enjoy the pre match atmosphere prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters enjoy the pre match atmosphere prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters arrive prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters arrive prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters arrive prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: A general view as Celtic players walk on the pitch prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Emilio Izaguirre (L) and Jozo Simunovic of Celtic walk on the pitch prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: A general view prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: A dog and his handler perform a search prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers put a brave face on Celtic's 7-0 demolition by Barcelona in last night's Champions League opener at the Nou Camp - insisting there could be "no embarrassment" about the club's heaviest ever European defeat.

But there can be no disguising the fact that his Bhoys were humiliatingly taken apart as Barca captain Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and Luis Suarez a double with further goals from Neymar and Andres Iniesta, while Moussa Dembele had a penalty saved at 1-0.

Rodgers claimed: "This will be a brilliant learning season for us in the Champions League. Tonight is one of the tough nights that you take at this level. There can be no embarrassment because they do that to better teams than ourselves.

"Professionally it is never nice when it happens."

Messi scored twice in a sublime first period and added a second-half third for this sixth Champions League hat-trick - a competition record.

Rodgers felt Dembele’s failure to convert a 24th-minute penalty — when the score was just 1-0 to the hosts — was pivotal.

He added: “There was a massive moment in the first half.

“If you can get the penalty and get to 1-1 then it can make the crowd nervy, especially after their loss (against Alaves) at the weekend.

“To go down 2-0 quickly was obviously disappointing.

“The combination of our tiredness and their quality and freshness — these are top-class players.

“The pitch is fantastic. The ball moves as if it is on an ice rink and they move as fast as that, they are high-level, top players with big belief and that is why they are what they are.”

Ulsterman Rodgers did not blame Dembele for failing with the penalty, however.

He said: “I think credit to the goalkeeper.

“Moussa was happy to accept the responsibility and the keeper read it and made a good save and that probably needed to go our way.”

The Carnlough man believes his side suffered in some ways for putting too much into Saturday’s 5-1 win over Rangers at Parkhead.

“It is tough when you lose so many goals,” he said.

“But these players have been brilliant.

“They could not have come to a more difficult place in world football, after a highly intense game at the weekend where they put so much into it and dealt with so much pressure and played so well.

“To have hardly any preparation time to come and play against the world’s best at keeping the ball and tiring you out, and beating you up with the football at times, it was a tough ask for them and that last 15-20 minutes did feel long.

“Even the older ones will learn from that and that will make us a better team.

“It doesn’t matter if you are playing Barcelona or Berwick Rangers, there is professional pride and no professional likes to lose like that, even though we are playing against a team of top, world-class players.

“But you can’t be too downhearted.

“We have had a brilliant start to the season and this won’t hamper us in any way — you will always take the positives from it.”

Barca boss Luis Enrique thought the margin of his team’s victory was exaggerated but, after having some luck with the penalty save, he was looking for perfection from his side.

He said: “It was the only move they had to get into the box which brought danger.

“The game could have changed but we will work hard to improve on our mistakes.

“But at the level we played at tonight it would have been difficult (for any opponent).”

Belfast Telegraph

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