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Skipper Scott Brown sees red over Celtic's collapse to Barcelona at Nou Camp

By Steven Beacom

Celtic captain Scott Brown has lambasted his side's second half display during the crushing 7-0 defeat to Barcelona, labelling it as unacceptable.

The Glasgow outfit found it tough going in the first period of their Champions League group clash in the Nou Camp on Tuesday, but were completely blown away after the break conceding FIVE goals as they suffered the heaviest European defeat in the club's history.

Lionel Messi had given the home side a two-goal lead at the break. In between the Argentine's goals Moussa Dembele had a penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen just as the visiting fans were ready to celebrate a surprise equaliser.

Then came the second 45 minutes when Barcelona played brilliantly but were helped by Celtic's defensive failings as Messi completed his hat-trick, Luis Suarez scored twice and Neymar and substitute Andres Iniesta also got in on the goalscoring act.

At the weekend Brown had described his side's 5-1 Scottish Premiership victory over Rangers at Parkhead as 'men versus boys'. On Tuesday he was on the wrong side of a demolition job as Barca's men ripped the Bhoys apart time after time.

After the final whistle Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers stated it was 'no embarrassment' that his side had lost by such a wide margin.

Midfielder Brown made it clear, though, that the second half performance wasn't anywhere near up to scratch.

"Everyone in the changing room was disappointed. It was a heavy, heavy defeat," said Brown.

"I think in the first half we had a penalty and I know we miss it but that's football. It is the second half that is really disappointing.

"To lose five goals in 45 minutes is unacceptable.

"We didn't do well enough on the ball, we kept giving it back and they are entitled to score.

"They are a great team but we should do better than that.

"We need to defend better from the front middle and back, be more compact and brave on the ball."

Brown insisted it was vital Celtic bounced back in their next Champions League clash at home to Manchester City on September 28.

"We have Man City the next game, and we need to take something at Celtic Park, and with our fans anything can happen."

For now though Rodgers, Brown and the rest of the Celtic side will focus on getting back to winning ways against Inverness in the Scottish Premier League on Sunday.

Brown said: "We have another big game on Sunday against Inverness and we need to keep our run in the league going, keep our 100% run going and we will focus on the Champions League when it comes around again."

Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday that the next Old Firm derby will be held on New Year's Eve.

The Scottish Premiership clash between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox will have a 12.15pm kick-off.

The decision to stage the game on December 31 has been criticised in some quarters.

Belfast Telegraph

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