Cesc Fabregas scored a late header to give Barcelona all three points against 10-man Celtic at Parkhead.
Tata Martino gave Fabregas a start in place of the injured Lionel Messi, playing up front alongside Neymar and Pedro. Neil Lennon meanwhile went with a 4-5-1, opting for Giorgios Samaras on the left wing.
It was Barca though who got off to the brightest start, keeping the ball in their traditional manner for the exactly the first two and a half minutes of the game. With the Scottish side sitting back, playing nine men behind the ball, chances at goal were proving hard to come by.
Shots were at a premium, but when one did come, it wasn’t from a Blaugrana player but a Bhoys’ boy – Samaras was laid in by Kris Commons, only to fire his effort at Victor Valdes from a tight angle.
The Camp Nou club were finding it really difficult to break down the SPL side. Neymar produced some nice runs from deep, but the final bass was missing almost every time.
Credit had to go to Celtic for the way they were breaking down the Catalan side’s fluid play, but that didn’t stop a brief moment of class late on as Dani Alves cross for Neymar, whose half-volleyed effort went just wide.
After the break, Neil Lennon’s men continued their disciplined work, but it was made more difficult on the hour mark when Scott Brown tugged back Neymar – a foul the referee deemed worthy of a red card.
For all of Barca’s possession however, it was the Hoops who had the best two chances. James Forrest struck from inside the area only to be denied by Victor Valdes. And then with the goalkeeper flapping, Charlie Mulgrew headed wide of the post from a corner.
They were made to pay for their profligacy though on 76 minutes, when Alexis crossed for Fabregas, who headed back across goal and into the back of the net.
Celtic 0-1 Barcelona
Scorers: Fabregas 76 (B)
Celtic: Forster; Lustig (Forrest 69), Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Matthews, Brown, Mulgrew, Samaras; Commons (Pukki 86); Stokes (Kayal 69)
Barcelona: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Bartra, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta (Song 89), Neymar, Cesc (Tello 78), Pedro (Alexis 74)
Red card: Brown 59 (C)
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