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Barcelona 7 Celtic 0: Brendan Rodgers insists Hoops will keep focus after Nou Camp thrashing

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers consoles Scott Brown at full time (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers consoles Scott Brown at full time (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)

BOSS Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic’s season will not be derailed by the 7-0 Champions League thrashing they suffered at the hands of Barcelona on Tuesday night.

The home side were at their relentless and punishing best in the Group C opener at the Nou Camp.

Captain Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and Luis Suarez a double with further goals from Neymar and substitute Andres Iniesta.

Neymar, Messi and Suarez all netted (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Neymar, Messi and Suarez all netted (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, who had scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Rangers at the weekend, had a penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen when the home side led by only one goal.

It was the Parkhead club’s heaviest European defeat but with the Hoops top of the Ladbrokes Premiership with four wins out of four and in the Betfred Cup quarter-finals, Rodgers said: “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.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen saves a penalty from Moussa Dembele (David Ramos/Getty Images)
Marc-Andre ter Stegen saves a penalty from Moussa Dembele (David Ramos/Getty Images)

“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.

“It is tough when you lose so many goals. But these players have been brilliant.

Celtic's Kieran Tierney and Barca's Lionel Messi (SNS Group)
Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and Barca’s Lionel Messi (SNS Group)

“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.”


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