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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Celtic-Barcelona 2-3

Of the three teams representing Spain in the Champions League final 16, only Barcelona won their first match in this head-to-head elimination round. Real Madrid lost at Roma 2-1, and Fenerbahce beat Sevilla 3-2 at their home stadium in Turkey. Barcelona came from behind twice at Celtic Park stadium to beat Celtic 2-3. It was one of those athletic events in which the final score tells very little. It was one of the most dazzling displays of football brilliance I have ever watched. Barcelona dominated the match from start to finish. At times it looked like the Harlem Globetrotters playing the beleaguered Generals as Barça controlled the ball for up to 75% of the game in the second half and produced dozens of scoring opportunities.

Just about every player on the Barcelona squad is a superstar that any other team on the planet would scoop up in a second. It’s miraculous that Barça only scored three goals as they put on a clinic of passing and creative play. Ronaldinho played about as well as he can play and was actually given an ovation by the Celtic fans when he left late in the game to be replaced by Eto’o. Unfortunately for Celtic, Leo Messi played the entire match and scored twice with another goal by Thierry Henry. The win all but assures that Barcelona will advance to the next round.

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