Tommy McIntyre’s side were looking to bow out of this year’s UEFA Youth League with a positive result, but faced with such formidable opponents, this proved to be a tall order. A frosty Cappielow was no obstacle to a skilled and clinical Barcelona side, no doubt containing future stars to be reckoned with.
A Jordi Mboula Queralt double helped the visitors cruise to a three goal lead at half time. Barcelona looked lethal at every venture into the final third. Celtic enjoyed good spells and possession but by contrast lacked the killer instinct of their opponents.
Celtic had begun positively with Anthony Ralston getting down the flank on 2 minutes to set up Calvin Miller who flashed over the bar, but instead it was Barca who stunned the hosts to take the lead on 8 minutes. It was Queralt’s first sight at goal, and cutting in from wide he proceeded to lash an unstoppable drive from the angle past the helpless Ross Doohan.
With a spring in their step Barca almost doubled their advantage 3 minutes later, when Jeremy Guillemenot found space in the box to head Gyeolhee’s cross against the bar.
Celtic had to regroup and began to look more comfortable in possession, albeit vulnerable to lethal and punishing Barcelona breaks into the final third. Kristoffer Ajer is a formidable presence in the middle and his driving run almost had the Celts level, as he played in Regan Hendry, but he couldn’t find the target with his effort.
Ajer then went on a fine driving run on 31 minutes to the edge of the box, but unfortunately the end product again didn’t match the fine build up play.
Celtic needed to make Barca pay with every sight of goal, as they continued to threaten on the break. There was a double escape firstly as Sam Wardrop made a perfectly timed tackle to thwart the ever dangerous Queralt. A couple of minutes later and Doohan was called into action, tipping a goal bound Guillemenot shot onto the post and wide.
And the visitors doubled their lead on 34 minutes, as Oscar Mingueza sprayed a precise through ball to Queralt in the box. The forward’s instant control teed him up perfectly to turn shoot low past Doohan.
On the balance of play Celtic didn’t deserve to be 2 goals down, as they continued to press and build the play in midfield. Miller had another sight of goal on 41 minutes after a driving run into the box but again couldn’t find the target.
Two minutes later and Barca were up the other end to put the match out of sight, as Cletic lost possession in midfield. Dani Garcia played a quick one two into the box to angle a low shot past Doohan.