By Allan Edgar
Barcelona in 14 competitive matches under new coach Tito Vilanova: 13 wins and a single home draw to Real Madrid. The Catalan giants arrived in Glasgow on the back of a victory over Celta Vigo which equalled the record points haul after ten matches in La Liga. Suffice to say, 125th anniversary or not, hosts Celtic were given little hope going into the match.
As a Celtic fan, I wasn’t nervous going into the match - I soaked up the atmosphere in the ‘fanzone’ in Glasgow in the afternoon looking forward to a festival of football later in the evening. When the draw was made, I bargained for nothing from two ties against a side whom I’ve been fortunate enough to see a handful of times home and away - they truly are a footballing phenomenon.
Just over two weeks ago, Celtic were tantalisingly close to a point at the catherdal of football, the famous Camp Nou. Jordi Alba’s scruffy late goal gave Barcelona what was, in hindsight, a deserved win for a team who not only dominated possession but created a number of clear-cut chances to be denied by Fraser Forster.
Barcelona had won the last two of their visits to Parkhead in recent years and as if the task didn’t seem tough enough; Celtic were missing three key players including captain Scott Brown and talisman Gary Hooper.
Like any good film script worth its salt; the occasion had all the necessary pre-requisites.