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Neymar hails 'important' win, Commons targets Ajax

Published: Wednesday 2 October 2013, 7.32CET
Neymar said he enjoyed the challenge after victory for FC Barcelona left Celtic FC needing to beat AFC Ajax twice if they are to advance according to Kris Commons.
by Alex O'Henley
from Celtic Park

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Published: Wednesday 2 October 2013, 7.32CET

Neymar hails 'important' win, Commons targets Ajax

Neymar said he enjoyed the challenge after victory for FC Barcelona left Celtic FC needing to beat AFC Ajax twice if they are to advance according to Kris Commons.

FC Barcelona striker Neymar was delighted to have won in his first UEFA Champions League game away from the Camp Nou especially as it had been "a very difficult and tough game physically".

Pedro Rodríguez admitted he knew just what to expect from a Celtic FC team that have made life hard for the Catalan giants in recent meetings, but whose resolve was dented by Scott Brown's second-half dismissal. Still, Kris Commons and Mikael Lustig were left to rue missed chances for the hosts and admitted they now need to win both games against AFC Ajax to keep alive hopes of progressing.

Neymar, Barcelona forward
I'm very happy with the result. It's especially important to play in this tournament because, for me, it is the best one and this victory was very important for us. It was a great game, a very difficult and tough game physically, but I'm very happy with our victory.

Nothing is easy but we'll try and get good results in our remaining games to make it as easy as possible to qualify for the next round. Tata [Gerardo Martino] is a great coach. We have not been working together for long but he is a great coach and a great person.

Pedro Rodríguez, Barcelona forward
We know it is always difficult here. We knew it would be tricky and that we would have to work hard, but in the end we are very happy with the victory, which is very important to us. When the game and the score is so tight, we know that any move, any set piece, a corner, could be dangerous for us.

We had a few more chances in the second half to kill the game off, but again their goalkeeper [Fraser Forster] has had a great game and in the end we should have won with a bit more to spare. We could not but we are happy with the win. We always miss [the injured Lionel] Messi because he is the world's best player. It makes a difference when he is not on the pitch and let us hope he recovers quickly as he is an essential player for the team.

Kris Commons, Celtic midfielder
It is a disappointing result. There's a few things that didn't go our way, a few missed chances that we didn't take but those are the fine lines at this level. We knew we weren't going to have much possession and the idea was to get Sammy [Giorgios Samaras] into the channels and try and get the ball up to the other end of the field as much as we could.

It was a world-class save from [Víctor] Valdés from James [Forrest] but our best chance fell to Charlie [Mulgrew] and if that goes in the back of the net with 20 minutes left, you never know. For us to have any chance of progressing we need to beat Ajax both home and away.

Mikael Lustig, Celtic defender
Our defence was good but we didn't attack as well as we would have liked. Barcelona didn't create that many chances and before they scored their goal we had the two best chances, so we are a bit disappointed. Of course, it was hard to play with ten men against Barcelona but we did well.

After they scored we had to come out a bit more and that's why they created so many chances late on. We need to go for three points against Ajax in the next game and take at least four points from the two games against them.

Last updated: 02/10/13 20.35CET

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