Barcelona heartbreakers give Celtic credit
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
FC Barcelona blamed a packed Celtic FC rearguard and Fraser Forster for the fact it took till the 94th minute for them to nick a 2-1 win, with the goalkeeper left "absolutely devastated".
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Celtic FC's brave efforts to secure a vital UEFA Champions League Group G point at Camp Nou were in vain thanks to FC Barcelona's ability to register late goals. Jordi Alba's 94th-minute clincher left goalkeeper Fraser Forster rueful that Neil Lennon's tactical plan came so close to yielding dividends, while Barcelona put their struggles down to facing teams eager to get bodies behind the ball.
Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona midfielder
Of course it leaves a great taste in the mouth when you win in the last second. It would have been unfair had we not won that game with the chances that we had. We were patient and in the end the goal arrived.
The lesson we learned is that the team still have the confidence to turn a match around. We have achieved our objectives [in the group] up until now and the win leaves us in a good situation. This is football, however, and in terms of qualification, you can never take anything for granted.
Alex Song, Barcelona defender
Celtic scored and then they all stayed behind the ball just trying to defend. Teams do that here all the time. We know we have a good team, quality and a good spirit, so we kept believing. We knew we could score at any time, we just kept going. You can't sit back and defend for 90 minuts and not eventually get tired, so we knew there would be a half chance. There was, we took it and everyone is happy.
Jordi Alba, Barcelona defender
We had possession almost all the time and the key was that Celtic were very good defensively and didn't leave us any space to work in. The goal came after the 90 minutes were up, but it really could have come much earlier because their keeper was absolutely phenomenal.
We had to show a great deal of patience because of him. I think that Barcelona have a great winning mentality and we always aim to win every game. The match is never over until the final whistle has blown. This season we've already won games like this, in the last minutes, and I think it's a good sign. This is a team which always wants to win.
Fraser Forster, Celtic goalkeeper
Everyone is absolutely devastated – personally devastated and as a team too. We defended so well for 93 and a half minutes but then we have been punished from one cross at the end. Everyone is just gutted. You can make as many saves as you want but you need the result at the end of the game and we havent got that.
The manager sent us out to keep the back door shut and hit them on the break. We knew that given the size of our team, set pieces were going to be important to us, and we scored off a fantastic delivery which set us up nicely. But they were bad times to concede both goals. Just on the stroke of half-time and then in injury time. But the tactics side of things worked really well and I think that we can take a lot of confidence going into the return game.
At the time you're not conscious of who you are saving from but these are the games you dream of playing in as a kid. Sometimes have to pinch yourself. To be playing against a guy of Messi's quality is just unbelievable. He's probably the best player in the world and to make some saves from him is great but I'd swap it all for a point.