UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Martino impressed with improving Barcelona

Gerardo Martino was impressed after what he claims was one of FC Barcelona's best performances of the season which left Celtic FC's Neil Lennon "angry and disappointed".

Neymar laps up the adulation after a first UEFA Champions League hat-trick
Neymar laps up the adulation after a first UEFA Champions League hat-trick ©AFP/Getty Images

Gerardo Martino, Barcelona coach
This may have been close to our best match of the past four months; the level of play, the effectiveness, the whole time dominating the game. Overall we had a consistent performance for about 85 minutes. We understand that Barcelona are a team that play well with the ball but we have to play with intensity to get the ball back. Today we have done it and we have recovered many balls, some of them near their area. We moved the ball when we had to, and played with depth when we had to.

There is always room for improvement. Obviously tonight's opponents did not have the possibility to continue in the competition. We need to prove we can repeat a performance like this against an opponent fighting for something. We have to wait to discover who our next opponent is, but what's important is how you are when you get to the knockout phase in February. We did what we had to do today and now we wait to find out our rival. Neymar has had a very difficult year. Getting here without a pre-season and with continuous travel is very difficult. We hope he can rest and recover during the holidays. We expect that, after the break, he will be fine to face the final stretch of the season.

Neil Lennon, Celtic manager
From start to finish there was a nervousness about us. We never got hold of the ball and made basic errors. As good as Barcelona were, only two or three players played near the level I expect. I thought our heads dropped after the second goal but we had no passages of play and no intensity to our play. I cannot take any consolation from our performance. Barcelona were fantastic but we were very poor and nowhere near our previous performances against Barcelona.

Only [Mikael] Lustig, [Virgil] van Dijk and [Adam] Matthews would get pass marks and I would also excuse the keeper. The rest of the team was poor and below the standard of previous years. It is really tough to take. Barcelona are a very good side but we are better than that and I am angry and disappointed. I have a group of players I want to work with and make better, and they will learn from tonight's experience.