A few talking points came out Celtic’s Champions League encounter with Barcelona last night.

A night where a disciplined performance couldn’t secure us a point over a very technically gifted Barcelona side.

scott-brown-celticThere is no way of telling if we would have been able to hold out for the entire 90 minutes with 11 men on the field, but we should not have been robbed of the opportunity to do so.

Scott Brown knew he had to make that cynical challenge to stop the on-rushing Neymar from running through on a Celtic defence which was all over the place. However his cheeky kick out, regardless of the contact gave the referee a decision to make. I still say it was soft but how many European games has Scott Brown played in to be so naive to think he could get away with it.

Neymar who had been falling over all night took his theatrics to new heights but again I place the fault firmly at the door of Scott Brown who gave Neymar the opportunity to roll about like a wee lassie and gave the referee who had made puzzling decisions all night to reach for his red.

This opened up more space for Barcelona to exploit and ultimately we conceded. Not saying for a minute that we wouldn’t have conceded with Scott on the pitch but it would have been a harder task for Barca.

On to the second talking point of the evening.

With a couple of minutes left on the clock Barcelona made a substitution. Iniesta the man coming off, as he walked off the pitch he got a rousing ovation from the Celtic crowd even though we were 1-0 down.

For me, that shows me what the Celtic support are all about. Yes, we want to see our team win! Yes, we support our own players with every breath during a game but it’s a great thing to be able to acknowledge you are in the presence of a world class player and a gentleman. A fitting tribute to Iniesta and another example of why Celtic fans are praised around the world.

Neil Lennon mentioned this after the game

“”Our fans are respectful of great players, but it tells you everything that Iniesta comes off to an ovation and Neymar is booed.”

There was no Barcelona love in, far from it.

While clapping last night I heard a few voices of discontent from the stand. Fans who were a bit miffed as to why Iniesta was getting a standing ovation. Each to their own I say, if you didn’t clap then that is your prerogative and I respect your decision even though I did applaud.

I was surprised however, when I signed onto my twitter this morning  and seen a torrent of abuse from some “Celtic fans” towards their fellow supporters because they had applauded a Barcelona player. There was no debate, just idiotic name calling and juvenile behaviour. When I tried to enter into reasonable debate with one of them I myself was subject to abuse. Water off a ducks back of course but it saddened me a little to see that debate was dead for this gentleman and name calling was the knee jerk response to someone who doesn’t agree with him. Poor show on that fellows part.

Is it THAT ridiculous to think WE as a fan-base can show respect to another footballer?

Jimmy Johnstone was once famously cheered from every corner of the Bernabeu and Celtic fans still talk about that night in Madrid, looking back on it with fondness. The Spaniards that night appreciated the wee mans talents and applauded;what we did with Iniesta was no different.

Applauding a world class player or not I would like to think the Celtic Family is evolved enough to respect each others opinions even when they do differ from our own.

The Cetic Way is all about respect!




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