Tag Archives: valdes

PSG 2 Barcelona 2 – match report: Lionel Messi and Dani Alves goals canceled out by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Blaise Matuidi

PSG 2 Barcelona 2: Late Matuidi goal gives French side hope as Messi and Co are held in Paris

PUBLISHED:

20:43 GMT, 2 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:16 GMT, 2 April 2013

Barcelona scored two away goals but were twice pegged back in a dramatic Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes.

Lionel Messi gave Barca a half-time lead, a goal owing much to Dani Alves' vision, before departing with a hamstring injury at the interval.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic controversially equalised against his former club and though Xavi's late penalty looked to have ensured a first-leg lead for Barca, Blaise Matuidi made it 2-2 with a deflected last kick of the match.

On target - again: Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Barcelona

On target – again: Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Barcelona

MATCH FACTS

PSG: Sirigu, Jallet, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell, Beckham (Verratti 70), Matuidi, Lucas Moura, Pastore (Gameiro 76), Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi (Menez 66).

Subs not used: Douchez, Sakho, Chantome, Van Der Wiel.

Booked: Matuidi, Beckham, Ibrahimovic, Sirigu.

Goals: Ibrahimovic 79, Matuidi 90.

Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano (Bartra 84), Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Sanchez, Messi (Fabregas 46), Villa (Tello 81).

Subs not used: Pinto, Thiago, Montoya, Song.

Booked: Pique, Jordi Alba, Mascherano, Dani Alves.

Goals: Messi 38, Xavi 89 pen.

Attendance: 45,000

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Ergolding)

The first chance fell to PSG with less than five minutes played. Ezequiel Lavezzi cut inside, sending Gerard Pique sliding the wrong way, and Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets stuck out a foot to stab the ball against the frame of his own goal.

Alex climbed highest to meet David Beckham's corner but headed well wide, and Victor Valdes then dived to save Javier Pastore's low drive and had to scramble to recover the loose ball ahead of the onrushing Alex.

It added up to an opening 15 minutes of Parisian dominance, though Andres Iniesta soon curled just wide at the other end.

PSG pressed again and when Pique flattened Ibrahimovic just outside the 'D' and was booked, Valdes had to push the Swede's fierce low free-kick around the post.

Ibrahimovic dragged a shot wide after a driving run from Lucas Moura but Barca began to make better use of their possession, with Alexis Sanchez's shot deflected wide before Messi opened the scoring eight minutes before half-time.

Alves curled a staggering pass into the box with the outside of his right foot and Messi ran on to the ball and fired first time inside the far post.

Easy does it: Messi runs off in celebration after making it 1-0

Easy does it: Messi runs off in celebration after making it 1-0

Celebration time: Messi celebrates with Daniel Alves and Xavi Hernandez after his goal against PSG

Celebration time: Messi celebrates with Daniel Alves and Xavi Hernandez after his goal against PSG

The Argentinian curled another effort millimetres over the bar but appeared to tweak his right hamstring in the process and was a passenger as half-time approached.

He was replaced by Cesc Fabregas upon the restart, and a Barca statement released during the second half confirmed he will undergo tests tomorrow to determine the extent of his injury.

Matuidi, impressive defensively in the first half, showed up in attack but was blocked off by Javier Mascherano as he pursued his own heavy touch into the penalty area, though no foul was given. Pique then prevented the all-action Matuidi from reaching Ibrahimovic's pass.

Not going to plan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham look dejected as Barcelona celebrate

Not going to plan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham look dejected as Barcelona celebrate

Beckham

David Beckham heads the ball

Getting stuck in: Beckham started for PSG and played for 70minutes before being replaced by Marco Verratti

Stars of the show: Messi is tracked by Beckham

Stars of the show: Messi is tracked by Beckham

Battle for the ball: Messi holds off the challenge of Beckham

Battle for the ball: Messi holds off the challenge of Beckham

Going in for the tackle: Beckham brings down Cesc Fabregas

Going in for the tackle: Beckham brings down Cesc Fabregas

In the book: Beckham is shown a yellow card by Referee Wolfgang Stark

In the book: Beckham is shown a yellow card by Referee Wolfgang Stark

The imperious Thiago Silva's clearance
denied Barca a second goal and Sanchez could not connect properly with
Fabregas' deep cross, shooting weakly at Sirigu.

Matuidi was booked for fouling Iniesta, ruling him out of the return leg, before Lavezzi was replaced by Jeremy Menez.

Alves
went close to a goal of his own when he curled a free-kick just wide
before Mascherano chopped down Menez to also earn himself a ban.

Take Zlat! Ibrahimovic makes it 1-1 with close range finish

Take Zlat! Ibrahimovic makes it 1-1 with close range finish

Eyes on the ball: Ibrahimovic made it 1-1 with his goal

Eyes on the ball: Ibrahimovic made it 1-1 with his goal

Menez's free-kick was deflected behind
and the resulting corner caused chaos. Jordi Alba and Mascherano
collided and were both prone in the six-yard box, playing three PSG
players onside as the half-cleared set-piece was returned into the box,
and Valdes was forced into a point-blank save from Ibrahimovic's shinned
effort.

Barca had to defend the next corner
with nine men and the controversy continued even after the pair
returned, Thiago Silva heading Menez's free-kick against the post before
the rebound was jabbed home by an offside Ibrahimovic.

Going down: Alexis Sanchez falls under the challenge of PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu

Going down: Alexis Sanchez falls under the challenge of PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu

Spot on: Xavi scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot

Spot on: Xavi scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot

Substitute
Kevin Gameiro was almost sent through by Ibrahimovic's flick-on, only
for the bounce to deceive the diminutive France international.

With a minute remaining, though, a penalty handed Barca the advantage in the tie once more.

Last kick of the game: Blaise Matuidi scores his side's second equalising goal late on

Last kick of the game: Blaise Matuidi scores his side's second equalising goal late on

Happy ending: Matuidi celebrates his goal late goal

Happy ending: Matuidi celebrates his goal late goal

Sirigu was booked for pulling down Sanchez and Xavi sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
Ibrahimovic
lashed another effort into Valdes' net but this time was correctly
flagged offside – but there was still late drama to come.

Ibrahimovic nodded the ball back and
Matuidi's shot was squeezed between the legs of substitute Marc Bartra,
wrong-footing Valdes and levelling the scores.

VIDEO: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina stars as Roman soldier in new film

VIDEO: All hail Reina as Liverpool keeper stars as Roman soldier in new film

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

13:15 GMT, 19 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:35 GMT, 19 March 2013

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina took time out from preparing for crucial World Cup qualifiers to show off his acting skills.

The Spaniard, who is in line to make a rare appearance for the Roja after first choice Iker Casillas was ruled out of the upcoming matches against Finland and France, donned classic Roman garb to star as a soldier in a new short-film called 'Invictus, el correo del Cesar.'

Scroll down for video

Film star: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina

Film star: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina

Hot seat: Cesc Fabregas (centre) and David Villa (right) were at the premiere

Hot seat: Cesc Fabregas (centre) and David Villa (right) were at the premiere

The film is directed by Javier Fesser, who has won three Baftas including Best Director and Best Original
Screenplay for 'The Way' in 2008 and Best Live Action Short Film for
'That ritmillo' in 1995.

The film's premiere was held in Madrid on Monday and Spanish stars David Villa, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Jordi Alba were among the audience.

The film is being bankrolled by insurance company Plus Ultra Seguros, who also use Reina to front their advertising campaigns.

Reina also used his trip to Spain to reiterate his commitment to Liverpool after being linked as a potential replacement for wantaway Victor Valdes.

'[A move to Barcelona] is not in my hands and the rumour mongering is part of that,' Reina told Spanish newspaper AS. 'They're such a great club, but I'm happy at Liverpool.'

Video: Reina the actor

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina dons Roman gear for advert

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Barcelona field La Masia team for first time in La Liga game… but how does the Premier League compare

The La Masia Dream Team: Barcelona field a homegrown side for the first time… but how do the English leagues compare

By
Adam Shergold and Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

12:50 GMT, 26 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

13:48 GMT, 26 November 2012

Any 4-0 victory away from home is satisfying, but the Barcelona coaching staff would have been more glowing than usual last night.

For the first time, Barca fielded an entirely homegrown eleven for much of the match at Levante, so this was as much a triumph for the club’s fabled La Masia academy as anything else.

The historic moment came in the 14th minute when the only outsider, Dani Alves, went off injured and was replaced by Martin Montoya.

Production line: For the first time, Barcelona fielded a side entirely made up of players from their famous La Masia academy (pictured), which produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta

Production line: For the first time, Barcelona fielded a side entirely made up of players from their famous La Masia academy (pictured), which produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta

And so the La Masia XI read: Victor Valdes, Martin Montoya, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas.

Not too bad, is it

Of course, not every one of those players was born in the shadow of Camp Nou – Messi was born 6,500 miles away in Rosario, Argentina and Iniesta’s home village is geographically closer to Madrid.

Prodigy: Cesc Fabregas in action for Barcelona's youth team against Athletic Bilbao in 2003. The La Masia product was sold to Arsenal in 2003 before returning to Barcelona eight years later

Prodigy: Cesc Fabregas in action for Barcelona's youth team against Athletic Bilbao in 2003. The La Masia product was sold to Arsenal in 2003 before returning to Barcelona eight years later

And, as we know, many of them flew the nest after their football education – Gerard Pique to Manchester United, Cesc Fabregas to Arsenal and Jordi Alba to Valencia – only to return to familiar and friendly surroundings.

But the common thread is that their football skills were honed and their talent nurtured at La Masia.

For over 30 years, La Masia, which was an 18th-century country farmhouse, has been the heart of Barcelona’s legendary academy production line.

Aside from the current generation, previous graduates include Jordi Cruyff, Pepe Reina, Mikel Arteta and Thiago Motta.

Top class: former Manchester United defender Pique (back row, left), Arsenal's Fabregas (back right) and Messi (front right) during their time at La Masia

Top class: former Manchester United defender Pique (back row, left), Arsenal's Fabregas (back right) and Messi (front right) during their time at La Masia

Sing song: Bobby Robson, then Barcelona manage, next to young goalkeeper Pepe Reina and (second left) Andres Iniesta

Sing song: Bobby Robson, then Barcelona manager, next to young goalkeeper Pepe Reina and (second left) Andres Iniesta

While the operation has long since outgrown the dormitories of the farmhouse – there are 15 different squads beneath the B team and more than 300 talented hopefuls from all around the world – La Masia remains the spiritual home.

As Pep Guardiola, the manager who reaped the benefits most from La Masia’s magical conveyor belt of prodigies, said: ‘The player who has passed through La Masia has something different to the rest – it’s a plus that only comes from having competed in a Barcelona shirt from the time you were a child.’


THE PREMIER LEAGUE HOMEGROWN SHORTAGE

Sportsmail took at look at the homegrown talent on display in last weekend's Premier League clashes. Most teams had only one or two on the pitch.

Manchester United and Newcastle led the charge with four each, while six teams, including Chelsea and Manchester City, failed to turn out a single academy player.

None came close to rivalling the full house that Barca bred from its own esteemed training facility.

Still running: Paul Scholes was perhaps the most famous graduate of Manchester United's academy in the team that beat QPR on Saturday

Still running: Paul Scholes was perhaps the most famous graduate of Manchester United's academy in the team that beat QPR on Saturday

The full list:

Manchester United (4)

Jonny Evans, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Danny Welbeck

Newcastle United (4)

Tim Krul, Steven Taylor, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi

Aston Villa (3)

Ciaran Clark, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton

Liverpool (2)

Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling*

Southampton (2)

Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana

Tottenham Hotspur (2)

Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore

West Ham United (2)

James Tomkins, Mark Noble

Arsenal (1)

Kieran Gibbs

Everton (1)

Leon Osman

Reading (1)

Hal Robson-Kanu

Stoke City (1)

Ryan Shotton

Sunderland (1)

Jack Colback

Swansea City (1)

Ben Davies

Chelsea, Fulham, Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic (0)


Flying start: Liverpool have bright hopes for Raheem Sterling, one of two homegrown talents in the side that drew at Swansea

Flying start: Liverpool have bright hopes for Raheem Sterling, one of two homegrown talents in the side that drew at Swansea

*Sterling was on the books of Queens Park Rangers between 2003 and 2010, when he was signed by then Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez for 600,000. Sterling spent two years in Liverpool's youth teams.


Factory of football: The Nou Camp complex in Barcelona, comprising the main and B team stadiums and a number of training buildings and pitches

Factory of football: The Nou Camp complex in Barcelona, comprising the main and B team stadiums and a number of training buildings and pitches

Dwarfed: Despite being the oldest part of the Nou Camp site, La Masia is tiny compared to the high stands of the main stadium

Dwarfed: Despite being the oldest part of the Nou Camp site, La Masia is tiny compared to the high stands of the main stadium

THE CHAMPIONSHIP HOMEGROWN PLAYERS

In the Championship match-ups there was an even poorer show of youth academy players. Six teams fielded three, but not a single club managed any more than that.

Like the Premier League there were six teams without a single homegrown player on show.

Hot shot! Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is being courted by a number of top flight sides after a blistering start to the season

Hot shot! Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is being courted by a number of top flight sides after a blistering start to the season

The full list:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3)

Carl Ikeme, Anthony Forde, David Davis

Blackburn Rovers (3)

Martin Olsson, Adam Henley, Grant Hanley

Bristol City (3)

Louis Carey, Joe Bryan, James Wilson

Derby County (3)

Mark O’Brien, Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick

Leeds United (3)

Tom Lees, Dominic Poleon, San Byram

Middlesbrough (3)

Jason Steele, Seb Hines, Stuart Parnaby

Huddersfield Town (2)

Alex Smithies, Jack Hunt

Charlton Athletic (2)

Chris Solly, Danny Green

Watford (2)

Tommie Hoban, Sean Murray

Brighton (2)

Lewis Dunk, Dean Hammond

Burnley (1)

Chris McCann

Birmingham City (1)

Jack Butland

Crystal Palace (1)

Wilfried Zaha

Ipswich Town (1)

Luke Hyam

Leicester City (1)

Jeffrey Schlupp

Barnsley (1)

Reuben Noble-Lazarus

Cardiff City (1)

Ben Nugent

Peterborough United (1)

Joe Newell

Millwall, Blackpool, Bolton, Hull City, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday (0)

Fraser Forster and Tony Watt in disbelief after Celtic sink Barcelona

Words can't describe it! Forster and Watt in disbelief after Celtic defeat Barcelona

|

UPDATED:

23:13 GMT, 7 November 2012

Celtic heroes Fraser Forster and Tony Watt were in disbelief after their side completed a memorable Champions League win over Barcelona.

Forster reprised his stunning display from the narrow 2-1 defeat to the same opposition two weeks ago, making a string of excellent saves and even claiming the assist as substitute Watt grabbed a route-one second goal to add to Victor Wanyama's header.

Lionel Messi pulled a goal back in injury time but Celtic clung on to avenge their Nou Camp heartbreak and keep themselves in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages.

Incredible: Fraser Forster (right) was in disbelief after the final whistle in Glasgow

Incredible: Fraser Forster (right) was in disbelief after the final whistle in Glasgow

'It's tremendous, I don't think words can describe it,' Forster told Sky Sports 2.

'We put in so much effort at the Nou Camp and couldn't see it through, and tonight we've seen it through.

'We had a good look two weeks ago and we knew what we wanted to do. Everyone was tremendous, everyone played their part tonight.

'We defended really well and Tony came on and scored a great goal; his goals-to-games ratio is incredible.'

Eighteen-year-old Watt said: 'It'll take a couple of hours to sink in. I just saw (Victor) Valdes, I thought to put it to the side of him and it might go in.

'It's probably the best moment of my life, I'll look back at it when I'm older and think 'We've just beaten Barcelona in the Champions League' – there's nothing better.'

Shall not pass: Forster was in exceptional form at Parkhead

Shall not pass: Forster was in exceptional form at Parkhead

Sensation: Tony Watt came off the bench to score Celtic's second goal

Sensation: Tony Watt came off the bench to score Celtic's second goal

Lennon praised the inexperienced Watt who is fast becoming a favourite of the Celtic fans.

He said: 'It is a memorable thing he has done so early in his career.

'I said before the game I had no hesitation in playing him, I just thought his lack of experience would have been too much to put him in the starting line-up but everything we asked him to do, he did.

'He scored a brilliant goal and should have had a penalty and a sending-off when he got on Mascherano's wrong side.

'He is learning, he wrote himself into the history books of the club but he is 11 games into his career.

'I hope he has a fruitful career but tonight will take some topping.'

As they did when they came back from a goal behind in the Nou Camp last month to win 2-1 against Celtic, Barcelona dominated possession.

However, this time their superiority was confined to everything but the most important part of the game – goals.

Jubilant: Neil Lennon ran onto the pitch after the full-time whistle to celebrate the historic win

Jubilant: Neil Lennon ran onto the pitch after the full-time whistle to celebrate the historic win

Barca coach Tito Vilanova said: 'First of all I would like to congratulate Celtic, the fans were amazing tonight.

'Before we played I knew they were good at set-pieces and we didn't want to concede too many and we didn't give them too many chances.

'But I can't be satisfied because we want to win the game.

'It is a really difficult stadium but we were like the home team and we locked them in the box.
“But you are never happy when you don't win.

'If we had scored first it might have been a different game.

'But they scored first which allowed them to defend and their goalkeeper was brilliant tonight.

'It is not the first time we have lost a game like this and it won't be the last.'

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1 – match report

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1: Wanyama and Watt sink Barca to celebrate Bhoys' 125th birthday in style

|

UPDATED:

22:26 GMT, 7 November 2012

Parkhead witnessed one of its greatest nights as goals from Victor Wanyama and substitute Tony Watt gave Celtic a momentous Champions League victory over Barcelona.

It was a Group G clash that the Hoops were not supposed to win but the east end of Glasgow exploded in the 21st minute when midfielder Wanyama headed in from a Charlie Mulgrew corner.

It was backs-to-the-wall stuff for most of the game for the home side as the star-studded visitors hit the woodwork twice and goalkeeper Fraser Forster pulled off a number of vital saves.

Disbelief: 18-year-old Tony Watt took 11 minutes before scoring against Barcelona

Disbelief: 18-year-old Tony Watt took 11 minutes before scoring against Barcelona

Keep your cool: Tony Watt (left) slotted home late in the game to put the result beyond doubt

Keep your cool: Tony Watt (left) slotted home late in the game to put the result beyond doubt

Flying start: Victor Wanyama wheeled away as Parkhead erupted early in the first half

Flying start: Victor Wanyama wheeled away as Parkhead erupted early in the first half

Mismatch: Wanyama out-jumped Jordi Alba to put the header beyond Victor Valdes

Mismatch: Wanyama out-jumped Jordi Alba to put the header beyond Victor Valdes

MATCH FACTS

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose, Wilson, Mulgrew, Lustig (Watt 72), Commons, Ledley, Wanyama, Miku, Samaras (Kayal 79)

Subs not used: Zaluska, Fraser, McCourt, Herron, McGeouch

Booked: Miku

Goals: Wanyama 21, Watt 83

Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Bartra (Pique 71), Alba, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Mascherano, Song (Fabregas 71), Sanchez (Villa 67), Pedro

Subs not used: Pinto, Montoya, Jonathan, Cristian Tello

Booked: Song, Alba

Goal: Messi 90

Referee: Kuipers

Latest Champions League results, fixtures and table

But in the 83rd minute 18-year-old
Watt, on for Mikael Lustig to make his debut in the competition, raced
away to score the second, leaving Lionel Messi's late strike a
consolation.

Celtic, with seven points from four
games, two less than leaders Barca, travel to Benfica before hosting
Spartak Moscow in their final group fixture and will surely fancy their
chances of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.

Regardless of the Scottish champions'
progress in Europe, the night will live long in the memory of the 60,000
who made their way to Celtic Park on a sodden night.

There had been some frenzied speculation as to who manager Neil Lennon would have available.

As it transpired, the former Celtic skipper suffered an unforeseen blow when skipper Scott Brown dropped out through illness.

Georgios Samaras, however, recovered
from an ankle injury sustained in the Nou Camp last month but as
expected Gary Hooper, Emilio Izaguirre, Thomas Rogne, James Forrest and
Lassad were all missing through various ailments, with Lustig, Efe
Ambrose and Miku also coming into the side which drew 2-2 with Dundee
United at Tannadice on Sunday.

Faces in the crowd: Rod Stewart was in Glasgow to cheer on his side

Faces in the crowd: Rod Stewart was in Glasgow to cheer on his side

Gotcha: Fraser Forster denies the diminutive Lionel Messi as Celtic battled to hold on to their lead

Gotcha: Fraser Forster denies the diminutive Lionel Messi as Celtic battled to hold on to their lead

Gerard Pique was added to Barcelona's
squad after returning from a foot injury but he started on the bench,
although the Catalan giants paraded their big guns in Messi, Andres
Iniesta and Xavi.

There was a card display before the
kick-off to celebrate Celtic's 125th anniversary which added to the
terrific atmosphere at kick-off time.

Stand-in captain Samaras led the line
for the home side supported by Miku, but like the rest of the Celtic
side they were soon chasing Barcelona around looking to gain possession.

Alexis Sanchez and Messi had early efforts for the visitors who soon fell into their familiar, dominating pattern.

Barca were perhaps fortunate in the
18th minute when midfielder Alex Song, earlier booked for a challenge on
Miku, fouled the same player and received no further punishment from
referee Bjorn Kuipers.

We are wailing: Emotions got the better of Rod Stewart as he burst into tears after the final whistle

We are wailing: Emotions got the better of Rod Stewart as he burst into tears after the final whistle

We are wailing: Emotions got the better of Rod Stewart as he burst into tears after the final whistle

However, the home fans were unconcerned about that when Wanyama gave them a sensational lead.

The Catalans had conceded from a
set-piece in the Nou Camp and looked equally ropey when the Kenyan rose
above rookie defender Marc Bartra at the back post to bullet in
Mulgrew's corner from the right.

Tito Vilanova's side went up a couple
of gears and hemmed Celtic in at the edge of their own penalty area and
in the 29th minute Iniesta set up Messi and his first-time strike
clipped the bar on the way over.

Celtic were under relentless pressure
and in the 33rd minute Jordi Alba fired the ball across the six-yard box
after being played in by Alexis Sanchez but found no takers.

Moments later, the Chilean forward glanced a header from a Dani Alves cross off the post and Celtic Park breathed again.

Swamped: Andres Iniesta (centre) is surrounded by Hoops players

Swamped: Andres Iniesta (centre) is surrounded by Hoops players

Tough luck: Forster pats Messi on the back after the forward fails to beat him

Tough luck: Forster pats Messi on the back after the forward fails to beat him

Five minutes from the break, with the
home side defending with equal measures of diligence and desperation,
Forster thwarted Messi as he attempted to get on the end of another
Jordi Alba cross.

The second half began in similar style to the first with Barca taking control, switching from left to right and back again.

Alves flashed the ball across Forster's six-yard box but again there was no one in blue and red to take advantage.

In the 56th minute Messi tried to beat
Forster with a left-footed curler from 20 yards but the England squad
member was equal to the task and soon made a good save from Alexis
Sanchez's angled drive after Messi had split open the defence.

Despite all their possession,
Barcelona looked vulnerable at the back and Mulgrew might have punished
them in the 63rd minute when he had a sight of goal but Bartra managed
to block. Song was allowed another foul on Miku to the anger of the
Celtic fans, before he was replaced by Cesc Fabregas, with Pique on for
Bartra and Watt on for Lustig.

Have that! Celtic players went berserk after Wanyama put the side into the lead

Have that! Celtic players went berserk after Wanyama put the side into the lead

Frustrating: Messi tried to sneak the ball round the corner to get Barca back into the game

Frustrating: Messi tried to sneak the ball round the corner to get Barca back into the game

Good to see: Fans of both Barcelona and Celtic soaked up the atmosphere in Glasgow's Merchant Square before the match

Good to see: Fans of both Barcelona and Celtic soaked up the atmosphere in Glasgow's Merchant Square before the match

Before the substitutions, Forster flew through the air to make a great save from Messi.

Beram Kayal replaced Samaras with 10
minutes remaining before Forster made yet another save from Messi, this
time from a 25-yard free-kick.

But there was much more drama when
Watt escaped the Barca defence and Xavi from Forster's long ball before
driving a right-footed shot past Victor Valdes to double Celtic's lead.

There was bedlam inside Parkhead which
gave way to some nerves when Messi scored from close range in the 90th
minute after Forster had parried a strike from Pedro, but it was to be
the home side's night, and a famous night at that.

CELTIC'S GREATEST EUROPEAN NIGHTS

Neil Lennon

Celtic's stunning 2-1 victory over Barcelona in Glasgow will rank among the greatest ever nights for the Scottish giants. Here Sportsmail looks at some of the other famous European results in club history.

Champions League, Nov 21 2006 – Celtic 1 Manchester United 0

Shunsuke Nakamura scored from an 81st minute free-kick to give Celtic a famous victory over Sir Alex Ferguson's men. The result sent Celtic through to the second round of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Champions League, Oct 3 2007 – Celtic 2 AC Milan 1

Celtic stunned reigning European champions AC Milan on a rainy night in Glasgow. Kaka equalised an opener from Stephen McManus before Scott McDonald fired a late winner for the home side.

UEFA Cup, Mar 11 2004 – Celtic 1 Barcelona 0

Alan Thompson scored the winner and three players – Celtic's Rab Douglas and Barca's Thiago Motta and Javier Saviola – were sent off in a stormy Parkhead encounter. Celtic would cling on for a goalless draw in the second leg at the Nou Camp.

UEFA Cup, Mar 20 2003 – Liverpool 0 Celtic 2

Celtic moved into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals by completing a 3-1 aggregate win over Liverpool at Anfield. Alan Thompson and John Hartson gave the Scottish side a comfortable win.

European Cup, May 25 1967 – Celtic 2 Inter Milan 1

Celtic made history by becoming the first British team to be crowned European champions. The 'Lisbon Lions', as they came to be known, triumphed through second half goals from Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers.

European Cup, Apr 15 1970 – Celtic 2 Leeds 1

In a match played in front of 138,000 at Hampden Park, Celtic booked their place in their second European Cup final. John Hughes and Bobby Murdoch scored to give Jock Stein's men a 3-1 aggregate win.

Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1: Jose Mourinho"s men are Super kings

Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1 (agg 4-4, Real win on away goals): Jose's men are Super kings

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UPDATED:

23:05 GMT, 29 August 2012

Real Madrid secured their first
Spanish Super Cup since 2008 on away goals after a narrow victory over
arch rivals Barcelona in Wednesday's second leg at the Bernabeu.

The hosts had failed to win in their
last seven home meetings with Barca but went about ending that record
early on with goals in the first 20 minutes from Gonzalo Higuain and
Cristiano Ronaldo.

Super kings: Rela Madrid celebrate

Super kings: Rela Madrid celebrate

Real deal: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates victory

Real deal: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates victory

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men as Adriano was shown a straight red card for denying Ronaldo a clear goalscoring opportunity, but they regained their composure and were brought back into the game by a stunning free-kick from Lionel Messi just before half-time.

Chances continued to come at both ends after the break but Real failed to make their man advantage count and were nearly made to pay as Messi shot just inches wide deep into stoppage time.

Real had failed to win any of their previous three games this season but they did not seem like a side lacking in confidence as they stormed out of the traps early on.

Sharp shooter: Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain scores the opening goal

Sharp shooter: Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain scores the opening goal

Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid

Higuain should have opened the scoring
on seven minutes when his low effort across Victor Valdes was well
blocked by the keeper, but the Argentinian was gifted his goal only two
minutes later by compatriot Javier Mascherano as the Barca defender
misjudged a long ball forward from Pepe and allowed Higuain to run
through and this time finish low beyond Valdes.

And it was two just nine minutes later as Ronaldo pounced on an error
this time by Gerard Pique. The Portuguese brilliantly back-flicked the
ball into his path and, despite a poor second touch, his powerful shot
rebounded in off Valdes' body.

The chances continued to come for Real as Valdes again denied Higuain
from a narrow angle before Pepe had a header controversially ruled out
for a push on Mascherano.

Hit man: Cristiano Ronaldo scores Real's second goal

Hit man: Cristiano Ronaldo scores Real's second goal

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring

Part of Barca's disorganisation at the back could possibly be put down
to a late change in the starting line-up as the injured Dani Alves had
to be replaced by Jordi Alba with Adriano moving to right-back, and the
Brazilian's torrid evening only lasted 27 minutes as he hauled down
Ronaldo when he seemed set to break free on Valdes once more.

After another unsettling five-minute period for the Catalans, new coach
Tito Vilanova eventually introduced Martin Montoya for Alexis Sanchez
and a return to four at the back seemed to offer the visitors some
comfort as they began to make an impression on the game.

Montoya was inches away from converting a vicious low cross from Andres
Iniesta before Messi did eventually halve the deficit moments before the
interval with an incredible swerving free-kick from 30 yards.

Ronaldo nearly responded with a long-range effort himself that flew just
past and Angel Di Maria also shot narrowly wide as Madrid ended the
half threatening a third.

Who else Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores with a freekick

Who else Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores with a freekick

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teamate Xavi Hernandez

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teamate Xavi Hernandez

However, at the start of the second period, it was Barca's tiki-taka
that began to dictate play as the pace of the game dropped markedly.

Pedro very nearly scored a carbon copy of his goal in the first leg as
Mascherano's perfectly weighted pass saw him through on goal but his
prodded finish did not have enough power to get through Iker Casillas'
legs and the Spain captain collected at the second attempt.

Sami Khedira then nearly restored Real's two-goal cushion but was denied
by another fine Valdes save at the end of a brilliant run.

Barca remained dangerous, though, and another brilliant piece of play
from Messi released Alba through on goal, but he just over-ran the ball
as he rounded Casillas and was eventually crowded out.

Higuain should have given Real breathing space with 11 minutes remaining
but he hit the outside of the post with only Valdes to beat and that
miss nearly cost his side as Barca came desperately close to equalising
in stoppage time.

Firstly, Montoya was denied by a solid save from Casillas before Messi
seemed destined to hand Barca the cup as he found space on his favoured
left side just outside the area but the ball slipped just wide and Real
clung on for their first Super Cup title in four years.

Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 2: Supercopa match report

Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 2: Xavi and Messi rule as Vilanova's men earn slim advantage

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UPDATED:

23:26 GMT, 23 August 2012

Barcelona came from behind to take a slender lead from the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa at the Nou Camp.

Cristiano Ronaldo headed Real into the lead against the run of play 10 minutes into the second half from Mesut Ozil's corner, but Barcelona responded as Pedro showed great poise to slot home a minute later.

Three's the trick: Xavi celebrates scoring Barcelona's third goal

Three's the trick: Xavi celebrates scoring Barcelona's third goal

Boom: Cristiano Ronaldo heads in the first goal

Boom: Cristiano Ronaldo heads in the first goal

MATCH FACTS

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi (Fabregas 83), Iniesta; Sanchez (Tello 72), Messi, Pedro (Alba 88).

Substitutes: Pinto, Puyol, Roberto, Villa

Goals: Pedro 56, Messi 70 (pen), Xavi 77

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Callejon (Di Maria 66), Ozil (Marcelo 82), Ronaldo; Benzema (Higuain 61).

Substitutes: Adan, Jesus, Varane, Nacho, Morata, Diarra, Granero

Goals: Ronaldo 55, Di Maria 85

The action then raced from end to end
and it was the hosts who forged ahead 20 minutes from time when Lionel
Messi scored from the penalty spot after Sergio Ramos had brought down
Andres Iniesta.

Then a terrific jinking run from Iniesta freed Xavi to stroke home Barcelona's third goal seven minutes later.

However, the visitors were gifted a
way back into the tie five minutes from time when Barcelona goalkeeper
Victor Valdes tried to dribble around Angel Di Maria and only succeeded
in gifting the Argentinian an open goal.

Barcelona were deserving of the victory but may rue not taking full advantage after dominating for large spells against a Real side who failed to find the cohesion that had seen them go unbeaten in three of their last four trips to the Nou Camp.

Magic: Lionel Messi celebrates as Barca picked up a slim win

Magic: Lionel Messi celebrates as Barca picked up a slim win

Easy does it: Angel di Maria hits back for Madrid

Easy does it: Angel di Maria hits back for Madrid

Messi had the first real chance of
the game when a typically sharp Barcelona passing exchange freed Dani
Alves down the right and his cut-back found the Argentinian on the edge
of the penalty area, but his left-footed drive flew just off target.

The world player of the year then had
an even better opportunity from similar range as he skipped past Alvaro
Arbeloa but this time pulled his shot wide of the other upright.

Real were struggling to manage any
prolonged possession and were relieved to see referee Carlos Clos Gomez
wave away appeals for a penalty when Alexis Sanchez tumbled in the box
under pressure from Ramos.

Spin: Ronaldo wheels away in celebration

Spin: Ronaldo wheels away in celebration

Duo: Xavi (centre) and Iniesta (right) pulled the strings as usual

Duo: Xavi (centre) and Iniesta (right) pulled the strings as usual

However, for all their dominance
Barcelona only had another two long-range efforts on goal as Pedro's
drive was tipped over by Iker Casillas before Xavi shot just over from
similar range.

And it was the visitors who took the
lead 10 minutes into the second period as Ozil's corner was bulleted in
by Ronaldo for his fourth goal in his last four away games against
Barcelona.

The lead lasted less than a minute as
a wonderful ball over the top from Javier Mascherano found Pedro in
behind Fabio Coentrao and the Spanish international slotted past
Casillas.

On the move: Ronaldo gets a pass away after escaping the attentions of Javier Mascherano (right) and Adriano

On the move: Ronaldo gets a pass away after escaping the attentions of Javier Mascherano (right) and Adriano

The game then became increasingly
stretched as both sides tired slightly from playing in the still searing
heat, despite the late kick-off time, and the visitors' luck with
Gomez eventually ran out as Iniesta was brought down inside the area by
Ramos and Messi stepped up to thunder home the penalty.

Moments later Iniesta showed
incredible speed of foot to dance past three Real challenges and slip a
pass through for Xavi to sidefoot past Casillas.

Messi then had a great chance to all
but seal the trophy but he was denied from point-blank range by
Casillas, and within seconds the complexion of the tie had completely
changed as Valdes' error allowed Di Maria to give Madrid a lifeline
heading into the return at the Bernabeu next Wednesday.

Shifty: Messi tries to turn Sami Khadira during the Super Cup first leg at Camp Nou

Shifty: Messi tries to turn Sami Khadira during the Super Cup first leg at Camp Nou

The shake: Jose Mourinho and Francesc 'Tito' Vilanova prior to the match. Mourinho was punished after apparently gouging Vilanova's eye during a La Liga match last season

The shake: Jose Mourinho and Francesc 'Tito' Vilanova prior to the match. Mourinho was punished after apparently gouging Vilanova's eye during a La Liga match last season

No you don't: Ronaldo tries to get the better of Barcelona defender Gerard Pique during the Spanish season curtain-raiser

No you don't: Ronaldo tries to get the better of Barcelona defender Gerard Pique during the Spanish season curtain-raiser

Clash: Messi tussles with Fabio Coentrao on the turf

Clash: Messi tussles with Fabio Coentrao on the turf

Barcelona 0 Manchester United 0 (2-0 on pens): Ashley Young misses penalty

Barcelona 0 Man United 0 (2-0 on pens): Spot of bother for Young after giants draw

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UPDATED:

20:13 GMT, 8 August 2012

Manchester United suffered penalty pain as they lost on spot kicks to Spanish giants Barcelona.

Ashely Young and Nani both missed their penalties as United lost 2-0 after the game ended goalless.

Wayne Rooney also missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

The United striker sent his spot kick, awarded on the stroke of half time after Nani was brought down after a lunge by Cristian Tello , low to Victor Valdes' right and the keeper was able to get down and make the save.

Valdes' opposite number David de Gea was called into action in the second half as he was forced to make two saves in quick succession.

But neither side could find the breakthrough and had to settle for the draw before penalties decided the tie.

More to follow…

Off target: Wayne Rooney had a penalty saved

Off target: Wayne Rooney had a penalty saved

We meet again: Nemanja Vidic vies with Lionel Messi

We meet again: Nemanja Vidic vies with Lionel Messi

Crowded out: Rooney, center, fights for the ball with Barcelona's Javier Mascherano, left, and Carles Puyol

Crowded out: Rooney, center, fights for the ball with Barcelona's Javier Mascherano, left, and Carles Puyol

EURO 2012: Victor Valdes wary of Andrea Pirlo threat

Valdes wary of veteran playmaker Pirlo as Spain gear up for Italy clash

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UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 8 June 2012

Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes believes his side will need to pay special attention to Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo on Sunday night as the reigning champions look to start Euro 2012 on a winning note.

Spain head into the tournament looking to become the first country to claim back-to-back European Championships and, with 19 members of their 2010 World Cup-winning squad heading to Poland and Ukraine, few would be surprised to see La Roja write another page in the history books.

Wary: Valdes believes Pirlo poses Italy's main threat

Wary: Valdes believes Pirlo poses Italy's main threat

They face a tricky start to the defence of their title though after being pitted against 2006 world champions Italy in their opening Group C match, and in veteran Pirlo, Valdes knows the Azzurri have someone who can make life difficult for the Spanish.

The Barcelona goalkeeper said of the 33-year-old Juventus man: 'He's the player that carries the Italian midfield.

'Everything goes through him. They have wingers that get forward a lot, they go on the attack. The strikers play quite deep, but they are always looking for that assist from Pirlo. We'll have to keep an eye on him and how we can counter that type of play.'

Old hand: Pirlo won the World Cup in 2006

Old hand: Pirlo won the World Cup in 2006

Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa is another who has plenty of respect for Italy heading into this weekend's game despite their opponents' poor recent form.

Italy have lost their last three friendly matches without scoring a goal, going down 1-0 at home to Uruguay in November and also against the USA in February, before losing 3-0 at home to Russia last Friday.

That loss came days after Italy's proposed friendly against Luxembourg was cancelled following an earthquake in the northern part of the country.

It is therefore hard to judge how Cesare Prandelli's men – who have also had to contend with a match-fixing scandal – will perform on Sunday but Arbeloa is not underestimating the threat posed by a nation that has won the World Cup four times and also claimed the 1968 European Championship.

Keeping up appearances: Valdes trains with Pepe Reine (right) and Iker Casillas (centre)

Keeping up appearances: Valdes trains with Pepe Reine (right) and Iker Casillas (centre)

Arbeloa, who was part of the Spain side that lost 2-1 to Italy in a friendly last August, told www.uefa.com: 'Italy can be struggling, perhaps not controlling the game, looking like they are not doing anything, but they are able to hold on, and then with one chance they can win the match.

'That is how the Italians are; they have that competitive edge, that winning nature that has seen them win so many titles.'

After facing Italy, Spain take on the Republic of Ireland on June 14 before completing their Group C fixtures against Croatia on June 18, with all three match taking place in Gdansk, Poland.

Pep Guardiola insists he"ll manage again

Pep takes a break after quitting Barcelona… but insists he'll boss again

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 27 April 2012

Pep Guardiola admitted last night that he needed to get away from it all but stopped short of saying if that journey would take him to the Barclays Premier League next season.

Confirming that he was leaving Barcelona at the end of the season, he gave an emotional goodbye speech and refused to commit over his future.

He was asked about a story appearing in the Spanish press that claimed he had met with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich on February 29 in Paris and said: 'No, that would be a lack of respect to the club.'

Feeling the strain: Guardiola says he needs to get away

Feeling the strain: Guardiola says he needs to get away

But he also said he would coach again 'sooner or later'.

THE NOU MAN
Nou man: Tito Vilanova

Tito Vilanova (right) has been Pep Guardiola's right-hand man since 2007, when they ran Barcelona's B side.

Vilanova, 42, has been involved in all Barca's triumphs since he became first-team assistant coach in 2008.

Watched by eight members of his first-team squad, Guardiola said: 'Four years as head coach here is an eternity. Time takes its toll, I am empty and I need to refuel. It would have been bad for me and for the squad if I had continued.

'I need to put distance between myself and the club. Sooner or later I will manage again, I don't know when. Right now I am interested in other things; life will take me where it takes me. There are other things aside from football.'

Club captains Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez, as well as Gerard Pique, Victor Valdes, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Pedro were all present at the Ricard Maxenchs room at the Nou Camp to hear their coach admit that he and the club had known for five months that he would not be continuing.

Stunned: Carles Puyol, Xavi, Victor Valdes and Andres Iniesta listen to their coach

Stunned: Carles Puyol, Xavi, Victor Valdes and Andres Iniesta listen to their coach

Lionel Messi appeared to have taken his coach's decision worse than his team-mates and was not present.

He later said on his Facebook page: 'I want to thank Pep from the bottom of my heart for all he has given me. I prefer not to be there with him because of the strong emotions that I feel. I know the press will be looking for sad faces and that is something that I have decided not to show.'

Guardiola added: 'I am the coach with the third highest number of games in charge. That shows how difficult it is to coach this club.'

He also admitted that despite months of speculation that the club were desperately trying to persuade him to stay, the decision to leave had been taken last year.

He said: 'Between the end of October and the start of December I told the president that this was the end of my time but I could not make it public, or even tell the players. It would have been a mess if I had. The decision was taken a long time ago.'

Not returning: Guardiola revealed all at a press conference

Not returning: Guardiola revealed all at a press conference

Guardiola's decision to leave has saddened Barcelona supporters but they were lifted yesterday by the news that his right-hand man, Tito Vilanova, will take over next season.

'The players accepted the news with a lot of enthusiasm and that is a great sign. They are in good hands,' Guardiola said.

The 41-year-old added that he was proud of what he had achieved. He took over first-team responsibilities on May 8, 2008, after just one year's experience as Barcelona's B team coach.

He left the B side as Spanish third division champions and was selected ahead of Jose Mourinho to put an end to two years without a trophy.

Relief: Guardiola leaves the press conference with a smile on his face

Relief: Guardiola leaves the press conference with a smile on his face

He lost his first game away to newly-promoted Numancia and could then only draw his first home match against Racing Santander, giving rise to the suggestion that the club had erred giving so much responsibility to such a young and inexperienced manager.

The team then beat Sporting Gijon 6-1 away in their next game and the rest is history – or better put, the most successful period in.