Published Tuesday, 01 October 2013
Celtic captain Scott Brown is sent-off. (© Getty)
The home side were reduced to 10 men in the 58th minute when Brown was red carded by referee Stephane Lannoy after a kick at Neymar following his original foul on the Brazilian.
The Hoops came close to opening the scoring moments later when substitute James Forrest, on for Mikael Lustig, had a powerful volley saved by Victor Valdes before Charlie Mulgrew came within inches with a header.
However, the Scottish champions were dealt another blow in the 76th minute when Cesc Fabregas headed Barcelona into the lead.
Celtic keeper Fraser Forster denied Neymar twice and also substitute Alexis Sanchez, who had set up the goal, in the closing stages as gaps opened up in the Parkhead defence.
But it was a spirited performance by Neil Lennon's side, who as expected chased the ball for most of the game, especially in the first half.
Despite that Forster had little to do and the home side were given a round of applause by their fans at the end of the game.
However, Brown's dismissal made an uphill task even more difficult.
There were a lot of heavy challenges going on in the game. Was that a sending off? Not in my view.
"If there was any contact, it was minimal. There was a lot more in a game that warranted heavier punishment," Lennon said.
"It was a game-changing decision. It is obviously very difficult playing Barcelona with 11 players and even more difficult with 10 but we played very well tonight.
"I don't think the initial tackle was a severe one. It is a physical game I don't think Neymar does himself any favours with the way he behaves at times.
"Our supporters are very respectful of great players. Iniesta walks off tonight to a standing ovation from the Celtic support. After the incident Neymar gets booed every time he touches the ball."
"There is no question it is a foul, but the reaction didn't merit it.
"The referee was going to book Scott for the initial foul but for the tap, if you want to call it that, he has sent him off. Is it violent play or dangerous play? I am not so sure."
Celtic play Ajax in their next group fixture on 22 October and after losing 2-0 to AC Milan in their Group H opener, they will have to fight for Champions League survival without the Scotland midfielder who let his side down.
© UTV News