Full-time - 90'
1 - 3
18:45 +00:00, September 14, 2004
Celtic Park, Scotland
Referee: Markus Merk
The penalty save for Marshall acted as a catalyst for the whole team and, once level, Celtic rattled their illustrious guests. But Barca should have been a few up by then and justice was done, in the cruelest of fashions. A deflection and a goal from 'The King of Kings' settled a wonderful game of football. You always suspected he would have a say, didn't you?
Barcelona showed just what you can get for £40 million these days. Breathtaking attacking play from the Catalan's stars threatened to over-run Celtic early on. Credit to the Bhoys for sticking at it and, for a period in the second-half they looked like they were on course for an unlikely win.
And now too does the referee's whistle. A fantastic game finishes 3-1 to Barcelona and, despite a spirited, gutsy display from the hosts, you have to say they deserved it.
Body language on the pitch shows that this game is finished now.
As Celtic push men forward there is space at the back for Barcelona to exploit. Giuly has room to roam, plays in a short pass to Larsson who helps it on to where he though Deco had kept running towards but he had not.
One minute of the four to be added has gone now.
Corner is aimed at the near post where Sutton wins it cleanly but his deft header is still rising as it sails over the bar.
Hopeful ball forward is not dealt with well by a Barca defence under no pressure. Ball spills to Thompson who drags his shot wide with the aid of a deflection that generates a corner.
Barcelona content to just stroke the ball around midfield as a breathless match draws to a close.
Corner is cleared but only as far as Gerard who tries a first time half volley which he spoons into the hands of a grateful Marshall.
Deco carries the ball a long way unchallenged, all the way into the box infact, but, just as he is about to pull the trigger a perfectly timed recovering tackle concedes a corner.
Celtic haven't given it up yet. Free-kick on the edge of the box is squared for Petrov to fire a great shot in to sting Valdes' palms. Rebounded is headed on by Sutton and Camara finishes emphatically but he was well offside.
So, Larsson scores at Celtic Park. It's happened before, but not like this. Thompson tried a back pass header from distance. Larsson read it, controlled, rounded the keeper and, inevitably, scored against his former club.
Scratch that, this is going to end with a Barcelona win. Terrible mistake by Thompson lets in Larsson who makes no mistake. 3-1 Barca.
Last ten minutes and, judging by what has gone before, you wouldn't like to guess how this will end.
Substitution takes place. Off goes McNamara and on comes Sylla.
Slight hold up in play as the luckless McNamara is laid out in some pain.
Larsson - who appears to be being booed by a small section of the crowd, what is wrong with some people? - very much involved. His lay off to the overlapping Belletti alows him to cut back a cross to Guily who had taken a good position on the edge of the box. His shot was decent enough but Marshall would have got to it had McNamara not got a touch to send it past him.
This is a cruel, cruel game. A well worked move down the right presents Guily with time to shoot and his effort takes a deflection to send the ball past a helpless Marshall. 2-1 Barcelona. You don't want to be dominating this game - the other team just scores.
Reckless challenge from Puyol nearly takes amara's head off in the centre circle. Just a foul given and nothing more as both players just get on with it. It's that sort of game now. Fantastic.
Celtic, enjoying some success down the right, get over another decent cross but Valdes, with Sutton lurking near by, does well to hold on to the ball.
Another substitution for Barcelona sees Eto'o depart and Iniesta.
Sutton is willing to die for the cause and comes off worse in a challenge with Eto'o
What a turnaround. Celtic weren't even in this game half an hour agao and now they look the most likely to win it!
Camara, more involved this half than the first. Takes the ball down on the edge of the box and desperately tries to carve out a shooting opportunity but there is nowhere for him to go and the chance passes.
Camara shows strength and skill to win the ball on the right and send over a decent cross. Good control from Thompson and he almost wriggles through a pair of Barca men. He loses control but the ball rolls agonisingly past the post.
Amazing strike from Petrov. Flick on from Sutton puts him away in the box. He flicks it over the head of his marker before unleashing a volley that is destined for the top corner until Valdes pulls off an acrobatic save. Great football - this match is really bubbling now.
Sutton goes a little over the top in his attempts to harry Puyol and clatters him to the floor.
Camara looks to be in on goal about ten yards out but he is pulled up for a foul on Puyol.
If they were noisy a few moments ago it had nothing on the reception for a Celtic legend.
Substitutions a plenty. For Barca off goes Ronaldinho and Marquez and on come Oleguer and that man Larsson. Almost unnoticed in the moment off goes Hartson to be replaced by Valgaaren.
Atmosphere changes in a heartbeat. Noise fills the ground and the Celtic fans find their voice.
Lung bursting run down the right from Agathe sees him get onto waht looked like a lost cause. Zipping ball across the six yard box finds Sutton all over Belletti and he got in round the back to smash the ball home. Extraordinary stuff!
The importance of the penalty save is underlined as Sutton justifies his second half appearance by levelling the scores. 1-1 and, after looking dead and burried, Celtic are back in it!
Danger not over for Celtic. Corner swung in is not dealt with by Balde and it ricochet's out to Xavi. His instinctive strike flashes just wide of arshall's left hand post when he would have been well beaten.
Ronaldinho steps up to take the spot kick. Sends it to the keeper's left right into the corner but a glorious one handed save sees it palmed away to safety. Amazing save to keep his side in it!
Penalty is awarded but it's only yellow for the Scot. Very lucky.
Giuly squirms away from the last defender and is bearing down on goal as McNamara bundles him over in the box. Blatant penalty and McNamara could be in trouble here.
Free-kick deep on the right out by the touchline is launched into the box but Balde can't win the header and Barca break.
Thompson unleashes a piledriver but the direction does not equal thepower and the effort flies high and wide.
Neat passing from Petrov, who really hasn't been involved until now, and Sutton sees the Bulgarian stumble through a challenge and win a soft foul some 35 yards out.
Ronaldinho goes to the touchline to receive some treatment. celtic fans won't be unhappy to see that but the Brazilian is quickly back into the action.
Ronaldinho dinks the ball through a crowd to Deco and his first time flick out wide puts it into the payh of Guily. Tries to play a quick, low cross but it is blocked.
Cute dummy from Ronaldinho almost releases Deco but Varga reads it just in time.
Sutton wins the first of what you suspect will be the first of many duels in the air but his flick on runs through to the hands of Valdes.
Clumsy challenge on van Bronckhorst just inside the area but the foul goes against the Dutchman.
Camara moves out to the right as the action gets going again.
Substitution at half time as Sutton enters the action at the expense of Juninho. Makes sense to try something new but Juninho had looked the most likely to create something from nothing.
Celtic had to wait for it but when it finally came they have been given something of a footballing lesson. Guily, Deco, Ronaldinho and Eto'o are frightening when they break and it is only a matter of time before they add to Deco's solitary, classy goal. There were signs of optimism in the middle third of the half as Celtic dug in but the half ended as it started, with Barca very much on top.
Whistle goes and, like a boxer on the ropes hearing the bell, the Celtic players hear it as sweet music. 1-0 at the break - should be more.
Really should have been 2-0 now. A sumptuous through ball from midfield sliced open the Celtic defence and Giuly was suddenly one on one with Marshall. He skipped round him like he wasn't there but a wonderful, recovering lunge from Balde blocked his side footed shot on goal. Really should have scored but you have to admire Balde's doggedness.
Or now when a ball slipped to the left in the penalty area should have put van Brockhorst in on goal but forced him wide. A lazy sort of pass from Eto'o
Like now when a long ball forward sees Xavi control the bouncing ball to play a lay off wide to Giuly. Xavi wanted it back in the middle but Giuly was entitled to have a pop, even if the angle was tight. Marshall did well to turn it round his near post.
After the opeing salvo, where Barcelona just looked a class apart, Celtic have dug in and worked their way into this game. However, the Spaniards still look the more likely to score each time they go forward.
Camara peels away down the right and gets himself into a good crossing position but, despite having time to line it up, drives it into the feet of Puyol and Barcelona can clear.
Looks to be a break on for Eto'o but his cut back to wrong foot the entire defence is too strong and the momentum is lost.
Getting a bit tetchy out there now as petty free-kick follows petty free-kick.
Clash between Tompson and van Bronkhorst sees words exchnaged as the Barca man makes a meal of a nothing sort of challenge.
Free-kick is swung into the box and finds the head of Varga, unmarked. Seemed to catch him by surprise and he can't control the direction. A better chance than I think he thought it was.
Marquez is booked. Shameful from Camara.
Loose ball from Belletti allows Hartson to play Camara away down the left. Marquez is across to cover but Camara does a dying swan act (with about 12 extra rolls just to make sure) and a foul is given.
Petrov plays a great ball down the left, challenging Agathe to use his blistering pace. He's off like a rocket but van Bronkhorst has too much of a start and cuts out the pass. That really does look like the best route forward for the home team.
Under pressure from Camara, Valdes in the Barca goal clears in to touch.
Another one of those fantastic diagonal runs from Giuly deceives the Celtic back line and he is on to a through ball like a flash. This time though he started the run a fraction too soon and he is offside.
These last few minutes Celtic have weathered the storm a bit and have started to force the play in Barca's half. Nothing concrete yet but better than it was for them.
juninho gets the ball at his feet with only the keeper to beat but, the ball over the top found him in an offside position. Promising though from Celtic.
Juninho, understandably furious at the decision, is booked for screaming his protest at the linesman.
Van Bronkhorst does his bit to get the home crowd on side. A cross field, long diagonal ball sees Juninho vainly chasing a ball that the Dutchman reaches first. Juninho slides and the Barca man throws himself over a bit of his foot to 'earn' a free kick. Shameful.
Celtic earn the first corner of the game. But waste it.
More inter-play involving Deco and Guily feeds Eto'o on the edge of the box but Balde is able to clear up after his poor first touch.
Celtic struggle to get out of their own half bt a foul on Juninho gives them the chance. Long ball from Tompson finds Balde on the edge of the box but he is off-side. Can't waste dead ball situations like that.
Crowd understandably subdued.
The Catalan club are just swamping their opponents. First Ronaldinho goes close, Eto'o cuts back the rebound to van Bronkhorst and his drive from 15 yards should have been on target. Another let off.
Deco picked it up and played it forward to Ronaldinho who twisted and turned as he waltzed up field. Only had Deco in support and fourr Celtic defenders for company but a perfectly weighted pass picking out Deco's subtle drift wide. His finish is emphatic. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. 1-0 Barca.
Loose ball from Agathe in the centre catches Celtic with men forward and it costs them dear
Barcelona's front four of Deco, Ronaldinho, Eto'o and, especially, Guily are staggering with the speed and slickness of their breaks. Wonderful to watch.
Guily draws a wonderful saving tackle from Balde with a diagonal run across the Celtic back line but his clearance reaches only Deco on the right. His dink into the box sees Ronaldinho win a header in front of two hooped shirts. Another let of for Celtic as it loops over the bar.
Ball into the box from Hartson aimed at Juninho. Spot the error with that one...
Neat interpassing from Varga and Agathe sees the Frenchman skip past three men inside his own half before he is crudely stopped by Deco for a free-kick. Agathe will have to do more of that if Celtic are to make an impression in this match.
Juninho coming back picked Ronaldinho's pocket in the centre circle to launch an attack. Looked like a great ball round the back from Hartson to Camara but it is cut out - just. Good football from Celtic.
Another chance for the visitors. eto'o found space in the box and played a simple cut back to van Bronkhorst who shoots low and true but sees the ball fly out off the foot of Marshall. great save abd it nearly fell for Ronaldinho.
Open, fast paced game with Barca dictating that pace.
Celtic's first strike on goal but it's a poor one from Camara. Juninho did exceptionally well to release him down the right but, with little support he opted to shoot from outside the area and scuffed it.
Ronaldinho goes the closest so far. Ricochet around the edge of the box sees it fall to the Brazilian and his first time shot fizzes inches wide of the upright at speed.
Camara pulled up for offside for the second time in the game already. He looks to be hanging on Puyol's shoulder and waiting to beat him for pace.
Confusion between McNamara and Marshall allows Xavi to sprint on to a deflected ball in the area but, despite seeming to win the race with the advancing keeper, an air shot allows Marshall to clear. Let off for the home team.
Celtic fans are devoid of all sympathy for the ex-Rangers man. welcome back to Glasgow Gio.
Great football from Barca down the right with Guily and Deco most involved but, just after a turn and shot from Eto'o that is blocked Thompson crunches into van Bronckhorst and it looked worse than the Hartson one to be honest, going over the top of the ball with his studs. referee awards nothing but has to stop play for him to get some treatment.
Hartson throws in a full blooded challenge on Marquez and finds his way into the referee's book already.
We are underway. Boos ring out as Barca take early possession.
Pair of hudles and, if my eyes don't deceive me they're shaping up for the kick-off!
...I'm about ready to give up on this...
...any minute now (please)...
Any minute now...
Alright! now we're in business. The players are on the pitch. The Champions League anthem is playing (but being hopelessly drowned out by another rendition of 'You'll never walk alone') and a football match looks likely to break out at any moment.
Police have enforced this delay due to safety fears surrounding turnstiles not working in the North stand. And, what's this? The players are on the move...back into the dressing room. Damn and Bah! I'm off for a quick fag. See you in five minutes when, hopefully, we'll have some football for me to describe rather than this woeful time-filling drivel.
Players are in the tunnel (hooray!) but only the Barcelona ones (bah!). And still we wait...
Walk on...50,000 green and white scarves held up...with hope in your heart...Barca fans trying manfully to join in but not really managing it - why do Spainish fans travel so poorly? - and you'll never walk ...etc...and on...
Don't worry. You're missing nothing at the moment. It is now an indefinite delay....
I'd go and make a cup of tea or something if I was you we're going to be waiting a little while longer. The turnstiles have 'failed' - whatever that means - and people are coming in very slowly. And, as you probably know, we are talking about a lot of people.
Kick-off has been delayed by ten minutes due to pressure on the turnstiles. We'll just have to wait a little longer for Celtic in Europe: Return of the King. I think it will be worth it.
Celtic have a sensational home record in this competition and always produce an intimidating atmosphere but they have to start as second favourites against the firepower of the Catalan giants. Think of this: arguably Celtic's greatest player can only make the opposition's bench. Doesn't bode well for them...
Chris Sutton will also have to wait for his 2004/05 Champions League bow as Martin O'Neill puts his faith in Hartson and Camara.
The Champions League is back and so is Henrik but he doesn't start on a ground he knows well. Ronaldinho and Eto'o lead the Barca front line after around £40 million worth of improvements have been made to the team that lost at Celtic Park in last year's Uefa cup.
Henrik Larsson is back at Parkhead a matter of months since joining Spanish giants Barcelona. He is sure of a hero's welcome - but will he return to haunt Celtic? Join us from 19.45 BST