Champions League review

Juve clinical, Valencia hope

February 12, 2013

Celtic need a football miracle if they are to rescue their Champions League hopes after succumbing to a ruthless Juventus side 3-0 in the first leg of their last-16 clash at Parkhead.

Alessandro Matri beats Fraser Forster to give Juventus the lead at Celtic
GettyImagesAlessandro Matri beats Fraser Forster to give Juventus the lead at Celtic

Juve striker Alessandro Matri rocked the Hoops with a third-minute goal only for Neil Lennon's side to battle back ferociously in a breathless encounter where, at times, the visiting penalty box resembled a wrestling ring.

However, despite their best efforts, the Scottish champions were hit by a sucker-punch in the 76th minute when midfielder Claudio Marchisio grabbed a second on the counter before striker Mirko Vucinic grabbed a third in the 83rd minute.

The Hoops had beaten Barcelona and Spartak Moscow in the group stages in finishing second to the Catalans to reach the knockout stages for the first time in five seasons.

Adil Rami popped up with a crucial stoppage-time strike to hand Valencia a lifeline in their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain at the Mestalla.

PSG looked on course for a dream result as first-half goals by Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore put Carlo Ancelotti's men firmly in the driving seat, but their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals suffered a setback in the space of two wild minutes at the end of the contest.

First Rami stole in behind the defence to reduce the arrears to 2-1 for Los Che before PSG's talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for aiming a stamp at Andres Guardado.

The red card means Ibrahimovic is suspended for the return leg along with defensive midfielder Marco Verratti, who picked up his third booking of the campaign. PSG's late implosion took the shine off an otherwise impressive performance by Ancelotti's troops.