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Celtic pull of magnificent upset of mighty Barcelona

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They are already calling it one of the greatest results in the storied history of Celtic football club. Last night Celtic beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Champions League group stages, finding a way to beat what some people think may be the greatest club football team of all time.

Interestingly, Celtic tapped into the template that both Inter Milan and Chelsea have used in recent years to find a way past normally unbeatable Barce. Namely, 'park the bus', as in keep all eleven men behind the ball, chase and harass the opposition all night and try and catch them napping at set pieces and on the break. 

Many teams have tried those tactics, however perhaps Celtic were more physically suited to succeed. They are a massive team physically, and had just the right parts that worked on the night. Barcelona wasted far too many crossed from out wide into the box, and the big Celtic defenders handled them with ease.

At times, because of the fascinating size difference, it looked like men playing against boys, the big Celtic players often towering over their Barce counterparts to head a ball clear.

It should be noted, that the above tactics only work when a team has the players and skill to pull it off. Plenty of teams try to 'park the bus' against Barcelona, more often than not they end up on the wrong end of a 4-0 bashing.

Celtic stood firm. 

The match statistics tell us exactly what kind of a siege Celtic had to (skillfully) withstand.



It's not often you will see oddball statistics like that, so heavily skewed in one teams favour.

Whatever about tactics, nothing can be taken away from this magnificent and indeed heroic Celtic performance. They were nothing short of superb on the night, and fully deserved their win.

Regular readers of this column will know we are massive Barcelona fans, often fawning in admiration of their style of play and class. Even we are left tipping our cap and congratulating Celtic, on a job well done, and a wonderful night for the Celtic fans in particular.

You'll never walk alone, indeed.


 Follow Cormac on Twitter

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