El Centrocampista

NEXTGEN SERIES: Celtic 1-3 Barcelona

By Jamie Milligan

The future of La Blaugrana looks bright on this display.  Barça’s young starlets were very impressive in their visit to Glasgow last night, overpowering a plucky Celtic outfit.

Celtic competed well with the Catalans in an entertaining first 45 minutes and were, in truth, unfortunate to go in 2-1 behind at half time.

Barça raised their game in the second half however, possibly due to some strong words from manager Oscar Garcia Junyet, and in the end recorded a comfortable 3-1 win.

At times it was reminiscent of watching Messi and co with Barça lining up in the club’s famed 4-3-3 system.

Both wing backs, Claros and Olivian played in the style of Alves and Adriano, pushing to the halfway line and beyond.

The Barça midfield three of Gabarron, Samper and Calvet retained the ball impressively and the front three of Cornejo, Sainz-Maza and Dongou looked sharp and dangerous.

It was one of the talented attacking trio who gave the Catalan side the lead.

In a typically sweeping Barcelona team move, Miguel Angel Sainz-Maza and Jean Marie Dongou combined beautifully to allow Ernesto Cornejo to poke home from ten yards.

Celtic reacted well and were level seven minutes later. Striker Anthony Watt embarked on a powerful run forcing the Barcelona backline onto the back foot allowing the number nine to hit a powerful shot past Nicholas feely in the Celtic goal to make it 1-1.

Celtic’s equaliser appeared to rock the Catalans and the home side seemed to sense that unease, as twice in the space of five minutes goal scorer Watt came close.

First the forward shot across the face of goal after tenacious play and then tested Miguel Anton in the Barça goal with a good strike.

It was somewhat of a surprise then when Barcelona retook the lead.

Patricio Gabarron bundled the ball home after the Celtic defence failed to deal with a cross from   Sainz-Maza.

The impressive Celtic number seven Paul George was inches away from levelling things up in first half injury time but shot just wide after bamboozling two Barcelona defenders.

Any hopes Celtic held of getting back into the game were killed less than two minutes into the second half when Jean Marie Dongou produced a moment of magic to make it 3-1.

The Cameroonian, signed from the Samuel Eto’o foundation, has earned himself a big reputation in the youth ranks of the club, possessing  a real eye for goal which he showed last night.

The big target-man clipped a delightful right footed effort into the top corner leaving Feely with no chance.

It was a wonderful piece of improvisation from the African but it more or less killed the match as a contest and in truth, apart from a host of substitutions from both sides, the game was over even by this early stage.

Paul George went close and Ernesto Cornejo had a couple of efforts saved by Feely but Dongou’s goal ended what had been a keenly fought and entertaining tussle between the Spanish aristocrats and the Scottish youngsters.

It may be a couple of years before they are ready to grace the hallowed turf of the Camp Nou but Pep Guardiola can rest assured that the next generation of La Cantera stars are ready and waiting.



Feely; Fraser, Chalmers, Jones, Toshney, Irvine, George, Herron, Watt, Twardzik, Mure-Williamson


Anton; Claros, Olivan, Bagnack, Ayala, Gabarron, Cornejo, Samper, Dongou, Calvet, Sainz-Maza

Man of the Match: Ernesto Cornejo


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