Home Football Rodgers’ Revolution Moving In The Right Direction As Barcelona Show Too Much Class For Celtic

Rodgers’ Revolution Moving In The Right Direction As Barcelona Show Too Much Class For Celtic

Celtic’s season was not defined by this evening’s 3-1 loss to Barcelona in Dublin, as the Catalan giants had too much class for their Scottish opponents.

Brendan Rodgers can be as happy as is feasibly possible with a 3-1 loss. To put it simply, the raw gulf in class was the difference. However, the SPL title holders showed signs to suggest that they can account for the rest of Scotland and qualify for the Champions League.

The Celts will play the majority of their football on the front foot this season, which makes this article a redundant analysis as far as a preview of the SPL is concerned. But should they qualify for Europe’s premier competition, there are positives to be drawn.

Scott Brown was the focal point of the counter attack before being replaced at halftime. When the back four managed to stifle the threat of Luis Suarez and the incising passes of the deep-lying Lionel Messi, Celtic looked dangerous moving forward.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 30: Lionel Messi (C) of Barcelona and Nir Bitton (L) and Efe Ambrose (R) of Celtic during the International Champions Cup series match between Barcelona and Celtic at Aviva Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Patrick Roberts was the story of the afternoon for the Glasgow club, as Barca struggled to deal with his meandering runs down the right wing. The shots he got away did not trouble Jordi Lopez in the Barca goal.

Half-time passed, and it descended into a friendly in every aspect of the game. Intensity dropped, as Celtic held the ball with more success.

The newly introduced attack of Moussa Dembele held the line higher, while Nadir Cfitci and Tomas Rogic plundered well, but to no ultimate avail.

Although Lee Griffiths profited from a farcical mistake from Jose Martinez for their only goal, there were actually real positives in attack.

Considering the fact that one of the best sides in Europe were troubled by the Celtic attack, Rodgers can be reasonably happy ahead of the crucial home tie against Astana.

Defensively, Efe Ambrose was unfortunate for his own goal as he stretched to reach a ball before turning it past Craig Gordon. Beside him, Eoghan O’Connell showed maturity at times and did not look out of his depth keeping tabs on Suarez.

On the evidence of the 90 minutes, Ambrose may be a worried man with the arrival of Kolo Toure.

Champions League qualification was not won or lost this evening in front of 48,000 at the Aviva Stadium, and that is what will define the summer for Brendan Rodgers. Barca are a class apart, and this much was clear on the evidence of 90 minutes in Dublin.

Three goals conceded in the first half does not meet the standard required, but friendlies are for getting up to the pace required.

With many of the first team playing for 45 minutes, it was a worthwhile exercise.

A pre-season Barcelona outfit is a far higher standard than the competitive Kazakhstan side Astana that await in the Champions League qualifier.

In many regards, it was the perfect 3-1 loss for Rodgers.

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