This ultimately resulted in a death in paradise. After fantastic opportunities were missed and the Champions League holders eliminated Celtic,
Real Madrid smelt their blood.
Not that this crushing loss will define Celtic’s campaign. The other group games against RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk will determine their fate,
despite the fact that playing the 14-time champions was a matchup they had dreamed about. It was only the second time they had played them and the first time
#Celtic – #Real_Madrid Played 3-0 on September 06, 2022
since they met in the quarterfinals of the 1980 tournament.
The truth is that they have only won twice in their last 19 Champions League games and have failed to score in seven of their last ten home games,
despite the fact that Luka Modric was replaced to a standing ovation and Eden Hazard finally resumed playing at his peak.
This was the toughest opponent Celtic had faced in the 15 months since Ange Postecoglu took over as manager. He was the first Australian to manage in this competition against Carlo Ancelotti,
who had won it a remarkable six times. He promised they would try it, and they actually did.
It was also against a Real team that had defeated Liverpool in the final in Paris in May,
with the exception of Aurelien Tchouameni,
a 22-year-old French midfielder who picked Real over Liverpool. Casemiro,
of course, joined Manchester United after losing his spot and was replaced by Tchouameni.
It didn’t really matter who Celtic were playing,
in a way. It was five years too long to be out of the Champions League, but the fact that Real arrived at Celtic Park and had the loudest,
raucousest, and most visceral of welcomes made it even more glamorous, exciting, and resonant. The songs and banners, one of which read “Back with a Bang,”
were accompanied by flares, smoke, and guttural glee.
Naturally, 36-year-old Luka Modric was present,
and in the midst of the chaos, he casually played a pass over his own penalty area with the outside of his boot. like you do. Or, rather, as he does,
despite the fact that his teammates were struggling to keep up with the constant pressure as Courtois saved Reo Hatate’s
sharp 25-yard half-volley. Then, Celtic came agonisingly close when Giorgos Giakoumakis skillfully passed the ball back to Callum McGregor,
whose fierce drive as he raced into the area struck the inside of the post and bounced clear. Even Ancelotti, who was animated on the sidelines,
agreed that they deserved a goal.
It appeared as though they would succeed when Vinicius made a breakaway
from just inside the Celtic half after receiving a feed from Hazard and racing past Joe Hart. However,
the goalie did a fantastic job of spreading out and stopping the Brazilian’s low shot.
And so, once again,
it was Celtic who should have opened the scoring in the first few minutes of the second half. Josip Juranovic sent in a cross from the right,
and replacement Daizen Maeda was there to meet it. He attempted a shot from just six yards away, but it was incomplete, and Courtois quickly collected it.
They were therefore obliged to pay this time. Real reacted down the right,
and although Hazard appeared to have touched the ball as he sent it to Federico Valverde,
the action continued, and the Uruguayan swept in a cross that Vinicius, who was approaching, calmly met first-time.
Real smelt blood, as the top sides do,
and Hazard was once more involved as he raced forward and sent the ball to Modric. Although it appeared that the chance had passed,
Modric, as usual,
maintained his composure and fired a shot. Hart tried to grab it but was unable. It was 2-0 Real in an instant.’
Then it was 3-0. Despite a triple substitution Celtic were flagging and when Dani Carvajal cushioned a cross beyond the far post,
Hazard had the simple task of volleying it in from close-range to claim his first Champions League goal in two years.
Even though Celtic got off to a bright and encouraging start in Glasgow in their Champions League debut,
holders Real Madrid ultimately dominated them.
In a frenzied first half,
Celtic scared Real Madrid by producing a number of chances, including a shot off the post from Callum McGregor,
five years after their last appearance at Europe’s top table.
However, the visitors came back after the halftime and scored goals from Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric,
and Eden Hazard to secure the victory.
After defeating RB Leipzig,
Carlo Ancelotti’s team—which lost Karim Benzema to injury in the first half—joined Shakhtar Donetsk at the top of Group F.
the Scottish champions left a positive impression on the world’s largest stage,
so it was not a depressing night at a raucous Celtic Park.
Despite Real’s superiority,
Ange Postecoglou promised his squad would stick to their front-foot approach,
and it was evident right from the start when they forced Thibaut Courtois to boot the ball out after 12 seconds. The fans erupted in approval as Liel Abada
swung barely wide from the throw-in.
The Israeli winger was released behind the defence by a brilliant ball from Jota,
so it wasn’t just a one-off, but his hurried shot fell right into Courtois’ hands.
Celtic couldn’t have entered the contest in better shape. This season,
Ange Postecoglou’s squad had won all seven of its games while only giving up two goals.
But facing the current champions of Europe’s premier club league was always going to be a difficult challenge. In the first half,
Celtic easily could have taken the lead because they were more than a match for their Spanish opponents.
However, goals from Vincius Jr., Luka Modric,
and Eden Hazard demonstrated Real’s class. Express Sport examines four lessons Celtic has discovered since winning the Champions League once again.
Celtic was in the best possible shape when they took the field. Ange Postecoglou’s team has won all seven of its games this season while only allowing two goals.
taking on the reigning winners of Europe’s top club competition was always going to be challenging. Celtic easily could have taken the lead in the first half because they were more than a match for their Spanish rivals.
But Real’s class was on display thanks to goals from Vincius Jr.,
Luka Modric, and Eden Hazard. Express Sport looks at four lessons Celtic has learned after claiming yet another Champions League title.