Juventus 2 Celtic 0: Lessons learned as the Hoops are well beaten
Juventus 2 Celtic 0: What lessons did we learn as the Hoops' Champions League fairytale was brought to an abrupt end in Turin?
Celtic’s European fairytale ends
It has been a dramatic and exciting Champions League campaign for Celtic, and despite their elimination on Wednesday at the hands of Juventus, the Hoops can be pleased with how they fared overall. Although they didn’t cover themselves in glory with their two last-16 displays, they had performed more than capably up until then with an historic group-stage win over Catalan giants Barcelona. Neil Lennon will be hoping that the Glasgow-based club can learn from their mistakes and use this campaign as a springboard for next season, however for now, they will have to be content with domestic action.
Inexperience costs Celtic
Much like in the first leg, the Bhoys were punished with severity for their mistakes. In the 24th minute, Celtic conceded their first goal of the night as Gary Hooper was dispossessed in the middle of the pitch before the ball wound its way to Allessandro Matri, who converted from three yards out, after Celtic ‘keeper Fraser Forster could only parry away a shot he should have gathered in. Overall, the Old Lady were far too experienced for a Celtic side that made too many mistakes over both legs. An inability to learn from their first-leg errors, and a polished opposition that have high hopes of lifting the trophy meant that this was always going to be a difficult task and so it proved as the Celts went down by an aggregate scoreline of 5-0. It was a harsh reflection on the two legs as Celtic battled hard throughout with spirit and gusto, and they didn’t deserve to lose by such a large margin. But it’s goals that win matches.
Bianconeri progress with ease
In the 66th minute, Juventus extended their lead even further. Andrea Pirlo, the midfield maestro, chipped a superb ball in over the head of Emilio Izaguirre to Matri. All he had to do then was roll the ball on to Fabio Quagliarella who, under no presure, slotted home. And that was the story of the night. The Serie A league leaders just had far too much class and Pirlo’s inch-perfect pass epitomised this. Despite the loss, however, and the damp conditions, the Celtic fans were in fine voice all night long and didn’t let the result impede their enjoyment. Overall, the Italians emerged victorious and deservedly so. Wednesday’s win means that the Antonio Conte’s men are unbeaten in 18 European games and will now be one of the favourites to win the tournament.