Champions League - Paper Round: Shock Aye the Nou as Celtic beat Barcelona

The papers across the land were stunned and jubilant after watching Celtic beat Barcelona in one of the great upsets in recent Champions League history. We round up the best of the reaction.

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Champions League - Paper Round: Shock Aye the Nou as Celtic beat Barcelona
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Keith Jackson in the Daily Record: "The temptation would be say that Celtic stunned the football world last night. That Parkhead was the epicentre of a surprise so seismic it sent shockwaves rumbling out all around the globe. But even though what we witnessed in Glasgow's East End was something utterly astonishing and completely heroic, it would be grossly unfair on Neil Lennon and his players to describe this victory as some kind of freakish happening. Once, perhaps. But to take Barcelona to the limits twice in two weeks? To trade blows with the baddest men on the football planet and come away from it all absolutely all square over two legs? That's no accident.

"So this result for Scotland's champions, as extraordinary and historic as it was, must also be regarded as a victory for the professional precision of a young manager who can this morning count himself among the most admired and respected emerging coaches in Europe. And a triumph too for a group of players who proved it was no fluke they took Barca the distance at the Nou Camp a couple of weeks ago."

Martin Hardy in The Independent: "A hero. That was Neil Lennon's wish on the eve of this match. For one or perhaps two to emerge. 'You never know who it will be,' he had said. He got a team of them on a night that will sit comfortably among some of the greatest this 125-year old football club has ever known.

"No one did more than Fraser Forster to rewrite history, a 6ft 7in piece of Geordie rock at the heart of Celtic glory, a man who did not take up goalkeeping until he was 13, who refused to let his side lose their dream. He was immense, and as Lennon humbly admitted afterwards, he had to be."

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Ramiro Aldunate in Spanish newspaper Marca: "Barcelona revived their ghosts of last season in losing at Celtic Park in a match that brought to mind the two semi-finals against Chelsea. The Scots simply stopped the game and waited for a chance to counter. They gifted the ball to Barcelona, who were not able to break down the local wall, and made the most of their only two chances."

Arch Bell, also in Marca: "There is perhaps no greater home pitch advantage in all of football than a Celtic home match at Celtic Park as Barcelona learned the hard way in their Wednesday night Champions League defeat 2-1."

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Tony Evans in The Times: "Yesterday afternoon, the scaremongers who had predicted the demise of Scottish football in the wake of the collapse of Rangers were feeling pretty smug. Heart of Midlothian, one of Scotland's great clubs, were reduced to pleading with fans to invest cash and buy tickets. Unless they raise almost £450,000, Hearts could follow Rangers into liquidation within weeks... Last night, Celtic proved they can get along without Rangers — at least until the Ibrox club claw their way back up.

"It was thrilling to watch and reward not only for bold planning but for the gritty persistence that has characterised the two matches against the Catalan side. Celtic have scrapped and scrounged against the aristocrats of the Nou Camp. They may have looked lumbering at times against the exponents of tiki-taka but — over 180 minutes — three points were the least they deserved."

Roddy Forsyth in the Daily Telegraph: "The outcome testifies to an astonishing transformation of the club's fortunes under Neil Lennon, who in the space of six months has delivered Celtic's first Scottish title in four years and bestowed – upon a support that could scarcely believe what it had just witnessed – a result that will take its place amongst the chronicle of legend in the east end of Glasgow. Celtic have now played eight qualifying and group stage games in the Champions League and have won six, kept clean sheets in four.

"This, though, was significantly more than a heroic achievement against the odds – although those were heavy enough. It was the product of a mighty communal effort, a symbiosis of the fans and their latest generation of hooped idols."

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Michael Walker in the Daily Mail: "History men. One day after Celtic marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of the famed Glasgow club, the players of the modern era delivered a display and a result that will be talked about plenty of times in the next 125 years."

Ewan Murray in The Guardian: "A day after Celtic officially recognised the 125th anniversary of their foundation, the class of 2012 delivered one of the finest European results in the club's history. Neil Lennon's understrength team displayed wonderful tenacity and ruthlessness to see off Barcelona, even if some seriously edgy moments were triggered by a stoppage time Lionel Messi goal. Few could legitimately begrudge Celtic their success, which also offers a timely boost to the standing of Scottish football in otherwise troubled times."

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