8th of November 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Celtic manager Neil Lennon was probably the happiest man on earth after his side defeated mighty Barcelona on Wednesday night. Victor Wanyama and substitute Tony Watt put Celtic two goals up in Glasgow before Lionel Messi made it 2-1. "Barca boss Tito Vilanova can bring on David Villa and Cesc Fabregas and I bring on an 18-year-old kid who cost £50,000 from Airdrie," said Lennon. "I think it is one of the greatest nights in the club's recent history."
The crowd at Celtic Park went wild as Kenyan Wanyama headed Charlie Mulgrew's corner past Victor Valdes after 21 minutes. Then, despite waves of attacks by the Spaniards, an organised and determined Celtic defence kept the score intact with home goalkeeper Fraser Forster in amazing form. With seven minutes remaining, Xavi failed to control Forster's long kick and striker Watt smashed it low into the net to stun the visitors. Messi's close-range strike in injury time came too late and it failed to ruin Celtic's 125th anniversary. Celtic are now two points behind leaders Barcelona in Champions League Group G and three points clear of third-placed Benfica.
"The players are the heroes," manager Lennon said after the match. "I can't speak highly enough of their performances tonight and they will go down in the history books of the club as the team that beat probably the best team in the world." However, Lennon said the win merely improved his team's chances of progressing to the last 16 in the tournament. "It's given us a greater chance than we expected before the game. We still have two very difficult games," said Lennon, whose team next go to Lisbon to face third placed Benfica.
"Playing in the team that reached the Uefa Cup final was pretty special, the 10 years I had under Martin O'Neill were great times, and I had great times under Gordon Strachan reaching the Champions League last 16 here. But as a manager I don't know if I will top that. I hope I do, I am still young, still progressing. When we scored we knew the storm was coming and it came. They hit the post and the crossbar so they can feel very unlucky that they didn't get something out of the game."
Barcelona are the favourites to win this season's Champions League according to the bookies, Bet365 have them at 5/2 to win the competition, while Celtic are priced at 125/1.
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