Barcelona 7-0 Celtic: No embarrassment in result, says Brendan Rodgers

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No embarrassment at 7-0 defeat - Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers pointed to the class in the Barcelona team rather than looking for any deficiencies in his Celtic side as they lost 7-0 at the Nou Camp.

"There can be no embarrassment because they do that to much better teams than ourselves," said the Northern Irishman.

"Tonight is one of those tough nights that you take at this level. Of course it's never nice professionally."

The Champions League Group C rout was Rodgers' worst result as a manager and Celtic's heaviest ever European defeat.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique responded to his team's shock La Liga defeat by Alaves on Saturday by playing Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez together for the first time this season.

The result was Barca's biggest ever Champions League win, while Celtic's display was labelled as "unacceptable" by skipper Scott Brown.

Argentine Messi scored his sixth Champions League hat-trick in the drubbing of the Scottish champions, Uruguayan Suarez scored a brace and Brazil's Neymar scored from a free-kick and set up four other goals.

"It's a front three that really can occupy as many players as you want," continued Rodgers.

"They are world-class players and they have shown big quality this evening."

Marc-Andre ter Stegen saves Moussa Dembele's penalty kick
Marc-Andre ter Stegen saves Moussa Dembele's penalty kick, with the Catalans leading 1-0

Celtic did have a chance to put the Catalans on the back foot, but Moussa Dembele's penalty kick, with his team trailing 1-0, was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

"For our players, it's going to be a brilliant learning season in the Champions League," said the Celtic manager, whose team will also play Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach in the group stage.

"I don't think they were spooked by the occasion, I thought they were confident.

"It was a disappointing experience but I couldn't have asked any more from them, especially with the schedule they've been on.

"These players have been brilliant. They couldn't have come to a more difficult place in world football after a highly intense game at the weekend [a 5-1 win over Rangers]. To have had hardly any preparation time and come and play against the world's best at keeping the ball, it was a tough ask."

Rodgers admitted that his players were hurting at the result.

Brendan Rodgers consoles Kolo Toure and Scott Brown after the heavy defeat in Barcelona
Brendan Rodgers consoles Kolo Toure and Scott Brown after the heavy defeat in Barcelona

He said: "It doesn't matter if we were playing Barcelona or Berwick Rangers, there's professional pride and no professional likes to lose like that even though you are playing against a team of world-class players.

"We've had a brilliant start to the season. This won't hamper us in any way. It is very early for us working together."

Rodgers, in his first season as Celtic boss, highlighted what he hoped his players could learn from the game, citing "technique, the ability to play simple, being able to accept the ball under pressure, not giving the ball away cheaply".

Of Dembele's unconvincing penalty attempt, he said: "I credit the goalkeeper. Moussa was happy to accept the responsibility and the keeper read it.

"You could see that was a moment that probably had to go our way to give them something to think about. That was a big turning point in the game."

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