Barcelona 1 Celtic 0 (Barca win 4-2 on agg): Xavi quick to put an end to Celtic's dream of European glory

It was game on and then game over within two minutes as Barcelona cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals last night. Only the loss of the striker Leo Messi soured the home side's evening – the Argentine left the pitch in tears towards the end of the first half, with a recurrence of a thigh injury that kept him out for a month earlier in the season.

As expected, Frank Rijkaard recalled Messi and left out Thierry Henry, and it was Messi who started the move for the first goal. Gordon Strachan had named just Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink in attack and picked Paul Hartley as an extra midfielder, at the expense of Scott McDonald. The attempt to flood the midfield failed, though, as Messi released Xavi Hernandez, who played Ronaldinho down the left. The Brazilian passed to Sylvinho on the overlap and Xavi turned in the cross first time, over Artur Boruc in the Celtic goal.

Strachan said: "You have a plan, but part of the deal is that you actually tackle and we did not get that part right for the first goal. In the second half we were braver on the ball and we were a lot better."

Barcelona went into exhibition mode. Ronaldinho had a shot parried for a corner and Boruc tipped Carles Puyol's effort over. Then Barcelona lost Messi. The Spanish side's famous tendency to relax showed itself in the second half, and a ridiculous back-heel from Deco to Sylvinho in his own area gifted Celtic a corner. The moment of weakness woke Barcelona up.

Ronaldinho quickly forced Boruc into action again with a stinging shot from a Samuel Eto'o lay-off and Deco nearly made amends for his earlier error with a shot from outside the box.

With 10 minutes left Strachan threw caution to the winds, sending on McDonald up front, to partner Georgios Samaras, an earlier replacement for Vennegoor of Hesselink. McDonald tested Victor Valdes from distance. Boruc prevented Eidur Gudjohnsen making it 2-0 before Shunsuke Nakamura brought a superb save from Valdes in injury time.

Rijkaard lamented the loss of Messi. He said: "It overshadows the win completely and all the dressing room is sad for him. He will go for tests and, hopefully, it will not be as bad as we fear. It's not good news but we have to get over it."

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Zambrotta, Puyol, Thuram, Sylvinho; Xavi (Gudjohnsen, 82), Touré (Edmilson, 68), Deco; Messi (Henry, 38), Eto'o, Ronaldinho. Substitutes not used: Pinto (gk), Iniesta, Abidal, Bojan.

Celtic (4-5-1): Boruc; Wilson, Caldwell, McMauns, Naylor; Nakamura, Hartley (McDonald, 78), Brown, Donati (Sno, 46), McGeady; Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras, 55).Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Pressley, Robson, O'Dea.

Referee: P Vink (Netherlands).

* Turkish side Fenerbahce beat Seville 3-2 on penalties to make the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time after drawing 5-5 on aggregate.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
i100
Life and Style
tech

Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments

Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor