Celtic boss Neil Lennon says beating Barcelona again is unrealistic

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 3:57am


Celtic manager Neil Lennon says it is unrealistic to expect a repeat of last season's famous win over Barcelona when the Spanish giants visit Parkhead tomorrow.

Celtic grabbed a historic 2-1 win over Barca in Glasgow last November on their way to securing a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

But while Barcelona have added Brazilian superstar Neymar to their squad, Celtic have sold influential trio Gary Hooper, Kelvin Wilson and Victor Wanyama, who scored in last season's memorable triumph.

"There is a strange expectation but to me it's unrealistic," Lennon said. "This is arguably the best club side in the world with the best player of all-time [Lionel Messi], in my opinion.

"So we will have to find that inner strength, concentration and intensity to our play again but I've got great belief in these players."

Celtic warmed up for the match with a 5-2 thrashing of Kilmarnock that moved them level at the top of the Scottish Premiership with leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

After the win Lennon hailed Greek international Giorgos Samaras, who scored a hat trick.

"He is far more consistent and mature. He knows his own body and what we want from him," the Celtic boss said.

"There are times when he's a little bit lackadaisical still but I think overall the one thing he has found over the past two years has been consistency.

"He's adding goals now as well. I think that's six or seven for the season already.

"He wants to get 20, and it would be great if he could, but it's what he brings to the team more than anything else which is pretty special.

"There are times when we've played him through the middle, especially in the big games, and he has been exceptional as well. He is using all his attributes and he's a top class footballer."