Even if you support Barcelona (or, for that matter, Rangers), even if you're a tiki-taka apologist, even if you hate the color green for some strange reason—you've got to feel bad for Celtic.
The Scottish champions suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to mighty Barcelona on Tuesday night in a UEFA Champions League Group G match, and the end could not have been any more gut-wrenching.
After taking a shocking first-half lead and defending the 1-1 scoreline for the entire second half, Celtic conceded the winner in the fourth minute of extra time when Barca's Jordi Alba deflected a cross into Fraser Forster's net.
Up to that point, Forster had been the undisputed man of the match. Celtic's English keeper kept Barca's relentless attacks at bay throughout the second half, turning in a string of memorable saves against Lionel Messi in particular.
Celtic took a surprising lead in the 17th minute as Georgios Samaras converted a header from a free kick. The goal was originally ruled an own goal by Barca's Javier Mascherano but was later awarded to Samaras.
Barca equalized in the 44th minute with a vintage team goal. Andres Iniesta finished a move that featured some typically brilliant passing in the box just before halftime, foreshadowing the late drama in store at Camp Nou.
With the win, Barca now have nine points through three group matches. Celtic are second in the group with four and still have a chance to qualify despite the loss.
The same two teams will meet again in two weeks' time back in Glasgow. By then, Barca's ongoing defensive crisis might be resolved.
But then again, Celtic might just have the confidence needed to pull off a famous upset.
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