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Barca boss Martino praises ´complete performance´ after Celtic win

Gerardo Martino described Barcelona’s 1-0 UEFA Champions League win over 10-man Celtic as the side’s best performance of the season.

Martino’s men sealed their second victory in Group H as Cesc Fabregas converted Alexis Sanchez’s right-wing cross with a precise header with 14 minutes remaining.

Fabregas’ goal came after Celtic’s Scott Brown had been sent off just before the hour mark, with replays indicating that the midfielder had kicked Neymar in the back after bringing the Brazil international down.

Martino felt Barca were always in control against a determined Celtic side, stressing that the Spanish champions were good value for the three points.

“It was our most complete game,” he said.

“It was our best of the season. We produced when we had to. We had control of the game at all times.

“We tried to neutralise them and play our game. Except for one shot from which (goalkeeper) Victor (Valdes) made a great save, we had no troubles and had the ball.”

Neymar was jeered by the home crowd at Celtic Park for his reaction to the kick by Brown, but Martino insisted that the red card was justified.

“The sending off was correct, the referee saw it,” he added.

Barcelona were without Lionel Messi due to a hamstring injury. The absence of the Argentina international was felt by the Catalan side, who struggled to create many clear-cut chances until after Fabregas had broken the deadlock.

Martino, though, believes it is natural for a team to miss a player of Messi’s calibre.

He said: “It is impossible to not miss him, but we have to face the music without it and play good matches.”

Tue 1 Oct, 2013
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