I WON’T LOSE SLEEP OVER NEYMAR SNUB
UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic after a fan invaded the Parkhead pitch during last night’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
The game was held up for nearly a minute in the aftermath of Edinson Cavani’s 40th-minute penalty, the French side’s third goal of an eventual 5-0 victory.
The supporter was booed off the pitch by Celtic fans after allegedly confronting PSG striker Kylian Mbappe and the act ensures that the club face their 12th Uefa punishment in seven years for fan misbehaviour.
Police Scotland confirmed a man, aged 21, had been arrested and was in custody in connection with the alleged incident.
He was expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court today.
Six other people were arrested at the game last night, with three of them also due to appear at court today.
A 31-year-old man was arrested and detained in connection with a breach of the peace; a 35-year-old man was held under the offensive behaviour at football games act, and a 61-year-old man was arrested for alleged assault.
The other three people will be reported to the procurator fiscal.
Previous fines have been handed out for issues ranging from pro-IRA chants to fireworks, crowd disturbances and illicit banners.
Uefa confirmed today that the Scottish champions have been charged under Article 16 (2) of their Disciplinary Regulations for a field invasion.
PSG have also been charged for acts of damage after seats were broken. The control, ethics and disciplinary body will deal with both cases on 19 October.
“That reaction said it all really,” said Celtic’s manager Brendan Rodgers.
“It was disappointing for any ground, any club, a supporter getting on to the pitch like that.
“It was bitterly disappointing and I’m sure the club will deal with that. Whoever that person was it shouldn’t be anything we should see, especially on a football field.
Before the game, Celtic owner Dermot Desmond clutched superfan Jay Beatty’s hand and gave him an encouraging pat on the head.
CELTIC PARK was under the spell of a kind of magic last night, the kind that casts a long shadow.
It’s an occasion and venue which has been known to conjure up the extraordinary, leaving your jaw on the floor while your eyes stare on disbelief as reality is bent out of all proportion.
Memories of Barcelona being humbled and defeated back in 2012 spring to mind. Even recollections of last year’s mesmeric 3-3 draw with Manchester City would be fresh in the heads of the soggy legions pouring into Glasgow’s east end, dreaming of another Champions League evening of wizardry from their team.
Instead, it was the Parisians, bedecked head to toe in their cool and trendy jet black third kit, who provided the je ne sais quoi with a spell-binding display bordering on the outrageous at times.
With a frontline worth around £400million, including the wonder of Neymar who made up half that figure on his own, Celtic were simply helpless to stop the most expensive team in world football puff out their chest, lift their chins and send out the boldest of statements that this year could finally be the year the Ligue 1 side are crowned Champions League, well, champions.
If Barcelona angered the beast last term with that last-16 turnaround, Celtic suffered the brunt of their ire here in this 5-0 defeat.
Their play was a work of so much sorcery you expected to see Mickey Mouse hiding at the back of the Jock Stein Stand with his pointy hat and magic wand.
At times it was painful to watch for the sell-out crowd. At others you just had to stand back and admire it.
Over a thousand PSG supporters had made the short trip to Glasgow and were given the usual, drookit welcome.
Perhaps through excitement to both get out of the Scottish deluge and to see their team spring into life, they were in fine voice and packing the right-hand corner of Parkhead a good hour before kick off. They must have known what was coming.
It’s worth pointing out at this stage that Celtic actually played well. Yes, there were mistakes that contributed to their downfall – Jozo Simunovic’s silly tug for the third goal for example – but you’d be hard pushed to find any team across the world that could have coped with Unai Emery’s globetrotters here.
There was a relaxed feel from those performing black arts. Pre-match, the PSG warm up had all the intensity of a primary school game of rounders.
Among them, Neymar, for all his worth, chit chat and ego, cut a subtle figure. Wearing a grey training kit and beanie hat en- semble, the Brazilian who played here last year in Barcelona’s 2-0 victory laughed and joked with team-mates, high-fiving them and while swaggering about with not a care in the world.
Those around him didn’t look that perturbed by the cauldron of passion slowly filling up around them.
YOU’LL Never Walk Alone reverberated around Celtic Park while the vocal Parisian tourists held their scarves aloft not wanting to be left out.
Moments later 60,000 throats roared in unison, the Champions League banner fluttering with hearts, the sound of Zadok the Priest barely audible beneath the din.
From there on in, the magicians took over. Pre-match Neymar said that he’d be turned off if the Celtic support booed him. Well, he must have been bored out his tree given the reception he got from the home crowd.
His first real involvement came on three minutes when Champions League debutant upended him on the touchline. Welcome to Glasgow.
The 25-year-old would soon silence the masses though, when a simply stunning pass from Adrien Rabiot – easily the man of the match with one of the best performances I’ve ever seen – inside Ralston on 20 minutes sent him and his rapid wee legs scampering in behind the Celtic defence to lift the ball beyond Craig Gordon.
His influence didn’t stop there, as he masterminded PSG’s second 11 minutes before the break.
It was his bursting run and pass out right to Marco Verratti which kickstarted it all, but he had the vision and stealthy movement to ghost into the middle of the box before arcing his run to the back post to head across for Kylian Mbappe to turn in.
The third soon followed and at half-time Celtic were staring down the barrel. To make matters worse, a pitch invader bolted on to the pitch moments later, ran half the length of the park and took a fresh air swipe at Mbappe. Even he couldn’t get near them.
Last year’s Champions League campaign got off to a 7-0 defeat in the Nou Camp – their worst ever result in Europe – and already there was an ominous feeling for the start of this one.
A ripple of encouragement met Scott Brown as he led Celtic back out for the second half.
The introduction of Tom Rogic for Stuart Armstrong added some physicality to the Celtic midfield and Celtic, to their credit,
A supporter runs onto the pitch at Celtic Park during the club’s 5-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in last night’s Champions League match
Former Celtic forwards John Hartson, Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton, left, step out of the tunnel ahead of the game, while centre, Dermot Desmond greets superfan Jay Beatty before kick-off, and right, former Hoops stars Kenny Dalglish and Roy Aitken have a chat before the opening Champions League clash