Dublin : A blond-haired Lionel Messi failed to get on the scoresheet but it hardly mattered as under-strength Barcelona taught Celtic a footballing lesson in a Dublin friendly.
Strikes by Arda Turan and Munir El Haddadi, and an own goal by Efe Ambrose — all before the break — were enough to earn a 3-1 victory for Luis Garcia’s men in what was their first game back after the summer.
Leigh Griffiths had replied to Turan’s opener, but boss Brendan Rodgers will be concerned with how vulnerable his defence looked once again, ahead of Celtic’s crucial Champions League third qualifying round clash with Astana on Wednesday. The tie is delicately balanced at 1-1 ahead of the second leg at Parkhead.
Barcelona came to Dublin without Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano, Claudio Bravo and Jordi Alba, who aren’t back in training until tomorrow, while Neymar is preparing for the Olympics in Brazil. But there was more than a sprinkling of quality with Messi and Luis Suarez.