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Oct 23, 2012

Celtic 'gutted' after late Barca blow

Celtic's Kelvin Wilson was left 'gutted' after Barcelona's 94th-minute winner denied the SPL champions a famous point at the Nou Camp.

• Barcelona 2-1 Celtic

Jordi Alba scored with almost the final kick of the game as Barcelona came back from Georgios Samaras' 18th-minute header, having levelled through Andres Iniesta on the stroke of half-time.

"Gutted is the word,'' Wilson told Sky Sports. "We defended with our lives all game and it looked like we'd done it. It's never over 'til the final whistle with Barca and they proved it.''

Wilson and his defensive team-mates did an impressive job of restricting Lionel Messi and the rest of Barca's array of attacking talent.

"I tried (to stop Messi),'' he said. "I feel I did okay but the whole team defensively did brilliantly. It's a team game, not an individual game. We're gutted more than anything. It's the last minute of the game and you try to see it out. We'll learn from the mistakes and hope next time we can complete it.''

While Wilson and company did their best to keep Barcelona out, Fraser Forster was still called on to make a string of fine saves, and the 24-year-old helped his growing reputation by doing just that. However, it was small consolation for the England man after the match.

"In the end, everyone is devastated,'' he said. "We just had to defend one more cross and we weren't able to do that.

"But we've shown what we can do on a European level. We deserved at least a point, but when you're playing Barcelona there's a lot of defending to do, they never stopped for 94 minutes.

"We've defended brilliantly, everyone has given 100 per cent and that's why it's so devastating. It's nice to make saves but we didn't hold on for the point, so they're meaningless at the end of the day. I would have swapped it all for a point.''

Manager Neil Lennon stood motionless as Alba got the slightest of touches to turn in a dangerous cross for the winner, but he emerged proud of his players. "I thought we were compact, we defended very well,'' he said.

"You know when you come here you're going to be under pressure. We just needed to see it out. I think there was some luck with the goal, some of the lads are saying it's gone straight in but I don't know if it has.

"I'm bitterly disappointed for the players but proud as well. They were brave, they stuck to what we asked them to do and didn't lose their composure. We knew we would be under pressure, we would give the ball away at certain times, but we told them to accept that and they did.

"They defended brilliantly and at times on the counter-attack looked dangerous. This is the best team in the world and to come here and play like that...some people had written us off, but it didn't surprise me.

"The hurt will last for a couple of days, but I don't think I need to pick them up. They've been very brave under great pressure.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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