Highlights sometime tell you very little about the match other than the most rudimentary of statistics. And so even with a scoreline as unflattering, Celtic fans will tell you they were robbed. Much of the ire of Neil Lennon and the Bhoys was directed at referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, an official who's built a reputation for dishing out cards like Texas does death sentences. But it seems this time around the ever eager Mallenco did not pull them out fast enough for Juve's group of dirty tricksters especially when Celtic were pressing on with their corners. Lots of shirt grabbing, body checks, and rugby like holds went unnoticed.
Celtic were good when they had possession and they certainly had more shots on goal. Victor Wanyama was impressive and one can see why he would be linked to a club like Arsenal (but who isn't, eh?). But what counts in the end is what you do with the ball. And in that department Juventus were superior. Helped by some defensive lapses of the most egregious kind.
Look at the first goal. Efe Ambrose had a series of brain farts and stood around in a daze as Alessandro Matri got to the long ball as easy pie with Fraser Forster's imbecilic charge opening up the goal invitingly. No one bothered to follow up Claudio Marchisio after the goal line clearance which clearly came after the ball had crossed the plane. In the second half, Forster made it easy for Marchisio as he again strayed out of position for the second goal after the winger cut inside. Then it was Ambrose again as culprit dallying too long on the ball (maybe he hadn't stopped celebrating Nigeria's Africa Cup win) and getting robbed as Vucinic scored with Forster's effete charge putting him under no pressure. On the sidelines Lennon was having a non stop migraine.
The Old Lady was smarter. Just like Man Utd against Everton over the weekend, where it was all Toffees for large stretches with Utd playing rope a dope and then boom. It's disheartening when it happens but it wasn't the first and it certainly won't be the last time matches are won this way. Celtic face a steep, steep climb on their return leg. They will have to pull off a Deportivo La Coruna like comeback but this time on the road, in Turin.