Misfortune and heavy defeat for Celtic youths vs Real Madrid in wild Airdrie conditions

By John McGinley

September 6, 2022

Celtic’s U19s side had a tough afternoon at the start of their UEFA Youth League campaign, losing to Real Madrid by a massive 6-0 margin.

It was always going to be a tough ask to get a result against the Spaniards, given the quality of their academy, but suffering such a heavy defeat will be a blow to the players and coaching staff.

Managed by former Liverpool and Real star Alvaro Arbeloa, the Madrid youths were impressive throughout the 90 minutes, showing a ruthless edge and taking the vast majority of their chances in front of goal.

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Pol Fortuny, Youssef Enriquez, Juan Garcia and Cesar Perez were all on the scoresheet alongside Nicolas Paz Martinez, who scored a double.

The match wasn’t made easier for Celtic when Ben McPherson was shown a red card in the 23rd minute after a last-man challenge. He was deemed to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. With the score already 2-0 by that point, everyone at the Excelsior Stadium knew the Celtic youngsters were in for a long day.

The first 20 minutes of the match were undoubtedly the most competitive of the afternoon despite the visitors scoring twice. Bruno Davidson and McPherson both had early chances to get at the Spaniards, but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

This period of the game was played in rather farcical conditions, with the rain so heavy that the ball was barely travelling across the surface. Players were slipping and crashing into each other too. At one point, it looked like the game might even be called off.

There will be lessons for the young Hoops to take away from today. It’ll be important for Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea to provide constructive feedback on the way the match played out.

Thankfully there are five more opportunities to win points, with Shakhtar and RB Leipzig also in the group just like the senior team. The Ukrainians beat the Germans 2-0 earlier this afternoon, setting up an open and intriguing table.

In other news, The Green Brigade issue rallying cry to supporters ahead of Celtic vs Real Madrid.