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Saturday, Sep 19th

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A Cesc Fabregas header 15 minutes from time allowed Barcelona to pick up a hard fought 1-0 win at Celtic Park in controversial circumstances after the Hoops were reduced to 10-men with their skipper Scott Brown given his marching orders for a non-existent foul on Neymar.

The Catalan giants had an opportunity for redemption after their shock defeat at Celtic Park in last season's Group Stages of the Champions League, and Barcelona was forced to do it the hard way as they sorely missed superstar striker Lionel Messi who was out with a hamstring injury.

The entire contest was dominated by Barca, who finished the game with a staggering 82% possession, but Celtic had their chances in the game, arguably even earning the better opportunities to score. Barcelona failed to register an attack of note in the first half despite bossing the ball with Neymar and Andres Iniesta particularly guilty of leaving their shooting boots at home.

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Arsenal could very well have come out second best in the race to sign highly rated Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama, after it was revealed that Southampton had reached a £10 million pound agreement with Wanyama’s current employers Celtic.

The Saints’ chairman Nicola Cortese had spent weeks bargaining with the Scottish giants and it now appears that an agreement has been reached. With only the finer points of the deal remaining to be hashed out, Wanyama is already being prepped for a move to the Premier League. Southampton beat out competition from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Galatasaray after it became apparent that the Saints were the only club meeting the twin objectives of a £10 million pound fee as well as guaranteeing the defensive midfielder regular playing time.

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In an interview with The Daily Nation while holidaying in beautiful Kenya, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey confessed that he would be delighted to welcome Celtic youngster Victor Wanyama to the squad should the Kenyan superstar make a big money move to the North London side this summer.

Ramsey, who appears to have got another lease of life on his Arsenal career, playing in a deeper role in midfield this season, is still nowhere near the young talent who first landed at the Emirates before having his leg horrifically broken by Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross. But one can see the confidence return in the Welshman, and it is even more admirable that he would welcome an addition to the squad who could potentially curtail his playing time!

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Victor Wanyama’s footballing mentor Jean-Marie Abeels and also his coach at his youth academy back home in Kenya has confirmed that the Celtic midfielder wants to join Arsenal.

Abeels says that 10 million pound rated Kenyan international has already had contact with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The 21 year old was linked with a number of top European clubs including the likes of Manchester United after excelling in the Champions League for Celtic this season.

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After a controversial night in Manchester the eyes of the footballing world moved to Turin and Paris where the second leg of two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matches were being hosted. Turin was its usual noisy self as a far superior Juventus team cruised into the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition with a 5-0 aggregate win over Scottish Champions Celtic. Paris provided a lot more excitement where the latest wannabes of European football, Paris St. Germain battled to a 3-2 aggregate win against Valencia.

Having lost the home leg of their tie against Juventus 3-0, there was little hope for Celtic as they made the journey to Turin to take on the reigning Italian champions. While the tie already seemed over before the match even kicked off, a 24th minute goal from Allesandro Matri but the Old Lady ahead on the night.

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Kenyan powerhouse Victor Wanyama is very much on Arsenal's watchlist this year with the Gunners having sent a scout to watch the player in action against Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Celtic midfielder has won rave reviews for his performances for the Scottish champions over the last year or so, but with the lack of genuine competition in Scotland, it is widely believed that his ability to perform in the Champions League is what will determine whether the big clubs in England come swooping for his signature.

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February has always enjoyed the status of being the month of love but football fans around the world instead celebrate the 2nd month of the year for the return of Champions League football. The Round of 16 began with a bang last night as two high-octane clashes at Celtic Park and The Mestella provided a tasty reminder of the exciting quality on show in the knockout round. The away sides were king-makers on the night as Juventus walked away from Celtic with a commanding 3-0 victory while PSG emerged from their 1st leg at Valencia with a narrow 2-1 triumph.

Celtic 0-3 Juventus

Celtic Park on European nights is a joy to behold as the fanatical supporers of the club adorn the arena with green and white hoops. Juventus, being the Old Lady of Italy, used their experience to silence the crowd early as Alessandro Matri opened the scoring after just three minutes. Federico Peluso’s long ball from the left was horribly defended by Efe Ambrose, who allowed Matri to run behind him and roll the ball past the on-rushing Fraser Foster.

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