Real Madrid 5-1 Celtic: Celtic ended a frustrating Champions League campaign in grim fashion as Real Madrid handed out a rough lesson to claim victory and top Group F.

The Scottish champions trailed 2-0 after 21 minutes after Luka Modric and Rodrygo converted penalties awarded for handball.
Celtic’s Josip Juranovic then missed a penalty, and it felt like a distant memory as Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior, and Federico Valverde made it a rout for the reigning champions, despite Jota’s late free-kick.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team upped the ante in the second half against an increasingly fatigued and exposed Celtic, who end bottom of the table with two points and no victories in six games.

Real, on the other hand, continues their pursuit for a 15th European crown, having achieved the win that ensures top position in the group.

With two points from five matches, Celtic knew not even a famous win would extend their stay in Europe, but their fans still travelled in hope, with far more than the official 1,848 allocation seemingly inside the Bernabeu.

The wind was taken out their sails with just four minutes on the clock. In attempting to block Valverde’s tame shot, Moritz Jenz got himself in an awful twist and handled the ball. Modric showed his customary coolness to slot home.

The visitors responded well, fashioning decent openings for Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate, but neither could trouble Thibaut Courtois in the Real goal.

In fact, the trouble was about to deepen for Celtic. Rodrygo’s strike struck the arm of Matt O’Riley and, although not quite as clearly as the Jenz incident, the outcome was the same. This time Rodrygo converted the penalty.

Vinicius missed an absolute sitter just a minute later as Real threatened to run away with it in the opening half-hour.

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Celtic had to get up the pitch and did so to great effect as Hatate robbed the ball to allow Daizan Maeda to put Kyogo through. However Courtois stood tall and was also equal to Hatate’s piledriver from the edge of the box moments later.

Then a huge chance for Celtic. Liel Abada’s surge to the bye-line was checked by a foul by Ferland Mendy. It was a third penalty in a crazy first half, but Courtois foiled the Scottish champions again, diving to his right to push away Juranovic’s spot-kick.

Six minutes after the break, Real put the game beyond whatever little doubt still existed with their third goal. Dani Carvajal ghosted to the bye-line and his sliding cross teed-up Asensio to fire past Joe Hart.

Vinicius scored another after slipping ahead of Carl Starfelt and flashing in a tempting Valverde cross, before Real brought out Ballon D’or winner Karim Benzema from the bench.

The Madridistas were having a good time, and Valverde added to that – and put more anguish on the visitors – as he curled a beautiful effort past Hart and into the net.

Celtic supporters might have been excused for wishing for the final whistle, but Jota gave them something to rejoice about when he curled a beautiful free kick past Courtois.

It was a great moment for the Portuguese winger and gave the visiting fans something to cheer about, but it was only a consolation on a night when the chasm between the Scottish and European champions was exposed.


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