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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Barcelona can cope with manic Parkhead crowd, says Song

Barcelona midfielder Alex Song is certain his team can cope with the manic atmosphere at Celtic's Parkhead Stadium and earn the victory that would give them a place in the Champions League knock-out phase

Reuters , Tuesday 6 Nov 2012
Alex Song
File photo: Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas (R) is congratulated by team mate Alex Song after scoring a goal against Rayo Vallecano during their Spanish first division soccer match in Madrid (Photo: AP)
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Cameroon international Song, 25, faced the Glasgow side with former club Arsenal and came away with a 2-0 win on the way to knocking the Scottish side out at the qualifying phase in 2009.

Victory in Scotland would take the Catalan club, who have nine points from three matches, into the knock-out phase after just four games.

They could even be confirmed as Group G winners depending on the result between Spartak Moscow and Benfica.

Celtic's stadium is notorious for the passionate support of their fans who will mark the club's 125th anniversary on Wednesday.

"I played here three years ago and the fans are very good and the atmosphere is very good here but we are Barcelona and we just come here to get a good result," Song told reporters.

"Everyone knows Barcelona love to play and we come here to try to play.

"When we have the ball we are dangerous. We never change the game, it doesn't matter what's happened."

Barcelona midfielder Xavi is among those to have criticised Celtic's playing style, describing it as "anti-football", in last month's 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp.


Song maintains that Barcelona can break down even the most defensive set-ups and was never concerned his team would be shocked in the Nou Camp, despite Tito Vilanova's team needing an stoppage-time goal from Jordi Alba to earn a 2-1 win.

"I think we played a good game because they came to Barcelona just to defend," Song said. "They scored early but it doesn't matter what's happened, we just carry on playing.

"They played well but in the end we won the game because we know that if we play like we play nobody can beat us. We know it will not be an easy game."

Defender Gerard Pique, 25, could make his first appearance since sustaining a foot injury in September.

Vilanova believes the opportunity to secure a place in the knock-out phase with two group matches remaining makes the trip to Glasgow a hugely significant game.

Vilanova has guided his team to their best ever start to a La Liga season, with nine wins and a draw from 10 games.

"This is probably the most important match in the rest of the year," he said. "If we qualify and we're first in the group we'll be able to rest some of the players and use the youth team.

"We know how difficult it is to try to beat Celtic and last time we only beat them in the last minute. They're very good on set-pieces and quick counter attacks."

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