Neymar nets hat trick in Barcelona’s Champions League win
This time around, Neymar let his scoring make the headlines against Celtic.
The Brazilian star, who was chided by Celtic manager Neil Lennon for diving in the clubs’ first UEFA Champions League meeting this season, scored his first Champions League goals — three of them, to be exact — Wednesday, in Barcelona’s 6-1 rout of Celtic in their group stage finale.
The 21-year-old Neymar, who has Copa Libertadores, FIFA Confederations Cup and Spanish Super Cup silverware to his name already and will have the weight of the World Cup on his shoulders this summer, helped ensure that Barcelona captured first place in Group H with his hat trick, which put him at eight goals in all competitions this season.
Neymar is up for the FIFA Puskas Award (Goal of the Year) for his strike against Japan in the Confederations Cup, and while Wednesday’s goals are unlikely to earn Puskas nods, they were still well-taken. The first, which came on the heels of Pedro’s goal that Neymar assisted, was the culmination of a trademark Barcelona triangle passing sequence, with Neymar finishing from close range. For the second, Neymar made very much like injured teammate Lionel Messi, working a back-heel pass and then receiving a return feed in a tight space before finishing with aplomb from the top of the box.
Neymar saved his flashiest for last, completing his hat trick by shaking a defender in the area with sleek dribbling before finishing off a defender on the goal line from a tight angle.
See for yourself: