Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann each scored twice as a 10-man Celtic lost brutally to Atletico Madrid, keeping them at the bottom of Group E of the Champions League.
Following a reevaluation of a booking through the monitor, Daizen Maeda was sent off, and the visitors trailed to Griezmann’s early deflected goal.
Before the half, Morata added a close-range finish. In the fifth, after tremendous work from Griezmann and Samuel Lino, he thundered home, while in the sixth, Saul scuffed.
Brendan Rodgers’ team is five points behind Feyenoord in third place with two games left.
With eight points, Atletico is one point ahead of Lazio, whom Celtic will play next.
A fortnight ago, Celtic’s only point came against the Spanish team in Glasgow. There was no mercy in that exciting match. Given the visitors’ dismal start, this was a dull, one-sided match in contrast, but there was plenty to praise about the hosts’ ruthlessness and skillful finishing.
Referee Ivan Kruzliak was asked to review the yellow card he had given Maeda for catching Mario Hermoso on the shin, and once he did, the game completely raced away from Celtic as Diego Simeone’s team seized on their personnel advantage.
Although the harsh red card had a significant impact, Rodgers will also be irritated by the first goal’s nature because Celtic had made a strong start.
As Callum McGregor nodded into a hazardous area outside the box, it felt both crucial and preventable. This was made worse when it landed at Griezmann’s feet and he cruelly deflected the shot past Joe Hart.
At first, Celtic responded quite forcefully. They did a good job of holding onto the ball, and Maeda in particular created issues down the right. He entered a challenge with his boot raised, Hermoso went down, and the Atletico players responded with animated fury both on the field and off. That threat was quickly ended.
Rodgers was furious about Simone’s involvement in the demonstrations when the yellow card was changed to a red one.
Morata put an end to Celtic’s hopes just before the half, sliding in to meet Jose-Maria Gimenez’s nod across goal.
From that point on, the Spanish team showed no mercy, exuded quality, and scored some outstanding goals.
Griezmann’s second goal was an incredible overhead kick that gave Hart very little chance.
Lino, the substitute, more than equaled that with a beautiful shot that he bent into the far corner.
Morata continued the trend with a swerving fifth goal from the edge of the penalty area, and Saul’s late header gave it a sixth.
In actuality, it could have been more because Celtic had a wild second half in which both Gimenez and Angel Correa were denied by the woodwork.