A highly anticipated mouthwatering fixture which did not fail to disappoint as The Celtics showed great bouncebackability to come from behind and topple the league champions 4-3. With the PM 2.5 pushing 200 and the temperature getting closer to zero it was evident that Winter had arrived in Beijing as The Barbarians and The Celtics took to the field for this increasingly bitter top of the table clash.
Although the Barbarians were dominant in the first 15 minutes it was the Celtics who nicked the first goal as the ever opportunistic Simon Holland intercepted a loose pass from the defense before skillfully launching the ball from 30 yards over the head of the back pedaling keeper. This lead was short lived as a penalty was awarded shortly after as Captain Demus George relentlessly kicked a Barbarians player until he crumbled to the ground vying for mercy from the Canadian.
Ten minutes into the second half and the barbarians struck again as a fortuitous break of the ball from a corner was converted from point blank range. The Celtics pushed on in an effort to get back on level terms and were left exposed as five minutes later the Barbarians executed a swift counter attack before clinically nestling the ball in the back of the net.
Being 3-1 down to the league champions is a daunting position to be in for any team however thanks to the heroics of man of the match Warren in nets for the Celtics, there was still a glimmer of hope for the green and white hoops. Both teams began to tire and opportunities began to appear, the first of which fell to the modestly skillful Will Gallagher as he casually rolled the ball into the corner of the Barbarians net.
Shortly after Demus George used his people kicking skills to good use as he rocketed a free kick from the edge of the area into the top left corner. The judges scored the free kick 9/10 with his backflip celebration receiving a flawless 10/10.
The momentum had greatly changed in favour of The Celtics and another golden chance fell to Simon Holland as he showed his composure to round the keeper and slide the ball into the back of the onion sack completing the comeback. The game was still all to play for with 10 left on the clock however hope started to fade when a Barbarians player was sent off for some off the ball antics.
The Barbarians keeper decided it was time for plan B and began aggressively counting to 10 whenever the ball was in the hands of the opposition keeper. Somehow this new tactic was not as effective as expected and the Celtics managed to hang on and gain a crucial 3 points. Our Best wishes go out to Will, who suffered a fractured wrist late on in the match, as well as club-captain Dom and Yolanda who are enjoying a well-deserved holiday in the very questionably romantic Pataya, Thailand.