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Neymar scores 3

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Friday, December 13, 2013

BARCELONA - Brazilian star Neymar scored his first Barcelona hat-trick as the Catalans secured top spot in Group H of the Champions League with a 6-1 thrashing of Celtic at the Camp Nou yesterday.

Gerard Pique got the hosts off to the perfect start when he slammed home from close range after Celtic keeper Fraser Forster had done well to deny Alexis Sanchez.

Neymar then produced a magical piece of skill to ghost past Efe Ambrose to set up Pedro for the second and rounded off a fine team move with the simplest of finishes to make it 3-0 a minute before halftime.

Striker Neymar then added a brilliant fourth with a curling finish after a one-two with Xavi before completing his hat-trick with an individual effort 10 minutes later.

Cristian Tello made it 6-0 with a deflected strike 18 minutes from time before Giorgious Samaras pulled one back for the Scottish champions.

"I am very happy to score my first three goals in the Champions League, but the most important thing was that the team played well," he told Spanish TV station Canal Plus.

"We needed to change the dynamic after the recent defeats and now we have to concentrate on La Liga."

Despite being already assured of a place in the last 16, Barca boss Gerardo Martino sent out the message that he didn't want a repeat of the lacklustre performance that saw his side beaten 2-1 by Ajax in their last Champions League outing as he named a strong side.