Celtic finished their Champions League campaign winless after being thrashed 5-1 at holders Real Madrid, who qualified for the last 16 as Group F winners.
Real’s comfortable victory means they will be seeded in Monday’s last-16 draw and could be potential opponents for unseeded Liverpool.
The Spanish champions were 2-0 up inside 21 minutes at the Bernabeu thanks to penalties from Luka Modric and Rodrygo.
Already-eliminated Celtic could have pulled one back in the 35th minute but Josip Juranovic’s penalty was saved by Thibaut Courtois.
The Croatia defender’s miss was then punished in the second half as Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde made it 5-0 after 71 minutes.
Celtic scored an 84th-minute consolation goal thanks to substitute Jota’s stunning free-kick as Ange Postecoglou’s side finished bottom of Group F with four losses and two draws.
Elsewhere in Group F, RB Leipzig won 4-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk to qualify as runners-up for the last 16.
How rampant Real swept aside Celtic
Celtic went to the Bernabeu knowing they would finish bottom of the group regardless of the result, but they began their final game in the worst possible way after Real were awarded a penalty inside the first five minutes.
Moritz Jenz handballed Valverde’s shot and Real captain Modric converted to open the scoring in the sixth minute.
- Real Madrid made two changes from their 1-1 home draw against Girona in La Liga on Sunday as Eder Militao and Marco Asensio came in for Antonio Rudiger and Eduardo Camavinga, who dropped to the bench.
- Celtic made four changes from Sunday’s Scottish Premiership win at Livingston as Carl Starfelt replaced Cameron Carter-Vickers to make his first start in two months after injury.
- Liel Abada, Daizen Maeda and Josip Juranovic were the others who came in, with Sead Haksabanovic, Anthony Ralston and James Forrest all dropping to the bench.
Real were soon given another penalty – this time by VAR – as Rodrygo’s strike struck Matt O’Riley’s arm and the Brazilian stepped up to make it 2-0 in the 21st minute.
Referee Stephanie Frappart then awarded her third penalty of the evening as Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy fouled Liel Abada but Juranovic’s spot-kick was saved by Courtois.
Six minutes into the second half, Real scored a third as Asensio produced an excellent first-time finish from Dani Carvajal’s pull back.
Vinicius Junior made it 4-0 in the 61st minute as the Brazilian tapped home Valverde’s cross and 10 minutes later the Uruguayan got himself on the scoresheet with a sweeping first-time finish.
The 1,800 Celtic supporters in the away end were given something to cheer about, though, when Jota curled a wonderful free-kick past Courtois.
But the 5-1 defeat meant the Scottish Premiership champions ended with just two points from six games – their lowest-ever total for a Champions League group-stage campaign.
Postecoglou: I’m not disheartened | ‘I believe we’re on the right track’
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou speaking to BT Sport:
“Firstly, they’re a fantastic football team and they’ve got some real quality and from our perspective, we didn’t start the game too badly.
“At 2-0 we got our penalty, 2-1 maybe doesn’t change the outcome but maybe gives us a little bit more belief and puts them under real pressure. But I guess that’s been the story of our campaign.
“I never fear the worst because we’re still trying to play. I’m really proud of our players. We lost 5-1 against a fantastic team but the players never stopped trying to play. Thibaut Courtois was outstanding.
“I don’t fear for anything with this group of players. We’ve lost to a very good football team but I’m still proud of the player’s effort.
“I’ve said before, the key for us is to be here [the Champions League] every year. I’ve got no doubt the players have grown from this, Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate. I’ve got no doubt they’ll be better footballers quite a few of our guys, and we will learn from it but only if we qualify again.
“If we perform like that, we’ll be hard to stop in the league. If we go in there with that intent every week, we’ll be hard to stop.
“I’m disappointed for the fans, disappointed for the players. I’m certainly not disheartened, I really believe we’re on the right track.”
Ancelotti: We were focused and concentrated
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti speaking to BT Sport:
“I think we played well, we started well. We were focused and concentrated.
“We wanted to play a good game after our last Champions League game was not so good [3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig] – we did well.
“Celtic had an opportunity to come back into the game with a penalty but I think that tonight we were really focused, we wanted to play well and win, and we did.”
Opta stats – Celtic’s Spanish woes continue
- Celtic have lost their last six UEFA Champions League matches against Spanish opponents, conceding 24 goals while scoring just two in return.
- Real Madrid have won all three of their home group stage matches in a UEFA Champions League season for the first time since 2015-16, a season in which they went on to win the competition.
- Celtic conceded two penalty goals after 20 minutes and 47 seconds against Real Madrid, the earliest a side has ever let in two penalties in a UEFA Champions League match.
- At the age of 37 years and 54 days, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric became the oldest UEFA Champions League scorer since Francesco Totti in November 2014 for Roma against CSKA Moscow (38y 59d).
Celtic have three more Scottish Premiership games ahead of the World Cup. They face Dundee United at home on Saturday; kick-off 3pm. Celtic then travel to Motherwell on Wednesday November 9; kick-off 7.45pm.
Their final match before the tournament is on Saturday November 12 when they host Ross County; kick-off 3pm.
Real Madrid have two more La Liga games ahead of the World Cup break. They face Rayo Vallecano on Monday November 7 before playing Cadiz three days later.