Celtic knew they faced a daunting test welcoming Paris Saint-Germain, not to mention the world’s two most expensive footballers, to Parkhead for their Champions League group-stage opener on Tuesday.
Yet, fans would have harboured some hope that another magical night under the floodlights was on the cards. After all, Celtic had drowned Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United, Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus in a sea of green in campaigns gone by.
However, if quickly became apparent that the PSG of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe would not suffer the same fate.
The much-vaunted trio all found the net in a stunning first-half performance before a Mikel Lustig own goal and a Cavani penalty put the icing on a 5-0 thrashing, Celtic's biggest home defeat since 1895.
And French publication L’Equipe (13th September, page 3) did not hold back in the post-match player ratings with one Celtic man in particular coming in for heavy criticism.
Stuart Armstrong, so often the pillar of consistency and tenacity in midfield, resembled a Sunday league amateur in the presence of genuinely world class talent like Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot.
A L’Equipe rating of 2/10 rather epitomised Armstrong’s poorest performance in a Celtic shirt. The 25-year-old posted a pass completion rate of just 69 per cent, lower than any player bar Patrick Roberts, and was hooked for Tom Rogic at half-time.
Celtic fans were thrilled when Armstrong committed his future to the club recently amid speculation of a move to Southampton or Brighton (The Mail), but the Scotland international clearly has a lot to do to prove he belongs at Europe’s top table.