HAVE you emerged from the back of the couch yet? Those of a Celtic persuasion were no doubt left miserable yet mesmerised by Paris St Germain’s rampaging masterclass in Glasgow’s east end the other night.

With the pace, power, purpose, movement and attacking verve that had Celtic’s hattered players careering around in a dreadful haste and struggling to chase even the shadows of the PSG shadows, the 5-0 trouncing was a sobering, sombre lesson.

As a defender by trade during his playing pomp, Alan Stubbs, a former member of the Celtic backline, was left in awe of the PSG assault.

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By plenty of accounts the current Celtic rearguard would’ve struggled to repel the advances of Neymar, Cavani, Mbappe and company with armed pillboxes, barbed wire and mines.

“Wow,” gasped Stubbs as he reflected on a fearsome night. “I think you would have needed 15 players on the pitch and I don’t even know if that would have helped.

“I’ve had the privilege of taking part in some great nights at Celtic Park and also of watching some great teams play there but that was possibly the best performance I’ve seen from anyone there. It was that impressive.

“They (PSG) will do that to other teams as well. There’s no doubt about that because they’re only going to get better. We’ve talked for years about Messi, Suarez and Neymnar at Barcelona but Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe is the next one.

“They were breathtaking at times. Not just their movement but their decision-making and their first touches made it football played at a different level. They weren’t just one or two levels above Celtic but three or four, possibly more.

“When you’re a player and you come up against top quality opponents the first thing you notice is that their first touch is unbelievably good.

“Celtic were criticised for not getting close to them. They tried to do that but PSG’s awareness and movement were so good that they couldn’t get near them.

“Sometimes people don’t appreciate how difficult it is to get close to players of that calibre. As supporters, we sit in the stand and shout ‘get closer’ or ‘kick him’ but it’s easier said than done.

“PSG were everything we feared they might be but hoped that they wouldn’t be.”

The reality, of course, is that the gulf in class between the top teams in Europe and the rest is as wide as those grand, yawning Paris boulevards.

Celtic remain the all-conquering, dominant force in their own backyard but they are potential fodder for the withering fire of the big guns on the unforgiving, remorseless battlegrounds of the European front.

The five goal rout was another savage Champions League dunt but they’ll just have to take a good dose of the smelling salts and get on with it.

“In a way you can’t just forget about it because it is a matter of personal pride,” added Stubbs. “To lose a game in the manner that they did does hurt. It makes you reflect on how good PSG are.

“When you go into European football then you are a few levels up from what you are playing domestically.

“You always know you are going to be in for a tough game but it just makes you want to improve more. And they’ll be looking for that against Anderlecht.

“The PSG game has gone and there is nothing you can do about it. You can look into it and see what they could have done better in little areas but I don’t think it would necessarily have affected the result of the game.

“Sometimes you just have to say, ‘you know what? They were better than us’.”

Alan Stubbs was speaking at the Tesco Bank Football Challenge Festival at St Benedict’s Primary School in Easterhouse. Over 140,000 children have now taken part in the grassroots programme.