Aiden McGeady has defended Artur Boruc after his antics earned him a booking after Celtic's 2-0 victory against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

The Polish goalkeeper was cautioned by the referee, Iain Brines, for walking the length of the field while issuing ironic waves to the Hibernian supporters. He persisted even after being shown a yellow card and had to be dissuaded and shepherded by his team-mate, Gary Caldwell, towards the tunnel.

McGeady said Boruc - who has earned cult status as "the Holy Goalie" among Celtic fans after he was cautioned by police in 2006 for inciting the crowd during an Old Firm game - was provoked. On that occasion the Crown Office denied he received the caution for blessing himself, but for gesticulating towards them.

McGeady has suffered from supporter abuse himself since electing to represent the Republic of Ireland. He insisted: "If the fans give it out they should be able to take it back.

"You would not take that walking down the street, so why should you take it at a football game?"

Gordon Strachan dismissed the significance of Boruc's gesturing. "When teams beat us, they all go around the park clapping everybody, including Celtic fans. It's like a national day of rejoicing," he said. "Tell us the rules and I will tell my players what they can and cannot do. Tell me you can't clap in a stadium and fine, we won't do it."

Celtic arrived in Barcelona yesterday with a full squad but feeling the effects of a keenly contested win against Hibernian. Scott Brown is expected to be fit despite playing through an ankle knock against his former team. He was suspended for the first leg but was back to his effervescent best at the weekend after an indifferent spell.

Barcelona lost 4-2 to Atletico Madrid on Saturday night and provided Celtic can steal possession from Frank Rijkaard's supremely talented squad, McGeady is confident in the team adding another memorable European triumph to their history book.

"Of course it could happen," he said. "We scored a couple of goals and created chances at home so we can do the same again. They have six or seven real top players but you do not want to go through the whole game without touching the ball.

"They are not the greatest defensively, they are quite vulnerable, and to turn this round would be one of the biggest results in the club's history."