IT was played out amid the incongruous backdrop of UEFA paraphernalia around Cappielow Park, and the soundtrack was the high-pitched screams of a handful of schoolweans rather than 60,000 throaty voices, but Group H of the inaugural UEFA Youth League continues to prove as unforgiving an environment for Celtic as its senior equivalent.

Despite earning credit for taking an impressive Barcelona team into the closing stages in Greenock yesterday, a late free-kick from Paraguayan striker Antonio Sanabria - his second goal of the day - meant that John Kennedy and Stevie Frail's side remain pointless at the bottom of the section. The learning curve continues in Match Day three against the fabled Ajax academy.

There was an irony in watching Celtic playing a home match here just days after the Greenock side had so woundingly ended the big team's hopes of a treble, not least when the entire Morton first team squad trooped in to watch, along with Scottish Football Association duo Mick Oliver and John Collins, former Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes, and a host of scouts.

A decent crowd of around 1000 had made the effort to attend, however, including day trips from local schools, and they watched a young Celtic side determined to improve upon a 3-1 reverse to AC Milan a fortnight ago in San Giovanni.

This they largely did, but it was still an education at times for young men suddenly pitted against some of the finest young players in the world. Not least of among those was 17-year-old Zacharie Enguene, plucked from his native Cameroon at the age of 12 on the strength of a recommendation from Samuel Eto'o, and Adama Traore, his fellow 17-year-old, a Spaniard of Malian extraction, who had the bearing of a fully grown contender in the Olympic 100m final.

After a lively start from Celtic, a sublime pass from Enguene played Arnaldo Sanabria in on goal and the Paraguayan finished like a grizzled veteran. Munir Elhaddadi should have doubled the lead but Celtic refused to buckle.

The inventive Paul McMullan stung the palms of Barca's Joseph Ondoa from range, then shortly after the break a fine double save from the keeper was required to prevent a low free kick from Liam Henderson, and the follow-up from centre back Eoghan O'Connell. A goal duly arrived courtesy of a break from right back from Lewis Kidd and a neat finish by Denny Johnstone. O'Connell could have given Celtic the lead but he mistimed his back post header.

But Barcelona clearly have designs on winning the Lennart Johansson trophy - having overcome Ajax 4-1 in the opening matchday - and the win arrived courtesy of a second from Sanabria, another player of whom the world is likely to hear more of.

Max Oberschmidt, signed on deadline day from Fulham, had been busy and Sanabria had gone close twice before the Paraguayan struck a 25-yard-free kick which fairly flew in.

"That is a top side and this is a top tournament but it is important that we take things from other teams, like how to be clinical," said Frail. "There is tons for us to work on, but tons for us to be proud about as well."