THERE is a virtue in scoring early goals but not so much when they arrive 89 minutes too early.

That was Celtic’s main misfortune in Paris, when former PSG youth product Moussa Dembele wrecked his old club’s hopes of being the first team in quarter of a century to make it through the group stages without conceding a goal within just 59 seconds. It only turned out to be David Narey’s toe poke for a new generation.

Much in the manner the Dundee United centre half’s opening goal stung a reaction from Zico, Socrates and co against circa 1982 Brazil, the strike only succeeded in making the billionaires of Boulogne-Billancourt - and one brilliant Brazilian in particular – angry. Neymar, PSG’s £198million man, likes to stay up late and party but it is doubtful if any of his US rap star friends could have matched they rhythm and flow he got into here as the French side rattled in seven goals without reply.

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The 24 goals they have now scored in the group stages is the most of any club in history, with no fewer than half coming against Celtic.

As good as it was while it lasted, Celtic’s most improbable of leads was a reality for only eight minutes. Two unerring left foot finishes from the Brazilian gave PSG an advantage, before his partners in crime Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe got in on the act, leaving the Parkhead side licking their wounds with a 4-1 half-time deficit. Much, much worse would follow in the second period as Celtic flirted with what could have been statistically their worst ever defeat but ultimately, as was expected all day long, their hopes of clinching that Europa League place roll over to the final matchday against an Anderlecht side who went down against Bayern Munich.

Earlier in the day, enthusiastic Parkhead supporters had staged an impromptu kickabout with their hosts beneath the Eiffel Tower, but even that giant structure dwarves by comparison with the mighty footballing edifice being constructed by PSG’s mega rich Qatari owners right now. This superstar squad ran out last night to Nirvana, befitting you might say for a team generally on another plane of existence entirely. It is to the Parkhead side’s credit that, however briefly, they highlighted their mortality.

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While the 5-0 home humbling in September at Parkhead was the most relevant recent form guide, most Celtic supporters would have signed right away at kick off for a repeat of the 1-0 defeat Celtic suffered here on their only previous visit, in the 1995-96 European Cup Winners’ Cup. Youri Djorkaeff’s only goal that night was en route to what was still the club’s only European trophy win, and who knows perhaps last night was a staging post to their second continental win, in the Champions League final in Kyiv next summer. One crumb of comfort was the fact that Unai Emery had been in the dug-out for Spartak Moscow in late 2012, still one of only two Celtic away victories in this competition.

The Auld Alliance is threatened in these times of Brexit, but there were hands across La Manche when PSG’s supporters unveiled a display pre-match bearing the legend ‘Tu ne serais jamais seul’ set against a tartan backdrop, as close an approximation as you can get to Celtic’s You’ll never walk alone. During the match, there was even a rendition of Flower of Scotland.

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The £800m lavished by Qatar Sports Investments on this squad in the last six years is allowing them to re-write the record books in this competition but they didn’t exactly hit the ground running here. Dani Alves, perhaps startled by the ferocity of Celtic’s pressing, uncharacteristically sent a wayward back pass out for a corner, and a cleverly worked routine saw Celtic’s two starting Frenchmen, Olivier Ntcham and Moussa Dembele combine perfectly, the latter running onto the low corner and steering in a strike which Areola could only help into his top corner.

It was a stunning moment but it didn’t take long for the hosts to regather their composure. Adrien Rabiot stole a Scott Brown pass which was meant for Ntcham and fed Neymar, whose left foot finish found a corner. The loss of Mikael Lustig – replaced by Nir Bitton in Celtic’s 3-4-2-1 shape – didn’t help matters and soon it was two, Neymar sweeping in effortlessly after a one-two with Marco Verrati.

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Number three was a goal which gave the lie to tabloid tittle tattle to the effect that PSG’s front three don’t get on. A combination of Neymar and Mbappe helped a Dani Alves cross back into the middle to where Cavani converted from close range. A cute Marquinhos pass played in Mbappe for number four, then Marco Verratti’s low daisycutter from an angle re-started the goal glut in the second period.

If anything, the goals were getting better. Number six was a Cavani volley from a pinpoint driven Kurzawa cross, then Dani Alves beat Gordon with another dreamy finish from 25 yards at an angle. While Dembele fired wide with one other chance to double Celtic's money, in reality this could have been even worse for a Celtic side who must lift their heads in time for Sunday’s Betfred Cup final.