There may not have been much suspense in the air when Barcelona and Celtic kicked off at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night but Neymar provided plenty of reasons to stay tuned in to the match. To be more precise, he provided three of them. The 21-year-old Brazil international opened his Champions League goal account by scoring three goals in quick succession as Barcelona rolled over Celtic 6-1.
Barcelona began the night assured of qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League and Celtic already knew they were heading out of the competition when play began. An early goal for the Messi-less hosts from Pique suggested that the foregone conclusion would be the actual one as well.
Then Neymar took over.
Shortly after setting up Barcelona's second goal of the night with a deft cross to Pedro in the 38th minute, Neymar scored his first goal of the night in the 44th minute. On the other side of halftime, Neymar quickly added two more strikes in the 48th and 58th minutes.
An incisive pass from Alexis Sanchez sent Martín Montoya in toward the Celtic net ahead of Neymar's first goal. Montoya's effort tricked by onrushing goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Neymar made no mistake with the ball rolling across the goalmouth.
WATCH: Neymar Scores His First Champions League Goal
Neymar picked up right where he left off after the start of the second half. He doubled his career Champions League goal tally after some neat interplay with Xavi at the edge of the Celtic penalty area.
WATCH: Neymar Stretches Barcelona Lead To 4-0
Despite Barcelona holding a comfortable lead, Neymar kept coming. On his final scoring foray of the night, he dribbled the ball between the legs of defender Efe Ambrose before unleashing his shot. The ball pinballed into the net off defender Adam Matthews.
WATCH: Neymar Seals Hat Trick