Tony Ralston made his Champions League debut on Tuesday night at Parkhead. It was simultaneously both a dream and nightmare situation for the 18-year-old.
Ralston was tasked by Brendan Rodgers with attempting to nullify the threat of the most expensive player in the world - Neymar. It wasn't so much being thrown in at the deep end as it was being dropped from a helicopter into the middle of the Atlantic.
Neymar got the better of Ralston for the opening goal. The young Scot allowed the Brazilian to get into behind him. A superb ball from Adrien Rabiot loaded the gun and Neymar fired the shot, sending the French side into the lead. Neymar also set up the second goal for Kylian Mbappe.
There were plenty of words said between Ralston and Neymar throughout the game. How much of those were understood is questionable. Ralston also had a good guffaw in Neymar's face after he was booked for diving with his side 3-0 ahead.
At the final whistle, Ralston sought a handshake - and possibly to swap jerseys - with Neymar.
I think (not certain) Neymar may have refused to swap shirts with Anthony Ralston, as well as not shake his hand. Which is a bit of a shame.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) September 12, 2017
It was an offer which Neymar refused, presumably still annoyed at his opponent's earlier giggle.
Speaking after the game, Ralston, quoted by the Scotsman, was mature about the situation.
It wasn’t a big deal. I won’t dwell on that too much.
If that is the case and that is the way he wants to be, then fine. I don’t care.
Like I said, everybody is different, so I won’t lose any sleep over it.
Ralston also told the BBC:
I didn't fear him at all. I knew I was coming up against him. I went out and faced him head on.
It was a good test for me to see where I am at, what level I am at. I am my biggest critic. I'll go analyse the game and see what I can do better.
I was just walking by [at the final whistle] and Verratti was there as well, it was just a moment. He said what he said and I said something back and that was it.
To be honest, I don't care about that side of things at the end, I don't want to dwell on that too much.