The east end of Glasgow shook to its roots, this most emotive of arenas shuddering in the ear-splitting din though, by the end, the roar hollered into the night sky was one of outrage rather than delirium. Celtic are adrift in this tie, probably hopelessly, with all the optimism punctured by Juventus and a daunting trip to Turin to come. Their enthusiasm will not be dimmed by a hefty deficit but brutal logic suggests their European run is all but over.
Neil Lennon's team deserved so much more from this first leg than a comprehensive defeat and the grim prospect of being picked off again by canny opponents in the return. They snarled in defeat, their complaints centring on the grappling and blocking that flared at every one of Celtic's 10 corners. But while the Spanish referee booked Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Padoin, he still gave the impression of being bemused by the discontent that rained down from the stands, as if the locals had been naive to expect anything more severe.
Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci were never punished to leave Lennon a picture of fury on the sidelines. Juve may be restoring their own reputation at this level but they clearly boast all the streetwise qualities, and tactics, of previous years.
The sense of injustice aside, this all felt cruel on Celtic whose crisp intent had promised to reap a reward but brought nothing. They relished the occasion and, at times, unsettled a team who have conceded only 16 times in 24 Serie A contests. But each missed opportunity – from Gary Hooper's overhead, Victor Wanyama's regular battered efforts, Efe Ambrose's free but tame header –had wounded the hosts. The misses, even if squeezed from half-chances, ended up feeling like profligacy given the shortcomings of their defending.
So this excellent Champions League campaign feels spent, the disappointment almost choking. If the worst is confirmed in Turin in three weeks' time, Celtic should look back on their European campaign with some satisfaction. Certainly, on a more detached level, it has served a financial purpose. Their progress into the group stage, and now beyond, has virtually wiped out their bank debt with a pre-tax profit of around £15m recorded for the second half of last year. Their turnover rose by 71% to just over £50m in that period and, while such reliance on involvement can appear unhealthy, the hope is it serves to kick-start prosperity. Lennon had acknowledged in the buildup that qualification had been "pivotal for getting the ball rolling financially". And yet this has been about so much more than the numbers.
Celtic have carried Scotland's reputation on this stage, flag-bearers while the national side wheeze at the foot of their World Cup qualification section and the domestic game splutters in mediocrity. With Rangers condemned to the fourth tier, there is little to whet the appetite locally: no Old Firm collisions to drive the adrenaline and spur on the campaign, and no title challenger within reach.
Lennon's team are 18 points clear in the Scottish Premier League and have achieved that at a stroll. It has been the frenzy of European nights that has sustained them, all the tension and release of the qualifying rounds and those blistering occasions against Barcelona and Spartak Moscow in the group propelling them on. There was an eagerness to both team and following here, a craving to tear into Juve. The referee's first whistle had felt like a release.
How the manager, on his first game in charge at this stage of the Champions League, must have yearned for early reward in the boom of this arena. Instead there was an immediate concession to darken the mood. Perhaps Ambrose just misjudged the bounce of Federico Peluso's pass, but his entire performance suggested a man emotionally drained after success with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations. The racket went up again as Alessandro Matri scored to drown out the celebrations from the massed ranks of Juve fans in one corner of the stadium, though it was shouted as a reminder to the home players that they were not alone.
Their favourites still poured forward on Gianluigi Buffon's goal but the veteran goalkeeper would not yield. In truth, even in the face of the noise from the stands, Juve were never likely to wilt. They had arrived without an away defeat in Europe in three years and guarded against Celtic's considerable threat on their own patch. They have the class to progress much further in this competition. Andrea Pirlo may have been subdued but Claudio Marchisio was irrepressible. Juventus' menace on the break was omnipresent and unnerving, and will be replicated in the return. They are restored as contenders. For Celtic, only defiance remains.