The damage inflicted during the first leg at Parkhead, where Italian champions Juventus recorded a 3-0 win, all but rendered this second leg meaningless in terms of trying to reach the quarter- finals.
Therefore, it was all about restoring pride here in Turin for Neil Lennon's men.
To achieve that, you would have thought a victory or at the least a share of the spoils was needed. You'd be wrong.
It was another defeat on the night in the splendid Juventus stadium as the Italian champions swaggered into the last eight courtesy of a 2-0 victory.
But Celtic did fall on the sword. They gave a fine account of themselves for long spells against a team that cost more than £100million more than what was spent assembling their own and is currently romping towards the Serie A title for a second successive season.
And they did so while playing the game in the right manner. The cynics might point to the 5-0 aggregate defeat, but to have even reached the last 16 of Europe's premier tournament was a massive achievement.
What these two matches against Juve proved was the fine lines between success and failure at the very highest level; the home side were unforgiving when chances presented themselves and over the piece simply boasted that added quality Celtic lacked.
Having left his team-mates in this perilous position with two individual errors in the 3-1 defeat at Celtic Park three weeks ago, Efe Ambrose found himself relegated to the bench as Lennon opted for a central defensive pairing of Kelvin Wilson and Victor Wanyama with Adam Matthews and Emilio Izaguirre occupying the full-back slots.
That meant a move into a defensive midfield position for Charlie Mulgrew, who was joined in the engine room by Beram Kayal and Joe Ledley, with Kris Commons further ahead in a diamond-shaped set-up as Georgios Samaras joined Gary Hooper in attack.
With his team requiring at least three goals to turn this last-16 tie on its head, it was an extremely adventurous and positive approach from the Celtic manager, typifying the way he has approached the entire Champions League campaign regardless of the quality of opposition.
And the SPL champions wasted no time in settling into the match. They pressed Juventus high up the park, they were comfortable in possession and they most certainly looked like the better team for the opening 20 minutes when Ledley's long-range effort just missed the target.
It was all going well – too well as it happened. Less than a minute later, Hooper surrendered possession cheaply midway inside his own half to Andrea Barzagli who played in Fabio Quagliarella.
Wilson stood off him, allowing the striker to shoot. His low drive was saved by Fraser Forster, but spilled perfectly into the path of Alessandro Matri to slot the ball home from close range.
Now trailing 4-0 over the two legs, it was all about how the Celtic players would react from such a set-back. To their credit, they dusted themselves down and got going again.
Juventus, it has to be said, were looking increasingly dangerous on the break but so were the visitors.
A Commons shot deflected off Hooper and forced an excellent save from Gianluigi Buffon and Hooper was then only inches away from turning in a low pass across the face of goal from Samaras into the back of the net from just a couple of yards out.
And that was how it remained at the interval. It was an encouraging performance without any rewards for Celtic, but Lennon was forced into a change at half-time with Ambrose coming on to replace the injured Wanyama.
There was a further set-back just minutes into the second-half when Matthews was carried off.
That forced a defensive reshuffle with Ambrose going to right-back, Mulgrew moving back to defence and James Forrest climbing off the bench to play wide on the right.
The changes had a negative impact on the visitors for a short spell as the Italian champions gained control.
But there were still signs an equaliser could be found and Ambrose had a half chance when he headed wide from a corner shortly after Forrest had picked out Samaras at the back post, although he failed to find a team-mate with his header back across goal.
Where Celtic lacked that ruthless streak in the final third, Juve certainly didn't.
In the 66th minute, they doubled their advantage with a wonderfully worked goal. Pirlo's inch-perfect lofted pass picked out Arturo Vidal, who then squared the ball for Quagliarella to tap home.
It was perhaps a cruel end to what has been an outstanding European effort from Neil Lennon's side. They now stand aside and leave the big guns to go in search of silverware.
But they were a credit to not only themselves but the competition.