THREE CELTIC STARS picked over the bones of another self-inflicted European calamity at Celtic Park last night. Twice this season in knock-out competitions Celtic have come back from the continent with a 1-1 draw and have been found wanting in trying to see the tie over the line.
Cluj also exited European football last night on the away goals rule and they were joined by Celtic who ultimately was wasteful in attack – Copenhagen had 5 shots on target in the tie and scored four times – and shocking defensively.
Yet again Neil Lennon must take his share of the blame. Last night we seemed to try to play two formations at one – where was the right back? – and why no Griffiths alongside Edouard against a team who we’re clearly sitting in waiting for maybe one late chance to nick it?
Why keep the tiring Rogic on the park – his legs had gone and he gifted the initiative to the visitors immediately after we got level. ONE substitute used? Really?
Neil Lennon has been brilliant over his first year back, an anniversary he celebrated last night, but in both the Cluj and the Copenhagen games he has out-thought himself with his team selection and tactics and as a result needlessly cost Celtic the chance to progress in both the Champions League and the Europa League.
Here’s what the skipper Scott Brown, central defender Christopher Jullien and left back Greg Taylor had to say after the bitterly disappointing defeat to a team that our old pals Rosenborg would probably have beaten. You can also read Sandman’s Definitive Ratings HERE.
SCOTT BROWN… The bitterly disappointed Celtic captain speaking to BT SPORT after the 3-1 home defeat to Copenhagen…
“It’s not what we wanted, but we’ve got to concentrate now on making sure we do well in the League and do well in the Cup.
“Disappointed yet again to lose at home, especially with the way we played.
“We’re always going to create a lot of chances, especially at Celtic Park, it just wasn’t our day, to be perfectly honest. We’re big boys, we can take it on the chin.
“We’ve got to make sure we bounce back, we’ve got a huge game yet again on Sunday and it’s about how you bounce back.
“We’re disappointed not to get into the last 16, but it’s over, it’s done and dusted now and we need to make sure we concentrate because there’s no time now for us to get sloppy.
“We need to make sure we look forward and try to be as positive as we possibly can.
“As I said, we’ve got to make sure we bounce back. We’ve got a huge game on Sunday in the Cup now.”
Copenhagen had just five shots on target over the two legs and scored four times – pretty ruthless in comparison to the chances Celtic passed up at both the Parken Stadium last week and again under the Disco Lights at Celtic Park last night.
CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN also spoke to BT SPORT after the hugely disappointing match. “We just got sloppy for one moment – and this kind of game is a place for no mistakes.
“We just gave them two or three goals. We just have to bounce back now, think about what we did badly and just correct that.
“It’s a bad day, but we have to get through it. When we scored the penalty, the stadium was with us, with a good mentality, but in this kind of moment when you score there are five minutes after the goal when you have to keep your focus.
“We probably thought that we’d just succeeded by coming back, but in this kind of game there is no place for mistakes.”
GREG TAYLOR, speaking to the Media after the match, as reported by Glasgow Times, shared in his teammates’ frustration. “I thought in the first-half we had pretty good control of the game, we were creating chances and we were unfortunate not to be up at the break.
“The second-half was an even tussle. I felt they came into it a wee bit and we obviously went a goal down. But we got ourselves back in the game and we should have kicked on from there, but we shot ourselves in the foot losing a goal so soon after equalising.
“I didn’t feel like there was even a minute between us equalising and them going back in front.
“That is the one thing that doesn’t sit well with us. We got ourselves back into the game and that should have been enough to get us through to extra-time, at least.
“Of course, there is no doubt we will look back on this one with a lot of regret. It was a massive chance for us to get to the last 16 and the incentive was there for us.
“We wanted to get through and we are all disappointed we haven’t been able to do that.”
Watch the ‘highlights’ from BT Sport below…
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