Celtic fail to book knockout place

Benfica 2-1 Celtic
Published Tuesday, 20 November 2012
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Neil Lennon's Celtic were unable secure their place in the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday after they lost 2-1 to Benfica.

Celtic fail to book knockout place
Samras scored for Celtic. (© PA)

A score draw would have been enough for the Scottish champions after Barcelona beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 in Tuesday night's other Group G fixture.

The game at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon was level at half time.

Benfica had opened the scoring after seven minutes with a strike from Ola John, before the Hoops equalised with a Georgios Samaras header on 32 minutes.

Celtic came under siege in the second period and it seemed another goal was coming for Portuguese hosts.

Centre back Ezequiel Garay scored on 71 minutes to nudge Benfica ahead again.

Lennon's men pushed for the equaliser but were unable to find one.

"I'm disappointed with the two goals we conceded," the Lurgan-born manager told Sky Sports after the game.

"There was a lack of composure at times and a nervousness on the ball. I didn't feel a goal was coming but we were under pressure.

"This is a hard place to come and play football especially under the circumstances."

However all hope is not lost, as the team can still progress to the last 16 when they host Spartak Moscow in Glasgow for the final group game - while Benfica face Barca.

Lennon continued: "We have one more crack at it and we know what we have to do - beat Spartak Moscow at home."

© UTV News
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8 Comments
Realist in England wrote (702 days ago):
Pablo - are you for real? Celtic is not an Irish team. Like Rangers, it is a Scottish team with many Irish supporters (thus meriting a mention on here). Why would a Portuguese person seek out an Irish website to post about a Scottish team? And who is the Hale dude you wish to hail?
Pablo in Lisbon wrote (702 days ago):
Sorry Celtic for spoiling party. Im sure u win against Moscow and Irish team be in 16 last. Good lUck hail hale
Ryan in Belfast wrote (703 days ago):
@Dave in Omagh. Dave, what does Realist being from England have to do with anything? Is it because you expect him to hold Pro-Unionist and anti-nationalist views just because hes from England? Theres many people of many nationalities from USA, Netherlands, France, England, Scotland, etc all comment on UTV articles, i even comment on many American/Australian news websites, its not unusual for people from a different country having an interest in whats happening in another country and given that theres 14 million people of Irish heritage in Britain (excluding the UK) its not surprising many have a keen interest in Irish affairs, why theres 600,000 Irish people born in the 26 counties that are now currently living and working in Birmingham alone!
Realist in England wrote (703 days ago):
Dave - to be honest, I couldn't care less about Rangers or Celtic and football is certainly not something I'd consider worthy of feeling bitter over. My comment was the sort of comment you'd expect from a Soton fan about Pompey or vice versa. Friendly banter mainly, but I was also alluding to a previous thread (in which I praised Ally McCoist for sticking at it when all his players left) where Rangers fans were clearly feigning delight at Celtic's big win to get a few slogans out there. BTW - you are equally guilty of that here. As with McCoist, I applaud your fans' commitment but you may as well drop the partitionist jibes. As you well know, until Britain loses interest in soccer or some team from the six counties builds a stadium large enough to rival the capacity of large British stadia (and also gives away free tickets to avoid empty seats), your sectarian term will remain pointlessly superfluous (you could have gone further and equally well have said 'British Isles' but you chose not to. I wonder why..).
dave in omagh wrote (703 days ago):
Realist, I can't see why someone in England (That's if you even are in England) would feel the need to comment on an Irish website about Scottish football. Worst of all, you don't mention Celtic in your post ONCE and just slag off rangers..I would hate to be storing even a percentage of the bitterness you are.
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