Loss leaves Celtic 'needing miracle'

Celtic 0-3 Juventus
Published Tuesday, 12 February 2013
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Lurgan-born Celtic boss Neil Lennon admitted his side will "need a miracle" if they are to progress in the Champions League, after losing heavily to Juventus.

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The Hoops were beaten 3-0 at Parkhead despite giving a hugely credible performance in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday night.

They were taught a harsh lesson by the Serie A champions, who opened the scoring after just three minutes when Alessandro Matri slotted home.

Celtic pushed for an equaliser and dominated for large periods of the game but were unable to make the most of their chances.

Claudio Marchisio added a second for Juventus on 77 minutes before Mirko Vucinic scored a third six minutes later to give them a seemingly insurmountable lead going into the return leg.

Lennon acknowledged that it will be difficult for Celtic to turn the tie around.

"We need a miracle," he said. "But it's the harsh reality of Champions League football and some of my young players will learn a huge lesson tonight.

"I thought for 70-odd minutes, until the second goal, we were by far the better side - but you can't give away goals like we gave away, sloppy.

"Efe was poor for the first goal but we had good chances to equalise. Then we switched off defensively for the second goal and the third goal was poor."

Lennon also raised concerns over the way Juventus - and Stephane Lichtsteiner in particular - defended corners, after the Swiss player was booked after tangling with Gary Hooper but continued grappling with the striker and also Ambrose and Scott Brown.

He continued: "I'd like to ask the referee, is the game different in Spain or Italy?

"Every time one of my players tried to move he was held. He should have given a penalty on at least two occasions."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
10 Comments
william in coleraine wrote (429 days ago):
fair play to celtic they played well enough to get there. but the home fans were disrespectful to their own players. they started leaving after the 3rd goal. full house at parkhead something you couldnt say alot in the league this season. highest attendtance in scotland is a division 3 team, celtic fans must only be part time!
ger in dublin wrote (429 days ago):
Celtic played well against the best team in Italian football, to all fans of the team formerly known as Rangers how can you laugh at a successfull club like Celtic when you are playing in the lower leagues of scottish football. Celtic are playing against the greatest footballers in world football in the champions league, your team are playing against milkmen, carpenters, plumbers etc. keep laughing sevco
Impartial Observer in Behind the box wrote (429 days ago):
Hooper behaved disgracefully and should have had at least a yellow if not a red card. Dirty tricks from celtic...
alan in blue belfast wrote (429 days ago):
mmmm probly not but im sure im not as bitter as you lol follow follow
Mmmmm European Football in Paradise wrote (430 days ago):
Alan, I bet you didn't laugh half as much as I did when the third goal for Dundee United went in against your lot in the Scottish Cup. Hail, hail.
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CHRIS BRENNAN
It's a two-horse race now, but one even the most-seasoned pundit would be brave to call.
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