Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Celtic boss Neil Lennon slams his players after stunning Champions League exit

Celtic boss Neil Lennon slams his players after stunning Champions League exit

The Hoops were heading out on away goals before George Tucudean netted with the last kick of the ball to seal a 4-3 win for Cluj at Celtic Park and a 5-4 aggregate victory for the Romanians.

To bow out before the group stage even gets underway is a crushing blow, with Europa League football now on the horizon for Celtic.

"We had the lead and we've let it slip through our own decision making", said Lennon.

All it did was highlight the absence of Kieran Tierney, following his move to Arsenal, and display a lack of faith in new signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo.

That is exactly what the Bhoys did too, as second half strikes from James Forrest and Odsoone Edouard put the Glasgow giants in front, although they knew a goal from the Romanians would have turned everything full circle again. We weren't physical or aggressive enough and certainly didn't work hard enough to stop crosses, second balls.

Bain has received criticism after conceding four goals last night.

"You've got to do the basics well - you've got to stop crosses, close people down, get your head on things - and it was nearly as if we scored and wanted to switch off and control the game". The fourth goal is academic because we are trying to throw everything at them to get an equaliser. We had the lead twice and we have given it away.

Elsewhere in the third qualifying round, Apoel Nicosia, Rosenborg, Club Brugge and Dinamo Zagreb joined the list of teams who played the second-leg away from home to qualify.

Lennon was widely criticised for starting Callum McGregor at left back but in his post match interview, he explained the decision and refused to admit that this decision had anything to do with the result. "I mean he [McGregor] set up the first goal, played very well, and Ntcham had a fine game as well".

"It's hugely (disappointing) for us all", Lennon said.

"I never expected that".

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