Champions League: Lennon defiant after late goals hit Bhoys’ bid


CELTIC manager Neil Lennon still hopes to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage, despite two late goals giving his side a nightmare start to perhaps the hardest of all groups.

The Bhoys looked on course for a valuable point in Italy until eight minutes form time, when AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata’s shot cruelly deflected in via the visitors’ Emilio Izaguirre. A bad evening became worse moments later when goalkeeper Fraser Forster superbly saved Mario Balotelli’s free-kick, only for Sulley Muntari to follow up.

“I am bitterly disappointed because for long periods of the game we were the better team,” said Lennon. “That is a mark of how well we have developed and how well we played tonight.”

Lennon’s men progressed from their group last season and the Northern Irishman has not given up hope of repeating that feat.

“We have Barcelona next and they are a different animal,” he added. “But we are here to qualify and nothing changes my view after that performance.”