Dream over for Celtic after Old Lady thrashing




CELTIC manager Neil Lennon admitted his side were outclassed as their remarkable Champions League journey came to an end with a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Juventus.

The Italians, nicknamed the Old Lady, held a 3-0 advantage from the first leg and goals from Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella either side of half-time sealed Celtic’s fate.

And Lennon acknowledged the best team went through.

“Quality counts,” he said. “Our finishing let us down, but our build up play was very good. Efe Ambrose had a chance to score at the end of the first half that would have made it 1-1. If that goes in who knows what could have happened?

“But class tells in the end.”

The Glaswegian side bowed out of the Champions League after defying the odds to qualify for the knockout rounds, which included registering an unlikely victory against Barcelona in the group stage.

Their run in the competition has helped make stars out of goalkeeper Fraser Forster and striker Gary Hooper among others.

And Lennon hopes his players will become even better for their experiences against the cream of European football.

“I hope our players have learned a lot,” he said. “They have done themselves and the club proud. I hope the young guys blossom from this experience.”

Elsewhere in the competition a 1-1 draw between Paris Saint-Germain and Valencia at Parc des Princes was enough to send the French side through to the quarter-finals for the first time in 18 years.

England captain David Beckham was an unused substitute for Carlo Ancelotti’s team who won 3-2 on aggregate.