Neil Lennon says Celtic ‘threw away’ Champions League chance

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Neil Lennon says Celtic 'threw away' Champions League chance

Celtic have been by way of with 11 minutes left however conceded two late targets

Neil Lennon mentioned his Celtic aspect “threw away” a spot within the Champions League play-off spherical by conceding 4 “loopy” targets to CFR Cluj in Glasgow.

The Scottish champions misplaced 4-Three on the evening – and 5-Four on mixture – regardless of main twice in opposition to the Romanians.

Celtic have now exited the competitors at this stage in successive seasons, after shedding to AEK Athens final time period.

“We had the lead and we have let it slip by way of our personal determination making,” Lennon instructed BBC Scotland.

“The targets we conceded are loopy. You have to do the fundamentals properly – you have to cease crosses, shut folks down, get your head on issues – and it was nearly as if we scored and needed to modify off.

“We have solely ourselves accountable. When you do not do the fundamentals defensively properly sufficient then at this stage you get punished. We have let it go.”

Celtic trailed 2-1 on mixture at half-time after Cirpian Deac headed Cluj into the lead, however appeared to have turned the tie round with targets from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard.

Nonetheless, Billel Omrani transformed a penalty after captain Scott Brown dealt with and, though Ryan Christie restored Celtic’s lead once more, Omrani and George Tucudean struck to earn Cluj a shock win.

“We did not compete within the first 45 minutes in any respect,” mentioned Lennon. “The second half we actually had much more urgency however the targets we conceded are loopy. We wanted that two-goal cushion actually.

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“What shocked me was our strategy to the sport. We have labored onerous to get the place we’re and we have mainly thrown it away.

“Now we have to take a look at the Europa League, make sure that we qualify first then take it from there.”

Lennon additionally defended his determination to start out midfielder Callum McGregor at left-back instead of summer time signing Boli Bolingoli.

“Individuals can level at that however he [McGregor] did arrange our equaliser and had an excellent sport,” the supervisor mentioned. “I do not suppose the left aspect was the issue tonight.”

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