Benfica 2 Celtic 1: We’ll live to fight another day, insists Neil Lennon
Benfica 2 Celtic 1: Neil Lennon says Celtic will "live to fight another day" after their hopes of reaching the last-16 took a blow
Neil Lennon insisted Celtic will “live to fight another day” after the Hoops’ hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stage took a blow with defeat by Sparktak Moscow.
Ola John gave the home side the lead in the seventh minute before Georgios Samaras levelled in the 32nd minute from a Charlie Mulgrew corner.
Defender Ezequiel Garay restored Benfica’s lead in the 72nd minute to leave both sides on seven points after five games.
Celtic must better Benfica’s result against Barcelona at the Camp Nou to book their place in the last 16, and Lennon revealed his captain Scott Brown may miss the tie with a hip injury.
“We have one more crack at it against Spartak in two weeks and we live to fight another day,” Lennon said.
“We will hopefully have some players back for next week, we need to have some of the guys step forward from the back room.
“We can’t keep patching up Scott Brown [who has an ongoing hip problem] and we might have to shut him down because he is playing through pain and distress. It does not look good for him.”
Lennon was disappointed by the manner of Celtic’s performance, with the Hoops boss admitting their inexperience showed at the Stadium of Light,
“I’m disappointed with the two goals we conceded. There was a lack of composure, a nervousness, about us at times on the ball,” he added.
“It is a young team and this is a difficult place to come and play football. We gave it away in bad areas and cheaply and pressure is inevitably going to come from those errors.”