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Champions League Qualifying Third Round

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 19:45

Champions League Qualifying Second Round

Lennon enjoying European ride

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has told his players that their UEFA Champions League campaign is not about to get any easier as they look to tie up qualification for the last 16.

Last Updated: 20/11/12 at 19:04 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Knows Celtic still have work to do to clinch a spot in the last 16

Neil Lennon: Knows Celtic still have work to do to clinch a spot in the last 16

The Scottish champions have enhanced their reputation in home and away games against Barcelona, narrowly losing at Camp Nou before claiming a famous victory in Glasgow.

They are second in Group G and in control of their own destiny, but Lennon does not want complacency to creep in ahead of tough clashes with Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

He said: "I really enjoyed the first game against Benfica and qualifying against Helsingborgs was a tremendous night for the players and the supporters. The win in Moscow was a huge psychological lift and it broke the hoodoo.

"Benfica away is as difficult as Barcelona away. Spartak at home will be very dangerous because they might just come here with nothing to lose."

Celtic drew 0-0 at home to Benfica in a tight opening fixture which was the debut Champions League group game for the vast majority of their team.

But they have grown in confidence since then with a 3-2 win over Spartak showing they could take the game to teams away from home, before they defied the odds with their performances against Barcelona.

Ahead of Tuesday's trip to Portugal, Lennon said: "So far the players have given us a hell of a ride. I don't think anyone would have expected us to be where we are now.

"We have given ourselves a good foothold in the group and the players are developing very well.

"The expectation after the Barcelona game is that 'you are going through to the last 16, it's going to be comfortable for you'. But we still have a lot to do."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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