St Mirren Park

Next Game

St Mirren v Celtic

Friday, 03 April 2015, 19:45

Scots Prem

Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 3 - 0 Dundee U

Saturday, 21 March 2015, 15:00

Scots Prem

Lennon lauds fantastic win

Neil Lennon hailed a 'monumental effort' from his Celtic side after they beat Ajax 2-1 to pick up their first points in UEFA Champions League Group H.

Last Updated: 23/10/13 at 07:31 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Delighted with Celtic's character in the victory over Ajax

Neil Lennon: Delighted with Celtic's character in the victory over Ajax

Celtic had been beaten by Barcelona and AC Milan in their opening two fixtures but kept their hopes of a place in the last 16 alive with a hard-fought home win.

James Forrest's penalty and Beram Kayal's strike did the damage for the Bhoys, before Nir Biton was sent off in the 88th minute and Lasse Schone's stoppage-time reply for Ajax.

Manager Lennon was proud of his players but would not go as far as saying they could win in Holland, with Ajax now bottom of the group on one point and Celtic just two behind second-placed Milan.

"I said they would give us problems and our squad is stretched, so that's a fantastic win for us and a monumental effort from the players tonight," Lennon said.

"It's a big ask (to win at Ajax). They're a good side.

"We needed our goalkeeper to make a great save just before we got the second goal, but I felt that in the second half tonight we were a lot better.

"We didn't keep the ball well enough for my liking in the first half but we grew into the game."

The Celtic boss added: "It leaves us in a very good position.

"We will have to get a result in Amsterdam and that is going to be very difficult on tonight's evidence but it is not beyond us.

"We have three points, just two points behind Milan so the group is open for us again."

Lennon, who insisted Kayal was "worth his weight in gold" for his goal and a saving tackle on Viktor Fischer in the first half, praised Forrest's bravery in taking the penalty when regular spot-kick taker Kris Commons was out through injury.

The former Celtic skipper said: "He keeps telling me he has never missed a penalty so this morning we had a chat and he said he would take it, because obviously Kris was out.

"He kept his cool because obviously there was a lot of gamesmanship going on from the goalkeeper but he kept his cool.

"It was a big moment in the game, just before half-time and it set us up very nicely for the second half."

On Biton's ordering off, Lennon said: "I had no complaints. He was late. I'm not convinced there was contact but he left a trailing leg."

Ajax boss Frank De Boer remains confident that his side can still get third place in the group.

The former Rangers player said: "Celtic didn't create anything although they scored twice, once with a penalty.

"We dominated the game but only scored once and should have equalised before they got their second.

"It is going to be very hard for us to get second place but I have confidence in the third place.

"We have one point and if we win at home we will be one point ahead of Celtic.

"It will be difficult but if we play that way again...eight times out of 10 the best team wins and I thought we were the best team.

"But only goals count and we will have to do it in the Arena."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila keen on new loan for Jason Denayer

Celtic manager Ronny Deila will try to persuade Jason Denayer and Manchester City to extend the centre-back's loan.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company