--%>
Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Champions League

Neil Lennon © Action Images

Celtic target European glory



Neil Lennon says Celtic are ready for their crucial Champions League match against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday despite watching his side held to a shock 1-1 draw with part-timers Arbroath in the Scottish Cup.

The Hoops face the Russians at Celtic Park on Wednesday knowing they must better Benfica's result against Barcelona if they are to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2008.

With one eye on that crucial clash Lennon made nine changes for the match for the visit of Second Division Arbroath.

However, his makeshift side, which still contained six internationals, couldn't end Celtic's dismal run of form at home where they have won just one of their last four matches - against Catalan giants Barcelona - and haven't won on domestic duty since October 30 when they thrashed St Johnstone 5-0 in the League Cup.

But Lennon insists his side will be fully focussed for Wednesday.

"I haven't got major problems at all. We have to shift this bogey off our back about winning at home but my disappointment is we didn't win the game comfortably like we should have done," the Celtic manager said.

"It will have absolutely no reflection on our game on Wednesday whatsoever.

"It will be a different team out there, it will be a different opposition, a different atmosphere and a different prize at the end of it.

"So the players will be fully focussed on Wednesday and I'm hoping to get a different scoreline from my point of view anyway.

"We have to rise to the occasion. We have to win the game. It's got nothing to do with today."

Against Arbroath the Hoops struggled to create any meaningful chances before a ridiculous own goal handed them a 36th minute lead when defender Stewart Malcolm's attempted clearance diverted off the backside of Alex Keddie and past Scott Morrison.

The Hoops upped the tempo in the second half and Morrison made superb saves to deny Miku and Lassad Nouioui before Arbroath shocked the home support with an 87th minute equaliser.

A Steven Doris free-kick took a wicked deflection on its way into the net to set up a December 12 replay at Gayfield.

Despite several of his fringe players failing to shine against the part-timers Lennon said he didn't regret ringing the changes for the match.

"No, not at all. It was a good team we put out and that reflected in the play," the Hoops boss said.

"We made nine changes and should have won the game but we didn't. We have hit the bar and their keeper has made a couple of good saves. We dominated possession and it wasn't as if we weren't trying to score.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ex ref assaulted in street
I don’t want to be flippant about this but I can’t decide whether to describe this incident as a...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Shankly said it best
These days the words of Bill Shankly seem to be echoing in my ears every weekend. “If you can't...

Carol Radull
When will Kenya qualify?
I don’t like international football weeks, particularly when there are qualifiers going on. I...

Neil Tovey
Lost in translation
The May Mahlangu situation highlights the fact that communication in football is vital.

Clyde Tlou
Bafana snub needs stronger action
After featuring in 24 matches, 19 starts and five off the bench for his Swedish club, IFK...

John Dykes
Saints, scorers and surprise picks
It’s a measure of just how far Liverpool and Manchester United are off the pace right now that I...