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

Football | Champions League

Neil Lennon © Gallo Images

Celtic cry foul after UCL humbling



Celtic manager Neil Lennon accused the referee of favouring Juventus after a series of penalty-box tussles went unpunished in their Champions League last-16 first leg.

Celtic were ruthlessly taken apart in a 3-0 defeat in Glasgow on Tuesday as the Italians soaked up everything the Scots could throw at them and counter-punched their way to a substantial first-leg lead.

It was the persistent pushing and shoving at corners and free kicks that irked the Glasgow club and sparked a post-match debate after Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco chose to warn players rather than give the hosts a penalty.

"I thought he (the referee) was poor," Lennon said on Sky Sports. "I thought he was very pro-Juventus. I was disappointed with his performance to say the least."

He added: "It's not rugby we're playing, it's soccer.

"I pointed it out to the referee at halftime in the tunnel area but he just waved me away. I made it clear to the players to flag it up to the referee in the second half but he ignored our requests.

"They were being fouled, manhandled. Every time one of my players tried to move he was held. He should have given a penalty on at least two occasions.

"I'd like to know what the interpretation of the rules are in Italy or Spain, because it's blatantly different to what they are in Britain from what I've seen tonight. They were fouling on every opportunity and he was staring right at it. So are the rules different in Spain? Because, on that showing, they must be."

Stephan Lichtsteiner was involved in a long-running tussle with Celtic striker Gary Hooper, with both receiving yellow cards in the first half.

The Juventus defender seemed more intent on keeping Hooper away from his goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon than making any attempt to defend the ball.

"It's normal," Lichtsteiner told Sky Sports. "I think it is part of football that they play the corners and the free kicks, and of course they score more than 40 percent of their goals in the Champions League from free kicks, and they look to block the goalkeeper.

"It was my role today to keep him away from Buffon.

"A penalty for what?" he added. "It is more a foul from him than for me because if you attack the goalkeeper it is a goal."

Celtic took a different view with midfielder Kris Commons questioning how the additional officials Uefa employ behind the goal failed to spot any offence.

"You've got a referee there, a guy behind the goal, a linesman - the whole idea of the official behind the goal is to look out for this sort of stuff," Commons said.

"If he can't identify when people are being hauled, manhandled, wrestled to the floor then I don't think he should be in a job."

Celtic right back Mikael Lustig added: "They used a lot of arms when we got our corners but it is up to the referee. Of course we tried to speak to him but he didn't listen to us."

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

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



John Dykes
Hero worship from Bollywood to Bayern
A truly hectic travel schedule provided a timely reminder of the way football lights up people’s...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Refereeing cowardice or good player management?
Was this good refereeing or refereeing cowardice? The incident highlighted in the picture again...

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Is this the turning point for Man United?
Before the season started, if anyone told Manchester United’s new boss Louis Van Gaal that at...

Carol Radull
No mystery why Arsenal can't beat United
I am a little delusional. When it comes to Arsenal, I always am. To say that I am a frustrated...

Sunday Oliseh
The Super Eagles' only way out
For some people in Nigeria, football is no longer a sport, but rather it is all about money,...

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