Celtic manager Neil Lennon fumes as Scottish champions crash out of Champions League

Dimitri Kondonis

Neil Lennon blasted his team after Celtic crashed out of the Champions League with defeat to CFR Cluj.

Celtic, after drawing 1-1 in Romania, led twice on the night but fell to a 4-3 defeat at Celtic Park.

It means the Scottish champions since 2012 will not feature in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.

"We had the lead and we've let it slip through our own decision making," said Lennon.

"The goals we conceded are crazy. You've got to do the basics well - you've got to stop crosses, close people down, get your head on things - and it was almost as if we scored and wanted to switch off.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 13: Celtic Manager Neil Lennon  is seen  during the UEFA Champions League, third qualifying round, second leg match between Celtic and CFR Cluj at Celtic Park on August 13, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Neil Lennon was left frustrated as his team were knocked out of the Champions League (Credit: Getty Images)
Cluj manager Dan Petrescu celebrates victory after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Cluj celebrated the last-ditch victory (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)

"We've only ourselves to blame. If you don't do the basics defensively well enough then at this level you get punished. We've let it go."

The Hoops made a storming start to the second half to go 2-1 ahead through goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard but Scott Brown’s handball allowed Billel Omrani to net from the spot.

Ryan Christie soon put Celtic back in front but Omrani quickly levelled in the 80th minute to put the Romanians ahead on away goals.

George Tucudean then netted with the last kick of the game to seal a 5-4 aggregate win in the third qualifying round.

Additional by PA:Media

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