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Who will Celtic play in the Europa League after shock Champions League exit?


Neil Lennon’s men missed on qualification to the qualifying rounds of the Champions League at Parkhead on Tuesday night, going down 4-3 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.

After leading 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, which would have been enough to take them through, the Scottish champions conceded twice to end their hopes.

The Hoops dropped into the Europa League last season after losing to Greek outfit AEK Athens and the same fate now awaits them this season.

And they will now face Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova or Sweden’s AIK in the play-off round for the competition.

Celtic lost 5-4 on aggregate to CFR Cluj in the Champions League (Pic: GETTY)

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Celtic will play in the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League (Pic: GETTY)

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Celtic will now go into the Europa League draw (Pic: GETTY)

Celtic went into the second leg confident of getting the job done in front of their home fans after securing a 1-1 draw in Romania.

But a Cirpian Deac header meant the Hoops went in at half-time behind on aggregate.

Lennon’s men came out fighting in the second half though and goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard but them ahead in the tie.

But they were pegged back again with 16 minutes left when Billel Omrani’s penalty gave Cluj the lead on away goals.

Ryan Christie forced Celtic in front again before Omrani and George Tucudean struck to seal the home side’s fate.

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Celtic led three times at Parkhead but still lost to Cluj (Pic: GETTY)

Lennon blasted his players after the defeat, insisting their defending was suicidal at times.

“The goals we conceded are crazy,” he said.

“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 and control the game.

“In the first half, we were way too passive, way too slow with the tempo, so we gave them a bit of a razz at half-time and we got the right response going 2-1 up.

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Celtic boss Neil Lennon was left seething with his players after the loss (Pic: GETTY)

“But we needed that two-goal cushion. It’s suicidal the goals we gave away tonight.

“The first goal, we got a warning before that, and we still didn’t stop the cross and the guy’s got across for a run.

“If you don’t do the basics defensively well enough then at this level you get punished.

“We’ve let it go. We’ve only ourselves to blame.

“We had the lead and we let it slip through our own decision-making really.”



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