Published: Mon, February 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic

Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes there are some positives to take from the club's Europa League defeat last night.

Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter.

Despite a very impressive 1-0 home win over Zenit St Petersburg, the Hoops lost 3-0 in the return leg.

The one-goal lead from the first leg was reversed before half an hour had been played in Russian Federation as defender Branislav Ivanovic put Zenit in front with a header and Daler Kuzyayev netted in the 27th minute to turn the tie in the hosts' favour.

Daler Kuzyayev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute to turn the tie in the hosts' favour. "We didn't close the space..."

"Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren't aggressive enough and a little bit passive".

"Of course, we would have liked to have had one or two more goals but the concentration and our quality in our game was at a very high level".

The veteran defender celebrated turning 34 by scoring the opening goal in the seventh minute, powering in a header from a corner to make it 1-1 on aggregate, before setting up Zenit's third in the second half.

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But, at 2-0 down, we were still in the game and we had to show bravery.

And the change almost worked wonders instantly with the Australian having Celtic's first shot of the game with the second half barely a minute old.

"I think there's still an terrible lot of work for us to do, but there have been a lot of positives for us in both competitions".

"We talk about defending forward and we just didn't defend forward well enough".

"We deserved to win", said Mancini.

The stadium's roof was closed over which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside.

"But frankly, after a 3-2 defeat on home turf, we were in a hard position".

Despite the defeat to Zenit, Celtic still have plenty to play for this season, and look on course for another treble.

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