Published: Sat, September 01, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Celtic crash out of Champions League at hands of AEK Athens

Celtic crash out of Champions League at hands of AEK Athens

They have spent £2m on disco lights at Celtic Park for Champions League nights.

The Scottish Champions earned almost 30 million euro after the reaching the group stages last season and the prize money has been increased.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell and his fellow-directors will no doubt point to the club record fee of £10 million to make Odsonne Eduard's loan from PSG permanent.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has also criticised the board for failing to secure the signature of John McGinn from Hibs, with the Scotland worldwide instead moving to Aston Villa.

"This is a level where we need all the help we can get", said Rodgers.

Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers said the centre-half's absence made him "sad" and he wanted to trust "players who want to be here".

"In the main, there weren't too many opportunities against us but you can't concede that easily and unfortunately it's cost us".

"I spoke to the players just to stabilise them a little bit", Rodgers said.

Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner stated: "I was always wary of this Achilles heel Celtic have with defending".

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"Hearts are much better than last season".

"That's something that hopefully we can do (but) it's no good for us now".

Substitute Scott Sinclair, who replaced Rogic two minutes earlier, gave Celtic hope with a 78th-minute headed goal.

Rodgers' Celtic career got off to the worst possible start with a shock 1-0 defeat by Lincoln Red Imps on a poor artificial surface in Gibraltar.

However, it seems that striker Moussa Dembele will have recovered from a hamstring injury quickly enough to feature in Athens.

Celtic will now go into the Europa League, where they will face either Lithuania's Suduva or Spartaks Jurmala of Latvia.

"We gave ourselves a chance with a goal at the end and we threw everything at it". I thought a lot of our build-up play was worth something from the game but you can't defend that softly and we were punished for it.

The Celtic star has been heavily linked with a move away from Parkhead, but Brendan Rodgers still sees him as a key member of his squad.

Goals: AEK Athens - Galo (6), Livaja (50); Celtic - Sinclair (78).

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