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‘BITTERLY DISAPPOINTING,’ LENNY

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DISAPPOINTED Celtic boss Neil Lennon watched his team topple to their first league defeat of 2020 with a truly awful performance against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit at Parkhead this afternoon.

A goal in each half from centre-half Conor Goldson – with keeper Vasilis Barkas looking far from convincing with the first in only nine minutes – saw the nine-in-a-row champions drift four points behind the visitors.

Despite players missing for a variety of reasons, there can be little excuse for an hour and half plus stoppage time of football without getting a solitary shot on target.

Visiting keeper Allan McGregor had the day off while the Hoops forwards had an off day.

Lennon, speaking to the club website, said: “It was disappointing to lose the two goals in the way we did and, while we didn’t have a clutch of chances, we did have some good chances that we didn’t take and that, in essence, is the game in a nutshell.

“We went a goal down. It was poor from us and we should have defended the set-play a lot better. Then Moi Elyounoussi had a great chance to equalise and, psychologically, we would have been in the game.

“Going out and conceding so early in the second-half, and the manner of it, was bitterly disappointing. You could just tell we lacked a little bit of experience out there today and a little bit of nous.

“We still had a good team out there and I felt we should have done better. We should have been at least level at half-time and then that would have given us a foothold in the game, but when we went 2-0 down, we just looked like we were out of ideas and the substitutes really didn’t have the impact we were looking for.”

There were five players making their derby bows, with AC Milan loanee Diego Laxalt making his debut.

The Hoops gaffer reckoned the Uruguayan left-back did well in his first game considering he hadn’t played a competitive game since July.

He added: “It’s difficult for him coming in, but I thought his play looked strong. He put some really good balls into the box, his positional sense was good and he looked comfortable in that environment.

“I also thought young Stephen Welsh played really well, considering all the talk about him before the game. I thought he handled the game very well.”

HOOPS FIRE BLANKS IN DIRE DISPLAY

 
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