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‘I’LL NEVER FORGET ROSENBORG HELL,’ SAYS LENNON

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NEIL LENNON can’t forget Celtic’s trip to ‘Hell’ when they faced Rosenborg in the Champions League group stages in 2001.

As Brendan Rodgers prepares his players for tomorrow night’s third round qualifying first leg against the Norwegians, the former Hoops skipper and manager looked back at two tough meetings against the same opponents.

Lennon, now in charge at Hibs, recalled how the Scandinavians gave Martin O’Neill’s men a rough ride 16 years ago.

He said: “Celtic were supposed to play their first-ever Champions League group game at home against Rosenborg in 2011 – but it got cancelled because of 9/11.

“The team were staying at Dalmahoy and we got the call from UEFA the night before saying that the match wasn’t going to go ahead.

“It was an unprecedented set of circumstances and it was definitely the right thing to do. It was totally understandable as we could not have played a football match in that atmosphere.”

Lennon added: “We beat Rosenborg 1-0 at Celtic Park and Alan Thomson scored the winner.

“My memories of that game were that Rosenborg were an incredibly fit team and the pace of the game especially in the first 45 minutes was relentless.

“We went 1-0 up in the first-half and at the interval we were all saying to ourselves that they were a real handful and we were in a game.

“We lost 2-0 to them away in Norway when Harald Brattbakk scored twice. It was snowing that night and we made two mistakes and got punished, despite being the better team.

“I remember the Rosenborg trip well because the place the Celtic team stayed in was called ‘Hell’.

“It turned out to be most appropriate!”

Episode 5 of The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind comes hot on the heels of one of the club’s most controversial European ties in recent memory.

* What now for the Green Brigade?
* Dedryck Boyata – Are reinforcements on route?
* Virgil van Dijk – The windfall cometh;
* Farewell to Emilio Izaguirre.

Listen to the latest episode here:

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