Lennon: No apology to Neymar

Celtic Coach Neil Lennon has criticised Neymar for his reaction to being kicked by Scott Brown, commenting that no apology to the Barcelona man is due.

The Bhoys lost their captain Brown to a sending off on the hour mark of Tuesday’s Champions League match at Celtic Park, for his kick out at Neymar, with the Brazilian on the floor after an original foul.

The home crowd booed the 21-year-old forward for the rest of the game, just as Celtic’s manager afterwards was less than sympathetic.

“I don't think Neymar does himself any favours by the way he behaves at times,” Lennon told reporters.

“So I don't think I need to apologise to Neymar and I don't think I need to justify the defence of my captain.

“There was a lot more going on in the game that warranted heavier punishment, so it was a game-changing decision.

“The sending-off is uncalled for and unnecessary. It's very soft. I have looked at it – if there was any contact it was minimal.

“The crowd? Our supporters are very respectful of great players. Andres Iniesta walks off the pitch to a standing ovation from the Celtic support.

“Neymar, after the incident, gets booed every time he touches the ball by our support.

“Should Brown have known better? Possibly. There is a debatable point there. But again, having reviewed it, I didn't think there was very much in it.

“There's no question it was a foul. The referee was going to book Scott for the initial foul. Then the tap, if you want to call it that – is it dangerous play? I'm not so sure.”

Lennon turned his attention to his side’s performance, which generally restricted Barcelona.

“I thought our shape was good and we limited Barcelona to very few chances until the sending-off and goal.

“It's very difficult playing against Barcelona with 11 players but with 10 it's even more difficult. But we played very well tonight.

“We could have passed the ball better in the first half but in the second we were a lot better. For 25 minutes we were, I won't say equal, but comfortable.”

And the hosts had the clearest sight of goal from Charlie Mulgrew’s back-post header at a corner, before Cesc Fabregas’ goal at the other end.

“My initial reaction was that it was in – but it flashed past the post. It was a great opportunity and you don't get many.

“Of course two minutes later Cesc scores the winner, so the game has hinged on those five minutes.

“They'll be really disappointed that for all their efforts they didn't get something out of the game but they can take satisfaction and pride that they are competing, and competing well, against the toughest group in the Champions League.

“I'm pleased with the result in Amsterdam [1-1 between Ajax and Milan]. The double-header with Ajax, if we have any aspirations to qualify, is pivotal.”

Tags Brown Celtic Lennon Neymar