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John Hartson reacts to Celtic exit from Champions League

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic

John Hartson reacts to Celtic exit from Champions League

John Hartson branded his former club Celtic “lacklustre” after they suffered elimination from the Champions League in the qualifying rounds.

The Bhoys have been dumped out of the Champions League in the third round qualifiers by Romanian outfit CRF Cluj.

Neil Lennon’s team earned a 1-1 away draw in the first leg and were expected to finish the job on Tuesday night at Parkhead.

But the Scottish champions suffered a 4-3 home defeat to lose 5-4 on aggregate and it means they will drop down to Europa League qualifiers.

There were goals from James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie for the hosts during a frantic game against Cluj that swung one way then the other.

But ultimately Celtic’s poor defensive performance let them down and there were several individual errors.

 

Pundit Hartson teared into Celtic for their display and has suggested they may have taken Cluj lightly.

“It’s a game Celtic should have taken care of, they should have put to bed,” Hartson said on The Debate, as cited by Sky Sports Football on Twitter.

“They are at home, generally Celtic at home in Europe in the qualifiers are very, very strong.

“Tonight I think they have been a little bit lacklustre. They have took the opposition for granted and they have obviously not defended particularly well.”

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

TBR’s View:

Celtic endured a horrific night in Europe that means another season without the Champions League and it’s a significant blow for the club, as they look miles away from the elite teams.

Goalkeeper Scott Bain had a difficult night in net, while captain Scott Brown gave away a penalty and looked a long way from his best.

The entire Bhoys backline were vulnerable too and the loss of full-back Kieran Tierney to Arsenal looks even greater now.

Celtic still have domestic history to go in search of this campaign and may find some joy in the Europa League, but it was ultimately another wake up call for the club on the Champions League stage.

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