March 18, 2018

Celtic lacked real courage, says Rodgers

26 February 2018, 02:19 | Camille Rivera

The Celtic fans were wrapped up in big coats while notorious hard man Brown sported skin

The Celtic fans were wrapped up in big coats while notorious hard man Brown sported skin

The Sweden worldwide struggled at the Krestovskyi Stadium as Zenit found the back of the net three times to wipe out Celtic's advantage from the first leg and knock them out of the Europa League; the Hoops won the corresponding fixture 1-0 at Paradise last week.

The former Liverpool manager expects Zenit, who because of the winter break in Russian Federation played their first competitive game in two months at Celtic Park, to be more attacking in front of their own supporters.

Celtic have now failed to reach the last 16 of a European tournament since the 2012-13 Champions League, while Zenit are still hoping to repeat their UEFA Cup success from 10 years ago after the 3-1 aggregate win.

The tie was effectively sealed on the hour mark, however, as Ivanovic's low cross across the Celtic box found Aleksandr Kokorin at the back post to fire home to make it 3-0 to Roberto Mancini's men.

While De Vries had little chance with the opener, he would have expected to do better with Kuzyaev's strike that put Zenit in charge of the tie in the 27th minute.

"But I just thought defensively, as a back line, we didn't press the game or squeeze the space".

Rodgers kept faith with the same XI that started the first leg in Glasgow, hardly a surprise after he branded their performance at Celtic Park as "brilliant" in the immediate aftermath.

"Of course, we would have liked to have had one or two more goals but the concentration and our quality in our game was at a very high level".

"We played a flawless game really in how the players defended and attacked".

Sport Express Ru have reported on the game, and they haven't been generous to Celtic with their ratings.

"If we had shown more courage and more belief we could have got a result".

The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. "We played a very good game". Celtic's tempo in Glasgow was very hard for us.

Scott Sinclair was named as a substitute for last week's first leg, but Brendan Rodgers may be tempted to field the former Manchester City player here.

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