The official website for European football

Lennon celebrates Celtic's 'phenomenal effort'

Published: Thursday 6 December 2012, 0.20CET
Neil Lennon described Celtic FC reaching the knockout stages as a "monumental achievement", whilst Valeri Karpin was postive about eliminated FC Spartak Moskva's display.
Published: Thursday 6 December 2012, 0.20CET

Lennon celebrates Celtic's 'phenomenal effort'

Neil Lennon described Celtic FC reaching the knockout stages as a "monumental achievement", whilst Valeri Karpin was postive about eliminated FC Spartak Moskva's display.

Neil Lennon, Celtic manager
It means a hell of a lot to the club. It is a monumental achievement on our behalf. To be at the big table in the new year is a phenomenal effort. To get ten points is a phenomenal effort.

We did not play well in the first half but we got a break with the goal and then we were slack for their goal. In the second half we were a lot better and created good chances; we had to go for it and thankfully it came through for us.

Gary [Hooper] showed why he is in the side with a great goal. He's a goalscorer and he's had a fantastic campaign so far. I've watched our last couple of penalties and we didn't score them so I couldn't watch this one. Kris Commons has gone down in folklore with that goal.

This has been a great learning experience for us all. Now we are more than just the team who beat Barcelona, we are the team who beat them and qualified. This is the premier event, the toughest of the tough. No one gave us a prayer going into this group. This is the best night of my career as manager of this club.

Valeri Karpin, Spartak caretaker coach
I want to congratulate Celtic, it is a great success for them. If we forget about that costly mistake we put one of our best performances in both defence and  attack before the break. I want to thank the fans who came here to support us in the game which could not decide anything.

It is a shame to lose in such matches when the opponents have the minimum of goalscoring opportunities and when it's 2-1 on the scoreboard. I can't remember any more Celtic opportunities while we had some great attacks and combinations before the break and could easily score if we'd taken the right decision.

Our three attacking midfielders were not that active in the second half, probably because they were not ready physically. That is why we had some problems with the transition from defence to attack. However if we take the whole game I don't have any problems with anybody. I want to thank all my lads for this game.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.11CET

Related information

Team profiles features

Who exactly are Zorya Luhansk?
  • Who exactly are Zorya Luhansk?
  • Ten claims to fame: Rapid Wien
  • Ten claims to fame: Lazio
  • Watch: When Club Brugge fell to Liverpool at Wembley
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Lionel Messi
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Luis Suárez
  • Wexford Youths relish European bow
  • Apollon's Cuschieri ready for Hibernians reunion
  •'s weekly wonderkid: Assane Gnoukouri
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.