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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers bemoans Champions League exit

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CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers has blamed poor defending for Celtic’s Champions League exit.

AEK Athens defeated Celtic 2-1 in their Champions League second leg third qualifying round tie in Greece. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed as his side lost 3-2 on aggregate.

Brendan Rodgers warned his side that the third qualifying round tie in the Olympic Stadium was his biggest qualifying challenge they would after the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Scotland last week.

However, it took only six minutes for his side to go behind, thanks to a Rodrigo Galo strike.

Things got worse for the visitors when Croatian striker Marko Livaja headed in a second goal just five minutes into the second half.

Substitute Scott Sinclair scored in the 78th minute for Celtic to reduce the deficit a goal, but the Scottish champions could not score a second goal which would have helped them qualified on away goals.

And Brendan Rodgers was far from pleased with his side’s defending in Greece. Daily Star reports.

Speaking to the press after the game, he said: “Over the course of the two games it’s disappointing to have that much control and opportunities in the games and concede soft goals,”

“We gave ourselves a chance with a goal at the end and we threw everything at it.””I thought a lot of our build-up play in that final third was worthy of something from the game.

“But you can’t defend that softly and in the end, we were punished for it.

“This is the competition we want to be in and qualification is getting even harder now.

“But I still felt this was a game with our play and the qualities that we had more than enough to win.”