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FA Cup quarterfinal draw

FA Cup

Celtic rewarded for Barcelona break down

Neil Lennon has praised his clinical Celtic side for their momentous 2-1 Champions League win over Barcelona on Wednesday, insisting they were rewarded for taking the game to the Spanish giants.

• Netherton: Barca the real winners

After being accused of playing "anti-football" during their visit to Camp Nou, the Bhoys responded in the best possible fashion and Lennon believes it was all down to finding a tactical way to repel Barcelona.

"We knew we could affect them at corners, we looked at their back-post area with [Jordi] Alba in the zonal system and Charlie Mulgrew is one of the best dead-ball players around," Lennon said.

"It gives us a great chance [of qualifying]. Benfica beat Spartak [Moscow] so they're still on our tails, we've got to go to Benfica now and raise our game again. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it - I just want to enjoy the night."

Celtic now sit two points behind group leaders Barcelona thanks to goals from Victor Wanyama and 18-year-old Tony Watt. Lennon believes the victory was well-deserved for Celtic's patience, adding to the club's 125th anniversary celebrations.

"It's right up there, one of the proudest nights in my career," Lennon said. "It was a monumental effort from all those players and on the anniversary of club, it's a very special occasion.

"I wanted them to do themselves justice and they've even surpassed that, they've beaten the best club in the world. You try to weather the storm, you know it's coming and there's not a lot you can do.

"Then young Tony comes on, gives us new lease of life and scores a great second goal, and he'll go down in history now."

Wanyama, who opened the scoring for Celtic from a Charlie Mulgrew corner, was overwhelmed by the win and is now focussed on securing a place in the knockout stages.

"If we keep on doing the same, we're going to get great results and we're going to be there," he said. "This is unbelievable. I can't even describe it, it's just unreal to beat one of the best teams in the world.

"We were calm with the ball and that's what kept us in the game, we believed in ourselves. The first goal was important and gave us the energy to go on. We have been working hard at set-pieces, we knew we were going to get one and we did it well."


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