Celtic manager Neil Lennon has accused his players of turning in a ‘weak’ performance after their 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League.
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Brazil star Neymar scored a hat-trick as the visitors slumped to their heaviest defeat in Europe since they lost 5-0 away to Artmedia in a Champions League qualifier in 2005, yet Lennon was unforgiving of his players efforts.
Describing himself as ‘angry and disappointed’, Lennon, who gave his players a very public dressing down, pulled few punches as he ripped into their performance at the Nou Camp.
“Barcelona were fantastic as we expected them to be but we were very poor,” stated Lennon “I wouldn’t say some players gave up but it certainly looked that way at times.
“I would never accuse a player of doing that, but a lot of half-hearted performances and as a manager that was the most disappointing aspect of the whole game. There was no bravery on the ball tonight, we started off nervously and it looked like our heads went down at 2-0.
“We were weak and that has not been like us. That is something I have to address going forward. It is a sore one and I am hurting a little bit as are the players.
“It was unacceptable from some of the players, nowhere near the performances against Barcelona recently so that was very disappointing, obviously.
“There were only two or three players who showed anything. Virgil van Dijk, Adam Matthews and Mikael Lustig and I excuse the goalkeeper [Fraser Forster], but the rest of the team were very, very poor, well below the standards set in the last few years.
“It was really tough to take. We were playing a great side but we were better than that. We will have to analyse it and look at the character which was there tonight."