Qualification still achievable for my ‘exceptional’ Celtic side – Lennon

Neil Lennon is thrilled that his Celtic side is still in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase of the Champions League despite Tuesday night’s loss.

The Bhoys were beaten 2-1 by Benfica in Lisbon but are still alive in the competition as they sit third on the Group G table, equal on points with the Portuguese outfit.

With Barcelona already through, Celtic needs to beat Spartak Moscow in the final group fixture on December 5 and hope the Catalan giants can avoid defeat to Benfica and Lennon is holding hope that can occur, which would allow his ‘exceptional’ team a surprise Round of 16 berth.

"I think Benfica are capable of getting a win in Barcelona, for they are an excellent side,” said Lennon.

"But we have to make them do that.

"I don't know what kind of mindset Spartak will be in, they might want to spoil our party, we have to be totally focused.

"What we have to do is win at home and make Benfica win in the Nou Camp which is no easy feat.

"The onus is on us to do that.

"The squad is stretched, we hope to have a few more players back for that game.

"No-one gave us a prayer coming in to this competition, these players have been exceptional, they have made a name for themselves and we are still in with a good chance of qualifying."

 
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