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Lennon bemoans decisions as Celtic's unbeaten run comes to an end

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes his side were harshly treated in their first Scottish Premiership defeat of the season on Tuesday night.

The Hoops lost 2-1 to second-placed Aberdeen at Pittodrie, ending a 26-game unbeaten streak, after Virgil van Dijk was sent off early in the contest.

The Dons took full advantage of having an extra man with Jonny Hayes and Adam Rooney scoring late in the first half before James Forrest pulled one back for the champions-elect just after the hour-mark.

However, Lennon felt referee Craig Thomson was to blame for the Bhoys' first loss of the campaign which also ended their Scottish record of 1,256 minutes without conceding a league goal.

"I thought we were worthy of the win. I thought the referee ruined the game. It's not a sending-off," said Lennon of the van Dijk decision.

"(Peter) Pawlett was going across the goal rather than towards the goal. I'm pretty sure (Efe) Ambrose would have got across.

"And there was a clear handball in the second half. He saw it and said it wasn't deliberate."

He added: "I think it's poor. Maybe I am the only one who sees it that way but I have looked at it again and I'm pretty convinced it's not a red card.

"I thought we were the better team first half, we had the better chances anyway.

"We dominated and didn't get the rewards all our good play and mental strength deserved. But sometimes you don't get what you deserve in football."

Despite the loss, Celtic are still 21 points clear of Aberdeen as they chase their third straight Scottish title.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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