Champions League wrap: Celtic bounced; Benfica, Ajax through

15 August, 2018, 10:37 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Hearts Steven Naismith and Celtic Captain Scott Brown battle for possession

The Scottish cahmpions have qualified for the Champions League for both of Brendan Rodgers' previous seasons at Celtic Park, but this year they could not overcome AEK Athens in the third qualifying round, as they lost 3-2 on aggregate.

Dropping down to the Europa League, where they will play Latvian side Spartaks Jurmala or Lithuanian side Suduva, is a huge blow for Celtic who will miss out on the prestige - not to mention the vast sums of money - to be earned in the Champions League.

Boyata's agent Jacques Lichtenstein claimed the Parkhead club had broken promises to his client, who was the subject of a failed £9million bid from Fulham before the English transfer window closed.

Rodgers said: "Dedryck Boyata is fit, but he's not here with us".

"In the main, there weren't too many opportunities against us but you can't concede that easily and unfortunately it's cost us".

PAOK Thessaloniki sealed an historic night in European football for Greece as they saw off Spartak Moscow to progress.

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"The exams proved I could not play against Hearts and, since then, I'm doing everything I can to be ready as quickly as possible".

"We gave ourselves a chance and threw everything at it".

"We are not getting opened up and fantastic goals scored against us, it is concentration and basic defending".

"I always say you shouldn't have to lose to learn but when you do lose you have to learn so that is our message and we get back to the training field and try to improve".

"If you want to knock out Celtic and remain cool and relaxed is impossible".

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