Lennon hails his side's 'monumental achievement' in progressing to last 16


Celtic manager Neil Lennon hailed a “monumental achievement” by his side after they reached the knockout stages of the Champions League last night.

The Hoops’ win over Spartak Moscow saw them qualify from Group G after Benfica could only draw 0-0 at Barcelona.

“It means a hell of a lot to the club,” Lennon told Sky Sports 3. “It is a monumental achievement on our behalf.

“For the whole club to be at the big table in the new year is a phenomenal effort. To get 10 points is a phenomenal effort.

“I thought we did not play well in the first half, got a break with the goal and then we were slack for their goal. But second half we were a lot better, created good chances; we had to go for it and thankfully it came through for us.”

Asked if last night was the high point of his career, Lennon said: “Yeah, this is the premier event, the toughest of the tough. No one gave us a prayer going into this group.”

Gary Hooper, who opened the scoring, added: “It’s a dream come true. The performance was great and we defended better in the second half.”

Asked how far Celtic can go in the competition, Hooper said: “You never know. At home we can beat anyone – we showed that against Barca and tonight. We have to take it game by game.”

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