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Lennon: Neymar at Fault for Celtic Red Card
BBC Sport, October 2nd, 2013 2:35PM

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TAGS:  barcelona, scotland, spain, uefa champions league


Neil Lennon has criticized Neymar for getting his captain Scott Brown sent off in Celtic’s 1-0 loss to Barcelona in UEFA Champions League Group H action in Glasgow on Tuesday night. Brown appeared to kick at the Barcelona forward after bringing him down in the 59th-minute, causing referee to show him a straight red card. Fifteen minutes later, Cesc Fabregas headed the visitors in front with what proved to be the game winner.

"I don't think Neymar does himself any favors by the way he behaves at times," Lennon said. "So I don't think I need to apologize to Neymar and I don't think I need to justify the defense of my captain." Celtic is now bottom of Group H with no points from its first two games. Lennon added: "There was a lot more going on in the game that warranted heavier punishment, so it was a game-changing decision. The sending-off is uncalled for and unnecessary. It's very soft. I have looked at it; if there was any contact it was minimal."

Despite the result, Lennon said he was happy with his team’s performance. "It's very difficult playing against Barcelona with 11 players but with 10 it's even more difficult. But we played very well tonight," he said, adding: "Our supporters are very respectful of great players. Andres Iniesta walks off the pitch to a standing ovation from the Celtic support. Neymar, after the incident, gets booed every time he touches the ball by our support."

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