The blame game

The match has ended and the fans have spoken. Celtic’s defeat on Tuesday against Juventus is still very fresh in the mind.

The debate has already taken on a few angles. It would seem everyone had a hand in Tuesday’s defeat at the hands of Juventus.

First up is Neil Lennon. Many fans criticised his decision to play Ambrose after just returning from the African Cup of Nations.

There was the matter of a long flight and having played 48 hours prior to kick off. Ultimately, it comes down to the manage who plays and who doesn’t so Neil put him in.

I might have done the same. At the end of the day, the manager can only go by what the players says.

There was no pressure to play Efe. If anything, you would want to take that essence of victory that was fresh in the mind of the African Cup of Nations winner and thrust it into the heart of your defence.

With that in mind, I do not blame Lennon for his choice. Though there are many who feel Efe’s mistakes that night say it all.

On the team performance, there is very little to flaw. Celtic dominated the match and pressed Juventus but what they didn’t do was put the ball in the net.

When you consider how much of the ball Celtic had it is hard to believe that goals did not follow. The truth is that most of those shots on target were straight down the throat of veteran keeper, Buffon.

The Italian keeper was of course aided by the visually impaired referee. Mallenco’s decisions during the match i.e. the Hooper v Lichtsteiner wrestling, was disgraceful.

If UEFA were observing this referees performance, I hope they weren’t as blind as he was. Mallenco was incompetent on Tuesday and there was an overwhelming amount of support in the media an beyond for Celtic.

Juventus are the benefactors of his decisions. They didn’t waste of of their chances when they came along either.

It wouldn’t be insane to suggest that Juventus were capable of winning the Champions Cup. They may not be Barcelona or Real Madrid, but they are the kind of side who find alternative paths to glory.

They can frustrate, intimidate, cheat and devour opponents and that is without even touching the ball. Once again Celtic have been left reeling in the wake of a Juventus defeat.

Turin is three weeks away and three goals behind. The European adventure is over for this season, but there is always next time.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie

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