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Lennon hopes to avoid more trouble
Published : 16 Dec 2011 07:46:50
Neil Lennon is hoping Celtic fans do not compound the disappointment of Thursday night's Europa League exit by landing the club in the dock again for incidents before the 1-1 draw with Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.
Celtic had been fined £12,700 by UEFA this week after the Hoops fans were reported for "illicit chanting" in a previous Europa League fixture against Rennes at Parkhead. And in Italy the Hoops fans unfurled a banner which was derogatory in its sentiments towards European football's governing body and a flare was thrown before the game.
The Celtic boss, who described the result as "gut wrenching," said: "I am not aware of that. I didn't see the flare before the game so I will have to wait and see what the outcome is. From where I was it looked like the supporters behaved themselves impeccably and I hope that (possible trouble) is not going to be the case."
The visitors, needing victory in the final Group I fixture to go through into the knockout stages, took the lead in the 29th minute when Gary Hooper took advantage of a mix-up in the Udinese defence to tap in from a yard out.
But veteran striker Antonio Di Natale notched from close range with seconds remaining in the first half after Celtic defender Cha Du-ri inadvertently headed into his path.
A clearly disappointed Lennon pointed to two penalty incidents against the Italian club, currently behind Juventus only on goal difference at the top of Serie A, which he claims made the difference over the course of the campaign.
He said: "If you look over the piece, the penalty that Udinese got at Celtic Park (in a 1-1 draw) was probably the difference. It was a joke of a decision.
"And I thought we should have had a penalty tonight right at the end when Daniel Majstorovic headed the ball onto the centre-half's arm.
"From where I was standing it wad a clear hand ball and there may have been one earlier.
"It wasn't ball to hand, I don't understand why he didn't give although I thought the referee had a decent game and allowed it to flow."