Proud Lennon thrilled with win

03 October 2012 06:48

Neil Lennon described himself as "probably the proudest man in Europe" after Celtic's historic 3-2 Champions League Group G victory over Spartak Moscow in the Luzhniki Stadium.

Georgios Samaras's last-gasp header gave the Hoops their first win away from home in the group stages of European football's elite club competition and it was a deserved victory for the Parkhead men.

"I am probably the proudest man in Europe tonight," said Lennon. "I cannot speak highly enough of the players, they were magnificent. They played magnificent football at a very tough venue against an excellent side. They showed great character and fortitude to come back after going behind just after half-time. I thought we thoroughly deserved to win it."

He went on: "We didn't start the game particularly well, we looked a bit nervous and our passing wasn't there for the first five or 10 minutes but we had a quick break and scored a good goal.

"I have to say I thought Gary Hooper was world class tonight.

"I thought he was just magnificent and the catalyst for a lot of good things we did tonight.

"People keep asking me about him playing for England, well I think he showed how good he is tonight.

"But there were so many good performances, (Emilio) Izaguirre, (Efe) Ambrose, (Kelvin) Wilson, (Scott) Brown, Samaras came on to a game, (Kris) Commons got stronger as the game went on, James Forrest came on and gave us pace and quality.

"I think people underestimate Celtic. I don't think we get the respect we deserve but maybe tonight's performance might change a few attitudes."

Celtic now have four points from two games.

Source: PA