Lennon hails Celtic heroes

by Michelle Fortune , 08 November 2012

Neil Lennon described his Celtic players as heroes after watching them record an historic win over Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Hoops took the lead early on through Victor Wanyama and substitute Tony Watt netted seven minutes from time to put his side on the brink of a famous victory.

Lionel Messi struck in injury time for Barcelona but it was only a consolation goal as the final whistle went to spark scenes of jubilation around Parkhead and Lennon was quick to point out the difference in resources between the two clubs.

"Tito Vilanova can bring on David Villa and Cesc Fabregas and I bring on an 18-year-old kid who cost £50,000 from Airdrie," said Lennon.

"I think it is one of the greatest nights in the club's recent history."

The win came on the club's 125th anniversary and Lennon could hardly contain his delight at the performance of his players.

"The players are the heroes," he said after the match. "I can't speak highly enough of their performances tonight and they will go down in the history books of the club as the team that beat probably the best team in the world.

"This is up there with anything I've ever done in my life.

"Playing in the team that reached the Uefa Cup final was pretty special, the 10 years I had under Martin O'Neill were great times, and I had great times under Gordon [Strachan] reaching the [Champions League] last 16 here.

"But as a manager I don't know if I will top that. I hope I do, I am still young, still progressing.

"When we scored we knew the storm was coming and it came.

"They hit the post and the crossbar so they can feel very unlucky that they didn't get something out of the game."

The win leaves Celtic just two points behind Barcelona in Group G and three clear of Benfica, who are up next for the Glasgow giants.

"It's given us a greater chance than we expected before the game. We still have two very difficult games," Lennon declared.

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