• Champions League

Lennon puts onus on referee

ESPN staff
March 6, 2013 « Surgery the only option, says Swann | Chartbeat test »

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has urged Turkish referee Firat Aydinus "to do his job properly" during his side's Champions League round of 16 clash with Juventus on Wednesday.

The Hoops head into the second-leg hopeful of overturning a 3-0 deficit, although Lennon claims Juve's physical tactics went unnoticed in Scotland, leading him to place pressure on officials for the return fixture.

Following the loss to Juve, Lennon singled out Stephan Lichtsteiner who he claims was guilty of unfairly holding Celtic's players during set pieces.

"No one minds physical contact," Lennon said. "I don't want to make a big issue of it, but the players will make the referee aware if it goes on again.

"I'm not taking anything away from Juventus, they deserved to win the game. But I did feel there were parts of the game that Juve should have been punished for, particularly at the corners.

"I watched the Napoli v Juve game the other night and Edinson Cavani was being pulled around quite a bit. We're just looking for the referee to do his job properly, that is all."

Juventus boss Antonio Conte believes Lennon's comments are unjustified, claiming Celtic had their fair share of fouls go unnoticed in the first leg.

"At every corner, there is a Celtic player blocking the goalkeeper," Conte said. "That is systematically a foul as the rulebook says so.

"If Lennon is moaning about referees then he's ready to work in Italy as everyone moans here. Joking aside, Celtic are doing really well and he is a prepared tactician."

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