Champions League: Neil Lennon - 'Pro-Juventus' referee was terrible at corners, says Celtic manager
The Scottish league leaders lost 3-0 to the Italian side
Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, angrily claimed the Spanish referee Alberto Mallenco was "pro-Juventus" after his side crashed to a 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Celtic were undone by goals from Claudio Marchisio in each half and a late strike from Alessandro Matri which leaves them with a mountain to climb as they head for the second leg in Turin at the start of next month.
However Lennon saved his anger for Mallenco, who repeatedly failed to deal with the shirt-pulling that hindered his side at corners and set-pieces.
"I thought he was poor," claimed Lennon. "I thought he was pro-Juventus.
"They were fouling at every opportunity. The referee was warned by our players to keep an eye on it, and he ignored our requests," Lennon added. "He was staring right at it. So are the rules different in Spain as they are in Britain? Because, on that showing, they must be.
"We played Juventus in 2001 here and I think [Paolo] Montero was marking Chris Sutton. The referee warned Montero and he persisted, so the referee ended up giving a penalty. We won the game 4-3. So what is the difference? That's what I want to know. What is the Spanish interpretation of that?"
Lennon approached the Spanish official at half-time with his side trailing 1-0 but it was to no avail."I pointed it out to the referee at half-time in the tunnel area, but he just waved me away," he said. "I made it clear to the players to flag it up to the referee. They were being fouled, manhandled. It's not rugby we're playing, it's soccer. I'd like to know what the interpretation of the rules are, because it's blatantly different to what I've seen tonight."
The England manager, Roy Hodgson, was at Celtic Park to watch Gary Hooper, who is on the brink of a call up by the national side. Hooper was booked for clashing with Juventus midfielder Stephan Lichtsteiner when they grabbed each other at a first-half corner.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Sam Burgess: Bath and England's next big thing
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd