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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor