Shakhter Karagandy 2 Celtic 0: Neil Lennon fires warning over Parkhead return in Champions League play-off

The Scottish side suffered a shock defeat in the Champions League qualifier

Neil Lennon has warned Shakhter Karagandy that Celtic will be coming at them from the first whistle in the second-leg of their Champions League play-off at Parkhead next week as they try to rescue the tie following the shock 2-0 defeat at the Astana Arena on Tuesday night.

The Scottish champions started the match positively but found themselves behind in the 12th minute when Andrei Finonchenko knocked the ball past Fraser Forster from close range.

The visitors missed a series of chances before and after striker Sergei Khizhnichenko headed in a second after the break to leave the shell-shocked Hoops having to make amends against the Kazakhstan side in Glasgow.

The home side walked round the pitch after the match milking the applause of their fans, who were equally jubilant.

"I don't know (if they think it is over)," Lennon said.

"They are definitely in the ascendancy and there is that euphoria straight after the final whistle.

"But they have to come to Glasgow and they will have to defend well because we will come at them from the off.

"They didn't (surprise me). We knew exactly how they would play.

"We knew they would be physical and a threat from set pieces.

"But if you look at the game in the cold light of day, we had six or seven clear-cut chances to either take the lead, equalise or get back in the tie so it gives us plenty of encouragement for the second game in Glasgow."

The Parkhead boss, indeed, was far from downbeat after the game.

"It is a big task but the tie is far from over," he said.

"We have plenty in us to turn it around. The players will be very motivated.

"There will be a few players who will be disappointed with their performances tonight but we are still well in this tie although we have a lot to do."

Shakhter coach Viktor Kumykov was applauded into the post-match press conference by local journalists but insists his side have more work to do at Celtic Park before they become the first club from Kazakhstan to play in the Champions League.

The Russian said: "We still believe Celtic have a chance to qualify and we believe the game in Glasgow will be even more difficult because Celtic are a more experience team.

"We still have a chance - a little bit more of a chance than before the first game.

"We played very confidently but there is a second-leg ahead of us and I expect we can get another good result."

PA

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