Neil Lennon far from happy with Neymar’s antics after PSG rout

Date published: Wednesday 22nd July 2020 12:44 - Jo Harrison

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has slammed Neymar after his side’s 4-0 defeat at the Parc de Princes on Tuesday.

The two exchanged heated words after the Brazilian won a free-kick in the first half. Lennon felt the decision was soft and Neymar reacted angrily towards the Celtic boss.

After the game, Lennon slammed the Brazilian, but was full of praise for his team-mate Kylian Mbappe.

“He was just trying to wind people up. I said to the players you just have to keep your discipline and not take the bait really.” Lennon said.

“He is infuriating but he knows it.

“I’m a big fan of Kylian Mbappe because I think he’s fantastic in terms of his purpose and his pace. They’ve got quality all over the pitch.”

Neymar has an unbelievable record against the Hoops, in six competitive matches against Celtic throughout his career with Barcelona and PSG; he has scored seven, assisted eight and won every game – by an aggregate scoreline of 28-2.

He was at it again in Tuesday’s friendly, adding another goal and assist to that tally.

Lennon happy with overall performance

Neil Lennon TEAMtalk

Overall though, Lennon was happy with the performance and believes it is perfect preparation for his side as they look ahead to the Champions League qualifiers.

“After a minute you’re thinking ‘oh dear’!” Lennon added.

“Once we found our level we were decent and I thought we deserved a goal at that stage.

“That quality is world class. I’m pleased we’ve taken it on. I don’t think we need to be down about it.

“Sometimes the players need to see the game at that level for what it is, and how far you have to strive to get there. Hopefully they can take a lot from it physically and mentally.

“I was delighted with Jeremie Frimpong, I thought he was outstanding. I was delighted with Ryan Christie. Some of our players really showed up and can be really pleased.

“They made the most of the opportunity.”


Looking ahead to Motherwell

The defeat signals the end of Celtic’s tour of France, which saw them play Lyon and Nice as well as PSG. They return to Celtic Park for the first time since March when they face Motherwell on Sunday.

Lennon gave an update on his squad ahead of that game.

“They are not there yet in terms of full fitness. Most of them haven’t played 90 minutes before the PSG game.

“Normally you’d have five or six games by this stage but we’ve had three. We’ll give some game time on Saturday and some others on Sunday.

“It’s difficult but the club have done everything they can in the circumstances.

“It will be important to play at Celtic Park because we’ve been away for so long. We’ve not played there since March. You want them to get a feel for playing there behind closed doors.”

“Scott [Brown] has maybe a little trapped nerve, it’s tracking his back and hamstring. There was no point taking a risk.”


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