Celtic's European Season Comes To An End With Poor Display In Russia

Mancini Zenit not Europa League contenders

Mancini Zenit not Europa League contenders

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is disappointed with the goals his side gave away in their 3-0 defeat in St Petersburg.

Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a corner.

It was a deserved victory for the Hoops and their Northern Irish boss is looking for more of the same on Thursday night to take Celtic into the last 16 of European football's second-tier club competition.

He said: "I thought first half we were disappointing with our defending and with how aggressive we were".

"I don't feel that we can win because there are many strong teams and we are a young team".

"In all our qualification games we have played since I have been at Celtic, whether you are home or away, it's important to retain the emotion of the game".

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'It was disappointing. We gave ourselves a good chance to progress in the first leg and in the end we didn't'.

Speaking at Celtic's hotel in St Petersburg, Rodgers said: "It would be a huge achievement for us. Tonight we scored three goals, had other chances and for 75 minutes didn't concede any chances to Celtic".

"Obviously the competition itself and European football is notoriously very hard now for ourselves, but I think we showed in the first leg how well we played".

"Thankfully, when we have been in that situation we have dealt very well with it, and hopefully we can do that again".

The tie was effectively sealed on the hour mark, however, as Ivanovic's low cross across the Celtic box found Aleksandr Kokorin at the back post to fire home to make it 3-0 to Roberto Mancini's men. Zenit goalkeeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russian Federation which ended with plenty of regret.

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