Celtic bounced from Champions League by AEK Athens Benfica reach playoffs

Joann Johnston
August 15, 2018

Brendan Rodgers concedes that Celtic's defending was not good enough during their 2-1 loss to AEK Athens, which knocked the Scots out of the Champions League.

Celtic will not be playing in the Champions League group stages this season after losing to AEK Athens 2-1 tonight.

Hoops substitute Scott Sinclair - on for Australia's Tom Rogic - pulled a goal back in the 78th minute but despite a grand finale the visitors could not fashion a second which would have put them through on away goals.

The Scottish Premiership champions will now be preparing for a Europa League play-off match against either Spartaks Jurmala or FK Suduva. AEK will face MOL Vidi in the final round of Champions League qualification.

PAOK Thessaloniki sealed an historic night in European football for Greece as they saw off Spartak Moscow to progress.

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Boyata's agent Jacques Lichtenstein claimed the Parkhead club had broken promises to his client, who was the subject of a failed £9million bid from Fulham before the English transfer window closed.

He is demanding to be sold, but Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed on Saturday that the Bhoys are working on a deal to keep Boyata.

Rodgers, who was also without suspended defender Kristoffer Ajer, said: "Yes, we were obviously missing our two best centre halves this evening unfortunately".

"The exams proved I could not play against Hearts and, since then, I'm doing everything I can to be ready as quickly as possible".

"But he wasn't here and we look at the performance without him and I can't think any more than that".

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