Neil Lennon accused Celtic of conceding "crazy, suicidal" goals against CFR Cluj as they suffered a shock Champions League qualifying defeat.

The Scottish champions were beaten 4-3 in Glasgow on Tuesday to lose the tie 5-4 on aggregate and miss out on a play-off match against Slavia Prague.

Celtic were 1-0 down at half-time but moved 2-1 up through James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard, only for Abdel Billel Omrani to level the scores from the penalty spot.

The hosts hit back through Ryan Christie but Omrani struck again to make it 3-3 before George Tucudean made Cluj's passage to the next round secure with the last kick of the game.

Celtic manager Lennon admitted his team were not good enough in the first half and felt they threw the lead away with their poor defending.

"The goals we conceded are crazy," he told BBC Radio Scotland. "You've got to do the basics well – you've got to stop crosses, close people down, get your head on things – and it was almost as if we scored and wanted to switch off and control the game.

"In the first half, we were way too passive, way too slow with the tempo, so we gave them a bit of a razz at half-time and we got the right response going 2-1 up. But we needed that two-goal cushion. It's suicidal the goals we gave away.

"The first goal, we got a warning before that, and we still didn't stop the cross and the guy's got across for a run. If you don't do the basics defensively well enough then, at this level, you get punished.

"We've let it go. We've only ourselves to blame. We had the lead and we let it slip through our own decision-making, really."

Lennon is keen to lift his side's spirits before they now prepare for a play-off to reach the Europa League group stages.

"We've got to work with the players. We've got to raise their morale, first of all," he said.

"We're going to get a bit of criticism and that's totally par for the course. We've worked really hard to get where we are and we've basically thrown it away. We've got some good defenders but for some reason they wanted to slow the game down."

Celtic were knocked out of Champions League qualifying on Tuesday after a 4-3 defeat to CFR Cluj saw them lose the tie 5-4 on aggregate.

Neil Lennon's side came from behind to force a 1-1 draw in the first leg and were up against it again in Glasgow when Ciprian Deac struck in the first half.

James Forrest, hero of the first leg, levelled the scores before Odsonne Edouard made the most of haphazard defending to make it 2-1 to the Scottish champions.

Abdel Billel Omrani's penalty put Cluj ahead on away goals but Ryan Christie struck just two minutes later to edge Celtic back in front.

There was to be more drama, however, as Omrani turned in a rebound to make it 4-4 on aggregate and give the visitors the edge on away goals.

In the dying seconds, George Tucudean struck a stylish fourth goal to give Cluj the victory and seal a play-off encounter with Slavia Prague.

Deac handed the Romanians the initiative when he headed past Scott Bain 27 minutes in.

Former European Cup winners Celtic hit back six minutes into the second half when Forrest, linked with a move to Russian side Zenit in recent days, fired in an equaliser from inside the box.

Edouard swung the tie Celtic's way 10 minutes later, sweeping the loose ball into the bottom-left corner after Cluj's defence made a mess of trying to clear.

Omrani then snatched a second away goal with a confident penalty, but Christie was on hand to side-foot home almost immediately after the ball broke for Edouard.

However, the twists kept coming, with Omrani sliding in to steer the ball high into the net after Bain had saved from Alexandru Paun.

With Celtic desperately chasing another goal to send them through in the eighth minute of injury time, a hopeful clearance fell kindly to Tucudean, who lofted a composed finish past Bain to send the visiting bench into raptures.

Manchester City have avoided a transfer ban after FIFA confirmed the club will only receive a fine for breaching regulations relating to the signing of young players.

The Premier League champions have been ordered to pay CHF370,000 (£314,577) for breaching article 19 of FIFA's rules on the status and transfer of players.

However, City will not face a transfer ban like that which FIFA handed down to Chelsea in March for similar offences.

Like Chelsea, FIFA has found City to be in breach of regulations regarding the recruitment of youth players.

LaLiga giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have also been handed punishments for similar offences within the past five years.

However, FIFA's Disciplinary Committee "took into account the fact that Manchester City FC accepted its responsibility", meaning the club was only issued a fine.

Manchester City have avoided a transfer ban after FIFA confirmed the club will only receive a fine for breaching regulations relating to the signing of young players.

Frank Lampard says Chelsea are desperate to win the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool on Wednesday and will accept "no excuses" if they fail to get their hands on the trophy.

Lampard's reign as Chelsea boss got off to a disappointing start on Sunday, with the Blues slipping to a heavy 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in their Premier League opener.

They have an immediate chance to bounce back, however, when they take on Jurgen Klopp's Champions League winners in Istanbul.

Lampard has been on the losing side twice as a Chelsea player in Super Cup finals [against Atletico Madrid in 2012 and Bayern Munich in 2013] and says his side will be "giving everything" to defeat their domestic rivals.

"I've had two great examples of a really important game that you don't win in two different ways and it makes you more determined to win it," he told UEFA.com.

"We need to be absolutely ready. It's a cup that the club desperately wants to win. I've never won it, a lot of players in there have never won it, so we have to give it everything.

"Going up against the team with the quality of Liverpool in a final is as tense as finals can be.

"You can lose finals, they're very tough. But what you cannot do is lose it on the premise that we weren’t prepared, or we didn't have that hunger or desire or everything you need to try and win a game of this magnitude.

"It's going to be one of my first competitive games as manager of this club. Every player in there needs to be aware of the importance of the game to this club and we have to give everything, because it's going to be tough.

"It's going to be tough, but we cannot walk off the pitch and think 'oh, we could've done that' or 'we missed that opportunity' or 'we weren't quite ready' or make any excuses for ourselves."

Jose Mourinho believes Joao Felix's huge price tag means he must produce the goods at Atletico Madrid despite his tender years.

The 19-year-old forward joined Diego Simeone's Atletico from Benfica in a €126million move last month and has turned in some dazzling pre-season displays.

As such, his famed Portuguese compatriot Mourinho believes there will be a demand for instant results.

"He has a challenge due to the extent of his talent and because of the investment the club have made on him," Mourinho told the Portuguese Football Federation's (FPF) television channel, Canal 11.

"I believe that he can't escape this responsibility. It doesn't matter if he's 18, 20 or 25.

"What matters is his talent and the responsibility he has."

That responsibility extends to spearheading a challenge for the top honours in Spain and Europe, according to Mourinho.

Despite losing Lucas Hernandez, Rodri, Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann - the France star's long-anticipated move to Barcelona eventually coming to fruition – Atletico have reinforced impressively.

Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente and Hector Herrera are among those to have bolstered Simeone's squad and Mourinho feels they must now look to match Spain's heavyweight duo.

"Atletico Madrid's level of investment leaves them with responsibility to fight for the Champions League and LaLiga," he said.

"It's clear that Barcelona and Real Madrid have to be there because of their power, financial capability, culture and quality.

"Atletico in recent years have been without this responsibility, but the level of investment they've made is incredible.

"It's time to say, 'We're here, we're big, we want to be big and we are here to win'." 

Atletico begin their LaLiga campaign at home to Getafe on Sunday.

Partizan Belgrade have been given a two-match stadium ban by UEFA due to the racist behaviour of some fans in a Europa League qualifying match with Yeni Malatyaspor.

UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) announced the sanction on Monday, along with a €24,250 fine for the throwing of objects and fireworks and the blocking of stairways.

It means Partizan must play their next two home matches in UEFA competition behind closed doors.

Lokomotiv Plovdiv have been issued a partial stadium ban due to the racist behaviour of supporters in their Europa League qualifier against Strasbourg in Bulgaria on August 8.

The CEDB has ordered the club to close the Tribuna Sportclub sector for the next UEFA competition match at Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1926 Stadium.

Meanwhile, Istanbul Basaksehir defender Aurelien Chedjou has been banned for two games for directing abusive language at a match official in a Champions League qualifier against Olympiacos.

Head coach Buruk Okan has been suspended for one match "for the failure to comply with the referee's orders" in the same game, which Olympiacos won 1-0.

The Super Lig side have also been fined €5,250 after receiving six yellow cards and one red in the match.

Jurgen Klopp has challenged Liverpool's players to "stay greedy" as they look to build on last season's Champions League triumph with European Super Cup success.

The Reds enjoyed a stunning 2018-19, beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final and finishing just a point behind Premier League winners Manchester City.

They take on Europa League victors Chelsea in the Super Cup on Wednesday and Klopp expects his players to show the same desire for silverware that characterised their previous campaign.

When asked by UEFA.com how his side can build on their success, he said: "Stay greedy. That's very important. I have no doubt about that, but it's clear that we have to do that.

"After the final, we had about four weeks where everybody was patting us on the back and it was brilliant wherever we went.

"It's just nice, but in a different world things like this can soften you and it can take the power out of you a bit.

"We are not like this, but it's a fact that it could happen, at least. We only have to do the same again, and with a couple of things we maybe didn't do too well, we have to do better. That's how it is."

Klopp has his sights set on another trophy, but acknowledged the Super Cup is not a prize he has paid much attention to in the past, given he had only been on the receiving end of European final defeats with the Reds and Borussia Dortmund before last term.

"The Super Cup itself is not a cup that I've really loved to watch in the past because I was often in [either the Champions League or Europa League] final," he added.

"The Super Cup is obviously the final proof; if you are not in that game, it means you didn't win the final. That's completely different this year, so we're looking forward to it. It's a big one."

Divock Origi is confident he still has more to offer Liverpool, having been boosted by a new contract following his Champions League heroics last season.

Belgium striker Origi started the last campaign on the fringes of the first team at Anfield but made crucial contributions to the team's success in 2018-19.

After Premier League winners against Everton and Newcastle United, Origi scored twice to down Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals and then netted in the final against Tottenham in Madrid.

Rewarded with a new long-term contract last month, the forward carried his form into the new season by scoring in the Premier League opener against Norwich City.

Origi hopes he can continue to improve, with Liverpool eager for more success.

"For me, the contract was a logical and good decision," he told The Athletic. "The club always showed faith. We had some good conversations and everything just clicked, so it was very easy.

"You have to listen to your instinct. I felt appreciated and I felt like I could make further steps at this club. I still have a lot to give and to show here.

"This is such a young, talented group and it feels like Madrid was just the beginning. We are hungry for more. I saw that hunger from the moment I returned in July."

Origi's strike against Spurs gave him a place in Liverpool history, yet he does not plan to reflect on his status until retirement.

"The respect of the fans is always nice to have," he said. "I am humbled that they have such a place in their hearts for me.

"To be part of the history of a club like Liverpool is something to be proud of and something I always wanted. I always saw myself playing for a big team in the Premier League and being important there.

"After my career, I'll be able to sit back and enjoy what I've achieved. But for now it's about performing more and more."

Origi acknowledges he is still adjusting to Liverpool's tactical demands, but he feels he has grown as a player since arriving at the club.

"I think I'm a different player now compared to when I first signed," he said. "I feel like I've grown more mentally, personally and on the pitch.

"The team has evolved in terms of the way we play and now I understand the tactics part of the game better - how to press, how to choose my moments, when to express my creativity and when to play it simple.

"I have a lot of aspects to my game but I need to synchronise them with the game of Liverpool. I study the game better now. Being able to play in different positions up front has been very important to me."

Maurizio Sarri remains unclear on the future of Paulo Dybala and has branded Juventus' transfer policy "embarrassing" for leaving him with a bloated squad.

Argentina forward Dybala was tipped to join Manchester United in a part-exchange deal involving Romelu Lukaku this month, only for talks to break down.

It then looked as though he would move to Tottenham on the Premier League's transfer deadline day on Thursday, but that deal also failed to materialise.

Juve are in an awkward situation ahead of the new season, with Sarri aware the squad must be trimmed following the arrivals of Matthijs de Ligt, Danilo, Luca Pellegrini, Merih Demiral, Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey and Gianluigi Buffon.

The head coach is concerned the club could be forced simply to leave several senior players off their 25-man 'List A' for the Champions League group stage if they are unable to sell them.

Sarri is therefore unsure of Dybala's future and appeared to call into question a transfer process led by sporting director Fabio Paratici that has brought them to this point.

Interrupting a question about transfers after his side lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, he said: "I sometimes wonder when I read things: Sarri's decisions, Paratici's decisions…

"We have to cut six players from the Champions League squad. I've not read this anywhere. If we don't, the choices we have are crazy.

"The last 20 days of the market will be difficult for us. It's a difficult, embarrassing situation, because we risk leaving top players out of the squad list.

"It's a situation we have to resolve, and it's not strictly connected to the choices of the coach or club.

"All the assessments on Dybala are premature. He did two training sessions; he did half an hour today. He clearly can't be in top physical condition and this also affects what he can do as a false nine. I think he has the attributes and the goals to play in that role.

"I can talk, but the market goes in a certain direction and what I say counts for zero. Six have to be cut, depending on the market. I'd like to keep them all; our problem is we don't have enough home-grown players, so our squad for the Champions League will be 22 players, plus three goalkeepers, and this puts us in difficulty because the market will perhaps lead us to make choices we don't want to make."

Jurgen Klopp insisted there was no reason for Liverpool to parade the Champions League trophy ahead of their win over Norwich City, saying it was time to move on.

Liverpool secured their sixth European Cup with a win over Tottenham in the final in Madrid in June.

But they opted not to parade the trophy on Friday, when they opened their Premier League campaign with a 4-1 victory over Norwich at Anfield.

Asked about that decision, Klopp was seemingly unaware of the possibility, but said he would not have done it anyway.

"Nobody told me I have to. Is that what you do usually? I touched the Euro cup on the matchday there, the day after, and since then not," he told a news conference.

"No reason for it, I know how it feels. And people know how it looks.

"If somebody expected that then somebody should've told me. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done it anyway, because we are now in the new season. Enough celebration.

"Nobody has to congratulate me anymore, but still everybody's doing it. I'm really fine with all the things I heard about it, now let's play the new season."

A calf injury to goalkeeper Alisson soured Liverpool's win, which came thanks to first-half goals from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi after Grant Hanley's seventh-minute own goal.

Lionel Messi has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to UEFA's Goal of the Season award for 2018-19.

The Barcelona captain came first in the vote on UEFA's website for his spectacular free-kick against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou.

Ronaldo came second for a strike against his former club Manchester United for Juventus in the group stage, while Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira took third place for a solo run and shot from distance for Portugal against Serbia in March.

It is the third time in five seasons Messi has won this particular prize, having also come out on top in 2015 and 2016.

Mario Mandzukic was honoured for his stunning volley in the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid in 2017, while Ronaldo was victorious last year for the overhead kick he scored against future employers Juve.

Only goals from UEFA club or international fixtures in 2018-19 were eligible for consideration, with a UEFA expert panel selecting the shortlist from which the winner was chosen by a public vote.

Messi's goal went unrewarded last season as Barca were beaten 4-0 at Anfield in the second leg to lose the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

James Forrest's grabbed an equaliser as Celtic came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw in their Champions League qualifying third round match against CFR Cluj.

Neil Lennon's men fell behind after 28 minutes in Transylvania, where they came up against a physical Cluj side that proved dangerous on the break.

But Celtic recovered quickly after falling behind and Forrest's composure in front of goal helped to earn them a result that puts them in control ahead of the return fixture on Scottish soil on August 13.

The Bhoys face a trip to Motherwell in domestic action before then and Lennon will be glad to have emerged from this game with a positive result, although he will have to check on the fitness of Jozo Simunovic after he left the field with an injury.

Odsonne Edouard drove a raking shot towards goal after four minutes that Cluj goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis got down well to save.

Celtic were just about on top after 26 minutes when Cluj burst forward with a sweeping counter-attack and Mario Rondon slid the ball between Scott Bain's legs and into the net.

The visitors did not lose their composure, instead piecing together a neat passing move after 37 minutes that culminated in Forrest drilling a low shot in off the post.

Bain made a superb one-handed save to keep Celtic on terms when Billel Omrani struck a close-range shot early in a second half that became increasingly scrappy as Cluj grew frustrated.

Mateo Susic was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after a scything retaliatory challenge on Scott Brown, and Celtic slowed the pace of the game down in the closing stages with Simunovic's apparent injury the only disappointment on a satisfactory night for Lennon's side.

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti expects Barcelona to contend for a first Champions League title since 2015 after their signings this close season.

The five-time European champions have fallen short in the continent's premier club competition in recent seasons, including an extraordinary semi-final loss to Liverpool in 2018-19.

Ancelotti, whose side face Barca in a friendly in Florida on Wednesday, feels Ernesto Valverde's men should be contenders once more this season after seeing the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong arrive.

"I believe that Barcelona is always a candidate to win the Champions League," he told a news conference.

"It has a player like [Lionel] Messi and many others, so I think they always compete to win the maximum and the maximum is the Champions League.

"I think that with the signings they have done, this year will be very competitive."

Napoli are also looking to move forward after finishing second in Serie A and getting knocked out in the Champions League group stage.

Ancelotti believes LaLiga and the Premier League remain the world's best competitions, but added Serie A is improving.

"At the moment, Italian football is a little below LaLiga and the Premier League, but something is moving," he said.

"Last year Cristiano [Ronaldo] arrived [at Juventus], which is very important for our league. I think in the future Italian football is going to reach the level.

"The stadiums are being renovated and I think that little by little Italy will be better."

Ajax will meet either APOEL or Qarabag in the Champions League play-offs if they defeat PAOK in the third qualifying round.

Last season's semi-finalists will take on the champions of Cyprus or Azerbaijan in a two-legged tie if they overcome the 2018-19 Greek Super League winners.

Scottish champions Celtic will take on Slavia Prague if they make it through their third-round tie with CFR Cluj.

Porto or Krasnodar will face Istanbul Basaksehir or Olympiacos, while Basel or LASK will meet Club Brugge or Dynamo Kiev.

Swiss champions Young Boys await Red Star Belgrade or Copenhagen, and Dinamo Zagreb or Ferencvaros will play Maribor or Rosenborg.

The first legs of the third-round matches are on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the return games on August 13.

The play-off matches take place on August 20-21 and August 27-28.

 

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