MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 09:05:13
Aug 23, 2018 at 6pm UK at ​Marijampolės sporto centro stadione (Marijampolė)
FK SuduvaFK Suduva
1-1
Celtic
Verbickas (13')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Ntcham (3')

Brendan Rodgers bemoans "soft" Celtic defending against FK Suduva

Rodgers bemoans
© Reuters
Brendan Rodgers is left to rue Celtic's poor defending as they drew 1-1 with FK Suduva in Thursday's Europa League playoff first leg at Marijampole's ARVI Futbolo Arena.

Brendan Rodgers has bemoaned Celtic's poor defending as they drew 1-1 with FK Suduva in Thursday's Europa League playoff first leg at Marijampole's ARVI Futbolo Arena.

Olivier Ntcham had put the visitors ahead in the third minute, but the visitors were pegged back 10 minutes later when Ovidijus Verbickas headed home unchallenged from a free kick.

Rodgers, who has criticised several aspects of the Hoops' backline in recent games, was left to rue another example of lacklustre defending that left his side with a difficult job in the return leg.

"We gave away a soft goal," the Northern Irishman told reporters. "That is a real concern. We are not giving away many chances, but we don't defend the set-piece well enough.

"It is a European goal away from home and we go back next week to finish the job, but I look at the performance level and it wasn't quite how we wanted.

"We seem to lack concentration. That is a problem for us and our pride in terms of defending. It was a terrific ball into the box, but we have to defend it better than that. It gave them a bit of oxygen in the game that really our start should never have given them."

Celtic will contest the second leg at Parkhead next Thursday.

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Brendan Rodgers watches on during the Champions League qualifying game between AEK Athens and Celtic on August 14, 2018
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