x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Celtic win pleases Lennon but manager feels players should have scored more

Team were over-elaborate in the final third of the field during their Scottish Premier League victory at Aberdeen.

Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, felt his team were over-elaborate in the final third of the field before Anthony Stokes earned them league victory at Aberdeen.

Celtic struggled to create a clear opening before Kris Commons dispossessed Richard Foster and set up Stokes to sweep home the only goal from 10 yards in the 74th minute.

Lennon said: "We made it nervous for ourselves because we had so many chances and our decision-making on the final bit was poor. We worked the ball great, kept getting in between their midfield and back four and then we tried to walk the ball in the net at times.

"It's a bad habit to have and we have to get out of it. I said at half-time we needed to be patient, we would take 1-0 and that happened to be the case. But I felt our play deserved better, overall we were very, very good."

Lennon, who lost left-back Emilio Izaguirre to a broken leg in the first half, added: "I didn't think we toiled, we were just wasteful in the final third.

"We worked the ball to Kris in good positions on numerous occasions and we kept failing.

"But we kept going and Kris is always a threat and he did brilliantly for the goal."

Lennon claimed his players were guilty of over-elaborating in training too, but he said: "I'm not overly concerned, we always felt we would score with the players we have in the team."

Craig Brown, the Aberdeen manager said: "I think we did enough to get at least a point.

"We actually just committed suicide towards the end of the game, it was a careless error that cost us the game. Some think it might have been an infringement but I would need to see it again."

When asked if Foster claimed the challenge was illegal, Brown said: "He thought it was a foul but he would think that."

Aberdeen's Scott Vernon had a good chance in either half, Lukasz Zaluska blocking his first effort, before the Englishman failed to make meaningful contact with Darren Mackie's cross.

"I think we actually made the best chance of the game when [Josh] Magennis headed on to Mackie who crossed across the face of goal and if Scott Vernon had got a touch it might have been a different result," Brown said. "We were depleted and I thought the lads who played gave us a shift and didn't deserve to lose."

Motherwell stay one point clear of Celtic at the top of the league after they beat Hearts 1-0 on Sunday.