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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Celtic make Imps ‘look like Barcelona’: Criticism piles on after ‘Shock of Gibraltar’

Celtic were spared no blushes by the British media on Tuesday after their stunning defeat to Gibraltar's Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League second qualifying round first leg.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, shown during his time with Liverpool. Phil Noble / Reuters
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, shown during his time with Liverpool. Phil Noble / Reuters

Celtic gave Scotland their proudest moment in European football by winning the 1967 European Cup, but the 2016 side has now handed the country their most embarrassing in losing to Gibraltar part-timers Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday.

“Shock of Gibraltar” will be a headline the humiliated players and their manager Brendan Rodgers, who will wish to forget his first competitive game in charge, will see screaming from several newspapers after they lost 1-0 in their Champions League qualifier first leg.

Regardless of being able to put matters right next week back in Glasgow for the second leg, the papers were as one in saying this result will not be forgotten.

Leading the charge was the never reserved tabloid The Sun: “Rodgered by a Copper – Rodgers suffers humiliating ‘Shock of Gibraltar’ defeat in first game in charge,” went the headline. “A copper” referred to the goalscorer, 34-year-old policeman Lee Casciaro.

But at least there was a minor consolation for the 300 or so Celtic fans who had travelled to a game that was predicted to be a walkover for the cosseted millionaires from Glasgow against a team whose line-up had done their day job before playing the game.

“It was the club’s worst result in their history but travelling Bhoys (Celtic) fans were fortunate to be only a one hundred metres or so away from the airport to escape the embarrassment against the part-timers,” wrote the Sun.

The Daily Mail didn’t spare the Scottish team nor former Liverpool manager Rodgers, who surprised many in taking the job in May as he was thought to be in the running for several in the Premier League were they to become vacant.

“Rodgers rocked! Celtic beaten by butchers bakers and candlestick makers,” the Mail said.

The Mail did at least offer some sympathy to Rodgers about the task he had ahead of him in sorting out the problems.

“And Brendan Rodgers was brought in to avoid the recent trend of early-season European embarrassments? Right. Upon closer inspection, the problems clearly run too deep for one man, given one pre-season, to put right.”

The Mail suggests Rodgers might have to resort to extreme measures to rectify matters.

“If Rodgers already suspected he had taken on a major rebuilding job, now he knows. He may even have decided that complete demolition of the existing structure is required.”

Scottish paper The Daily Record weren’t any kinder in comparing the population of Gibraltar to the capacity at Celtic’s ground in Glasgow.

“To put it in to some context, the entire population of Gibraltar could fit in to Celtic Park – and there would still be no need to open the top tier.”

The Daily Record observed that one of Rodgers’ claims that they weren’t taking the task lightly had come horribly true.

“Rodgers said he was treating the Imps like they were Barcelona – well, his side made the policemen and customs officials look like Barcelona.”

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