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Home Sport Football European

Celtic lacked real courage, says Rodgers


By Graham Luney

Brendan Rodgers admitted his Celtic side lacked "courage and belief" as they crashed out of the Europa League last night.

Zenit St Petersburg swept aside the Hoops 3-1 on aggregate in their round-of-32 tie.

The one-goal lead from the first leg was reversed before half an hour had been played in Russia as defender Branislav Ivanovic put Zenit in front with a header and Daler Kuzyayev netted in the 27th minute to turn the tie in the hosts' favour. In the 61st minute Aleksandr Kokorin made it 3-0 on the night to kill off the Scottish champions.

"If we played with a little bit more courage and belief, we could maybe have got a result," said the Ulsterman. "Everything was too sideways and backwards and that's about bravery and having that courage to play."

Arsenal avoided a shock Europa League exit at the hands of Ostersunds despite losing 2-1 to the Swedish minnows at the Emirates Stadium.

Ostersunds, who fell to a 3-0 defeat in the first leg, scored twice in the space of a minute to breathe new life into the tie but the Gunners squeezed through.

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