Lennon: We've got a good chance

  • Last Updated: November 21 2012, 8:32 GMT

Neil Lennon insists Celtic still have a "good chance" of reaching the last 16 despite their 2-1 Champions League defeat by Benfica at the Stadium of Light.

Lennon: We've got a good chance

The Scottish champions, guaranteed a Europa League spot after Barcelona beat Spartak 3-0 in Moscow earlier in the evening, will go through if, in their home game against the Russian club in a fortnight, they better the Portuguese side's result in the Nou Camp.

Team Score Team
Benfica 2 - 1 Celtic
Celtic 2 - 1 Barcelona
Barcelona 2 - 1 Celtic
Spartak Mo 2 - 3 Celtic
Celtic 0 - 0 Benfica

Lennon, who revealed skipper Scott Brown is set to undergo surgery on a hip complaint which could keep him out for 10 weeks, and who will be without midfielder Victor Wanyama for the visit of Spartak after he picked up another booking, said: "I think Benfica are capable of getting a win in Barcelona, for they are an excellent side.

"But we have to make them do that. I don't know what kind of mindset Spartak will be in, they might want to spoil our party, we have to be totally focused.

"What we have to do is win at home and make Benfica win in the Nou Camp which is no easy feat.

"No one gave us a prayer coming into this competition, these players have been exceptional, they have made a name for themselves and we are still in with a good chance of qualifying."

Brown has been battling all season with a hip complaint, only playing intermittently and usually in the big games, but had to succumb to the pain in the second half when he was replaced by Kris Commons.

  • Chelsea visit Juventus in a crunch Champions League showdown hoping to strengthen their grip on a top two spot in Group E
  • Roberto Di Matteo knows a point would ensure Chelsea's destiny will be in their own hands in the final round of matches
  • Fernando Torres watches on from the bench
  • Kwadwo Asamoah tries to get past Cesar Azpilicueta
  • Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is relieved when a shot hits the side netting
  • Fabio Quagliarella celebrates after his deflected shot finds the net to put Juventus into a 1-0 lead
  • Oscar and Eden Hazard show their disappointment
  • Chelsea have a mountain to climb after Arturo Vidal doubles Juventus' advantage
  • The expression of Gary Cahill says it all
  • Sebastian Giovinco puts the seal on Juventus' victory by scoring a late third
  • Chelsea must now beat Nordsjaelland in their final game and hope already-qualified Shakhtar Donetsk defeat Juventus
  • Celtic will book their place in the knockout stages if they can claim at least a point against Benfica in Lisbon
  • But Ola John gives the hosts an early lead
  • Georgios Samaras reacts after scoring Celtic's equaliser
  • Ezequiel Garay restores Benfica's advantage against Celtic with this strike
  • The Portuguese side hold on for a crucial 2-1 victory to leave Celtic's hopes of reaching the last 16 in the balance
  • The Hoops must now better Benfica's result on the final matchday to go through
  • Nick Powell makes his start for already-qualified Manchester United as they take on Galatasaray in Istanbul.
  • Alexander Buttner and Hamit Altintop battle for the ball
  • Yilmaz Burak's header Galatasaray a 1-0 lead against United
  • Yilmaz celebrates his goal
  • Man United see their 100% record in this year's competition ended after losing 1-0 to Galatasaray
All the best pictures from Tuesday night's Champions League action involving Chelsea, Manchester United and Celtic.

Lennon said: "Scott Brown has run his course, we may have to book him in for surgery. We are looking at eight to 10 weeks.

"He has been pushing himself to the limit and we can't keep asking him to put himself through the amount of distress that obviously he was doing towards the end of his time on the pitch.

"He has been a huge player for us this season, I think it is time to get the problem addressed and hopefully he will have something to look forward to in the new year."

Ola John gave the home side the lead in the seventh minute before Georgios Samaras levelled in the 32nd minute from a Charlie Mulgrew corner.

Defender Ezequiel Garay restored Benfica's lead in the 72nd minute to ultimately, and deservedly, leave both sides on seven points after five games.

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus will take succour from Celtic's win over Barcelona at Parkhead earlier in the month, when he takes his side to Spain.

He said: "Now we are playing on the biggest stage in the world against the biggest team in the world.

"But we have shown we are more of a team than Celtic and they beat Barcelona so nothing is impossible."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week