Celtic demand answers from UEFA over Champions League ref with boss Lennon still furious at Juventus wrestle tactics
14:01 GMT, 15 February 2013
22:56 GMT, 15 February 2013
Celtic will go to UEFA to seek an explanation as to why referee Alberto Mallenco failed to apply the letter of the law in the 3-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday.
Neil Lennon’s side were comprehensively beaten by the Italian champions, but much of the aftermath focused on the reluctance of the Spanish official to penalise the roughhouse tactics of the visitors while defending set-plays.
Despite Juve’s back-line repeatedly bear-hugging their opponents at the 10 corners Celtic forced, Mallenco’s actions were limited to yellow cards for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Padoin, while Gary Hooper and Scott Brown were also cautioned.
Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper
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were beaten by Juve – but they were let down by the referee. Big Daddy,
Giant Haystacks and Mick McManus were all that was missing from this
And Lennon, who does not dispute that Juve deserved to win the match, will now dispatch a DVD of the visitors’ tactics to Nyon in the coming days together with a letter seeking an explanation for Mallenco’s inaction.
‘We have DVD footage of the game and we would like someone to give us some answers,’ said the Celtic manager.
‘I am compiling it myself along with the video-analysis guys and writing a letter (to UEFA) asking for a ruling.
‘I have asked this question again and still haven’t had an answer. We played Juventus 11 years ago.
Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match
‘We were awarded a penalty from which Chris Sutton scored. What is the difference from 2001 to 2013 Can somebody please give me an answer
‘What Juventus did was way beyond the limit of the law in football.
‘This wasn’t even close to a bit of shirt-tugging. This was arms up around players preventing them from forward momentum.
‘They were basically pulling and holding them at every opportunity.
Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner
‘You may as well turn the game into a wrestling match.’
The performance of Efe Ambrose was also under close scrutiny in the wake of the defeat after the Nigerian —fresh from winning the Africa Cup of Nations — made errors that contributed to Juve’s first and third goals.
Ambrose only arrived back in Glasgow the day before the game.
Lennon, though, insists that if he had to select his side again, Ambrose would be included.
Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles
‘Efe is all right. He was very apologetic after the game,’ said Lennon. ‘He made basic errors but, if I had my time over again, I would still pick him.
‘Efe has been fantastic for us. He’s added a different dimension to the way we play, particularly in Europe.
‘His performances away from home in Barcelona, Lisbon and Moscow were as good as any centre-half I’ve seen at the club for a long time.’
Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin
Lennon stressed there was no issue between Kris Commons and Ambrose on account of the former’s outspoken remarks.
‘I would imagine he has apologised privately, yeah,’ he said. ‘I have dealt with it internally.’ Mikael Lustig, Scott Brown and Rami Gershon will miss today’s game against Dundee United, while Victor Wanyama is a doubt.
Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving