Neil Lennon backing for 'brave' Beram Kayal

Atletico Madrid star Arda Turan wheels away to celebrate his goal
Kayal is on his knees as goalscorer Turan wheels away in delight

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hailed the courage of Beram Kayal following criticism of the midfielder's role in their defeat by Atletico Madrid.

The Israeli appeared to duck to avoid the strike from Arda Turan that gave the Spaniards a 1-0 victory.

But Lennon said: "Beram doesn't duck out of anything. To accuse him of that is ridiculous.

"Beram is one of the bravest players I've seen in quite a while and he puts his body on the line for the team."

Lennon said after the Europa League match in Glasgow that he thought Kayal had misjudged the flight of Turan's fierce strike.

And he repeated that assertion, adding that Kayal was one of the best players on show during the game.

Kayal has dominated the back pages in consecutive days, with the "ducking" incident, following his claims that Celtic were the best team in Scotland.

But Lennon had no problem with the player for backing his team-mates and believes the reporting may have been skewed.

"The headlines are par for the course," explained Lennon.

"I'm quite comfortable with Beram. I don't think he's the kind of lad to come out and boast about things or taunt people.

"He's a very well grounded individual. I think some people have added a little salt and vinegar on the story.

"I'm not too sure he said all of that. I think what he meant was that he believes we have got good players and a good team.

"But we have to go out and prove that.

"I'm not going to berate Beram for doing an interview and then for people to put their own slant on it."