Lincoln Red Imps 1-0 Celtic: Brendan Rodgers says 'no embarrassment' in defeat

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'No embarrassment in Lincoln loss'

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said there is "no embarrassment" in losing 1-0 to Gibraltar part-timers Lincoln Red Imps in his first competitive game in charge of the Scottish giants.

A goal from police officer Lee Casciaro in Tuesday's Champions League qualifier condemned Celtic to arguably their worst ever defeat.

The Imps also included a fireman, a customs officer and a taxi driver.

"I'm not really [shocked]. I know these results can happen," said Rodgers.

"We stay calm. We need a performance next week."

Celtic will welcome the champions of Gibraltar to Glasgow next Wednesday for the second leg of their second qualifying round tie.

Rodgers feels he saw enough from the Scottish champions to believe they will still get through.

"We dominated and had enough chances, but sometimes it can happen like that... one ball up the pitch and they're in," said the former Liverpool manager.

"You let the local team have their night, we press on, another week's training and be better for it.

"We've given ourselves a bit of work to do, but there's no panic. It's a two-legged affair and our objective is to get through."

Rodgers said fans should stay calm, adding: "I always felt this qualification phase would be based on the second legs at home and we'll need their support."

Celtic fielded eight full internationals in their starting XI

'If miracles can happen, we will knock Celtic out'

Before the match, Lincoln Red Imps captain Roy Chipolina claimed beating Celtic - who won the European Cup in 1967 - would be European football's biggest shock.

The customs officer saw no reason to revise that option in the aftermath.

"When you look at the history of both clubs, nothing has changed," he said.

"Celtic are still a massive club and they are still favourites in the tie, but I don't think anyone expected us to be going over to Glasgow with a 1-0 lead.

"We will be going over there more confident than we thought and, if miracles can happen again, we will knock Celtic out of the Champions League."

Goalscorer Lee Casciaro, said his side benefited from the artificial pitch, weather conditions and that they have been training for almost two months.

"The manager set us up to get them on the counter attack. It was really, really a dream for us, to score and win 1-0 against the mighty Celtic.

"Just walking out and have Celtic supporters singing You'll Never Walk Alone, and it's a historic pitch, we have to enjoy ourselves this doesn't happen very often for us. We've only been in Uefa last three years."

Lee Casciaro


Liam McLeod, BBC Scotland commentator

"Celtic's reputation has taken a battering. One of their worst results ever? I would say it's the worst result ever. This has probably superseded anything that has gone before. It is that bad for the club, it's that bad for this team and I think Brendan Rodgers realises the size of the task he now has here.

"It's inexplicable to think that Celtic are having to come back from a deficit in the second leg of a Champions League qualifier against a side from the overseas British territory of Gibraltar. It's quite incredible."

Who are Lincoln Red Imps?
Founded in 1978, a friend of the owner was from Lincoln - hence the nameJamie Bosio joined Canterbury City on loan from Red Imps last season. They play in the Southern Counties East Football League - level 9-10 of English football
Their home ground, the Victoria Stadium, is used by every team in the league and also hosts the Gibraltar Music FestivalThey have five professional footballers, including former Portsmouth midfielder Liam Walker
The Red Imps grew out of a youth side linked to the Gibraltar police in 1978 and rose to the top flight by 1984There are two sets of siblings at the club, with three Casciaro brothers - Lee, Kyle and Ryan - as well as Chipolina brothers - Joseph and Kenneth

They thought it couldn't get worse than these...

  • MTK Budapest 4-0 Celtic, 1963-64: Celtic had a healthy 3-0 first-leg lead in their European semi-final but Karoly Sandor, returning after a five-month absence, helped his side to a 4-0 victory.
  • SW Innsbruck 3-0 Celtic, 1977-78: A late strike from Tommy Burns had Celtic going into the second leg 2-1 up, before the Austrian side took control. Celtic were reduced to 10 men by the end of the game after Andy Lynch was dismissed.
  • Neuchatel Xamax 5-1 Celtic, 1991-92: Four goals from Egyptian striker Hossam Hassan, including three inside the first 55 minutes for the Swiss side, saw Celtic suffer what was, at the time, their heaviest European defeat.
  • Legia Warsaw 4-1 Celtic, 2014-15: Miroslav Radovic's scored twice, and Celtic had Efe Ambrose sent off. Celtic were handed a reprieve when their opponents were disqualified for fielding a suspended player, but the Scottish side still lost to Maribor in the play-offs.

Worst Celtic debuts

  • Gordon Strachan had a dreadful start to his four-year tenure in 2005, as Celtic lost 5-0 in the Champions League qualifiers to Slovakian side Artmedia Bratislava.
  • There wasn't much joy for Roy Keane when he made his debut as a Celtic player in 2005. Playing in the third round of the Scottish Cup, the Parkhead side were beaten 2-1 by second-tier Clyde.
  • Henrik Larsson's Celtic debut was an unhappy one, too. After making a £650,000 move from Feyenoord in 1997, his mistake led to a Hibs goal in his first game before he scored an own goal on his European debut.

What the papers said

Speaking to the Gibraltar Chronicle before the game, Lincoln captain Chipolina, a customs officer, said it was hard to have a full-time job and play football.

"We have found it very difficult - all of us have our day jobs," Lincoln director Ian Payas told the paper. "If we would have had an away game it would have been easier for us."

Scottish Sun
Daily Record
Daily Mail

Sympathy on Twitter? No chance...

Naturally, social media users had plenty of fun, with a spoof profile of Lincoln Red Imps doing the rounds claiming the club had "an average home crowd of 28".

It was also pointed out the population of Gibraltar is 30,000 - Celtic Park holds 60,832 people.

Rangers midfielder Joey Barton let his feelings be known on Twitter
Rangers midfielder Joey Barton let his feelings be known on Twitter
John Hartson
BBC summariser John Hartson had some sympathy for Brendan Rodgers
Ronnie Esplin
Press Association journalist Ronnie Esplin bumped into one of Lincoln Red Imps' players

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