Celtic lacked courage in Zenit clash, says Brendan Rodgers

Celtic crash out of Europe after 3-0 defeat in Russia

From there, Celtic were dumped out of the knockouts at the first hurdle.

The Hoops' deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers' side culpable.

Roberto Mancini's Zenit secured their place in Friday's last-16 draw in the 61st minute with Serbian global Ivanović again playing a key role as his low cross was bundled in by Aleksandr Kokorin at the back post.

"The second goal, we didn't engage quick enough from the throw-in".

The Scottish champions found themselves behind in the tie before the half-hour mark, as Daler Kuzyayev crashed a swerving, long-range strike past Celtic goalkeeper Dorus de Vries.

Celtic lost both of their games against Bayern Munich and PSG and won one and lost one against Anderlecht, which was enough to see them move into the Europa League.

"If we played with a little bit more courage and belief, we could maybe have got a result", said the Ulsterman.

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"We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn't do that so we were disappointed", he said. We are taking steps forward with a lot of young players.

"We know that over the course of the two legs we need to replicate that but the players are ready for that. Dembele is a shadow of the player he was last season".

"As always, we like to play with aggression and with that educated pressure on the ball - if you can press, great, if not, make sure you're super compact and the look to go from there and create opportunities".

"But frankly, after a 3-2 defeat on home turf, we were in a hard position".

"But what we showed in the first leg is that if we play with our quality and to the top of our level then we can match any team".

Celtic made seven changes at the weekend as they were held to a goalless draw by St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership in preparation for the trip to Russian Federation, with only McGregor, Kouassi, Dorus de Vries and Kristoffer Ajer featuring in both games.

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