Brendan Rodgers suffered the worst possible start to his career as Celtic manager and served up arguably the worst result in the club’s European history with a defeat in Gibraltar.
The Scottish champions were beaten by a solitary second half goal from Lincoln Red Imps striker Lee Casciaro.It is a result that will rank alongside Artmedia and other European nightmares on the road.
Rodgers has only had a few weeks to work with his squad, but there were warning signs on this defeat – including the appearance of last season’s top goal scorer Leigh Griffiths wide on the right.Celtic inexplicably had a goal disallowed in the first half. Leigh Griffiths also hit the bar twice, Nir Bitton squandering a glorious chance on the rebound after one. Nadir Ciftci also forced a good save from the keeper late on.However, Lincoln alas came within inches of making it 2-0 minutes after the opening goal.
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The manner of this defeat will also allow them to clear out some of the players who performed poorly under Deila and failed to take their chance tonight. There is no doubt that Rodgers’ team will also play better in the coming weeks.
He remains a bold and ambitious appointment by the club, one who promises so much as a manager.
However, this result will stand as an indelible mark on his record.