Brendan Rodgers: Celtic's victory hopes ruined by lapses
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side must learn to defend better if they are to make the grade at Champions League level after a harsh 2-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich.
Rodgers watched his spirited side match the German champions for most of the night in Glasgow only to be undone by two pieces of sloppy defending as goals from Kingsley Coman (22') and Javi Martinez (77') punished errors in a Celtic defence that had otherwise held firm.
Callum McGregor had slotted a merited equaliser for the home side on 74 minutes, and it seemed likely they would earn at least a draw only for Martinez to find the goal with a thumping header that ends their Champions League participation for another season as Bayern progress to the knockout stage from Group B.
Rodgers refused to blame goalkeeper Craig Gordon for the opening goal as he rushed from his goal only to be given the slip by Coman, who proceeded to roll the ball into the net with Gordon stranded.
But Northern Irishman Rodgers conceded makeshift central defensive partnership Dedryck Boyata and Nir Bitton should not have let the ball bounce over their heads from a rushed clearance by visiting goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.
"At this level with the quality they have in their team, we can't be letting the ball bounce through," said Rodgers. "Craig was in a high position and can maybe come to affect it, but we have to deal better with the first goal.
Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)Getty Images
"We had stayed in the game. We had showed a high level of quality in the game. We scored a brilliant goal, had good momentum in the game, the crowed were with us and had been with us all through the game. "
"Again we can do better with their goal. We are learning at this level. We have to get better in defensive situations at this level.
"But I think our overall game and idea was very, very good. It was a harsh lesson for us tonight in terms of the goals we conceded.
"But there are so many positives from the performance."
Celtic will ensure European football in the Europa League after Christmas if they beat Anderlecht in their final Group B match at Celtic Park on December 5 whatever happens on their November 22 trip to Paris Saint-Germain, who join Bayern in the last 16 with two games to spare.
"We have got PSG next and then we have to close that out against Anderlecht here. But it would be a brilliant step forward for us, and we'll think about that after Christmas," said Rodgers.
McGregor admitted Celtic were disappointed to lose.
"We put in a good performance, and we maybe deserved something from the game," said McGregor. "It feels like we are getting better."
Arjen Robben praised Celtic's performance and the home fans for giving him a standing ovation towards the end of the game.
"It was not our best game, but we knew it would be very difficult with their crowd," said Robben. "It was a very intense game. They did well, and deserved their equaliser.
"We didn't have too many chances, but we scored twice. We didn't create too much, but today was enough.
"It was a great experience to play here, it was the first time and I really enjoyed it. All respect to their fans."
Speaking through an interpreter, Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes swerved a question about possibly getting a break at their opening goal when Coman appeared to handle the ball before slipping it into the net.
""Celtic played an amazing game.The fans were a super support and it was a wonderful experience for us here.""