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"Ref Was Pro-Juventus"

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has risked the wrath of Uefa by slamming the performance of the referee last night.

Lennon claims that Alberto Undiano Mallenco, who blew the whistle for Celtic’s Champions League defeat against Juventus, was “very pro-Juventus.”

The Irishman was particularly incensed by Juve’s aggressive jostling in the penalty area at corners, which went unpunished throughout the game.

"I thought he was poor," Lennon told Sky Sports regarding the referee.

"I thought he was very pro-Juventus. I was disappointed with his performance to say the least.

"It's not rugby we're playing, it's soccer.

"I pointed it out to the referee at half-time in the tunnel area but he just waved me away. I made it clear to the players to flag it up to the referee in the second half, but he ignored our requests. They were being fouled, manhandled. Every time one of my players tried to move he was held. He should have given a penalty on at least two occasions.”

Lennon’s comments are likely to be scrutinised by Uefa, and he could face sanction.

Meanwhile, his Juve counterpart, Antonio Conte, refused to comment on the ref’s performance.

He surely knows his players got away with murder, both in the penalty area and the skewed 0-3 scoreline.

And he was mainly happy to be rid of intimidating Celtic Park, with the second leg in Turin to look forward to.

"It has been a very important victory but also one where we suffered. Celtic are a great team when they play at home," Conte told Italy's Sky television.

"I didn't play in a hell like this many times." 

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