Friday, March 1, 2024

Lazio vs Celtic: Discipline key for Brendan Rodgers in must-win Champions League clash -Dlight News

Brendan Rodgers insists discipline will be key for Celtic as they look to keep their European hopes alive with an elusive Champions League victory against Lazio.

The Hoops need to win in Rome on Tuesday night and hope Atletico Madrid beat Feyenoord to have a chance of dropping into the Europa League knockout stages.

They had two players sent off in their first away match of the campaign in the Netherlands and Daizen Maeda was red-carded in the first half of their defeat away to Atletico.

Rodgers knows they have to keep their cool at the Stadio Olimpico to have a chance of claiming their first Champions League group stage victory since 2017.

“What’s important for us is making sure we have 11 men on the field,” he said.

Referee Ivan Kruzliak shows a red card to Celtic's Daizen Maeda during a UEFA Champions League group stage match between Atletico de Madrid and Celtic
Celtic’s Daizen Maeda was sent off against Atletico Madrid

“There are two away games we’ve been down to nine men and 10 men and, at this level, that’s a big ask.

“For us, it’s about keeping our players on the field and playing the level of football that we know we can and hopefully getting the brakes in the game.”

Celtic fell to an agonising late defeat to Lazio at Celtic Park in October when Pedro struck in stoppage time to earn the Serie A side a 2-1 victory.

“The Lazio game at home, a little bit of concentration when you’re not going to win the game then certainly don’t lose it. That was a point that we’d given away,” Rodgers added.

“There are key moments in the games.

Celtic players fall to the floor dejected after Lazio's late winner
Celtic players fall to the floor dejected after Lazio’s late winner

“If you think of the first half away in Feyenoord, we started the game well, we had opportunities that we could take that could put us in front but then we concede at a bad moment just right on half time.

“As I said the key for us making sure we have 11 on the field.

“When we have shown that in all the games we have been good and competitive.

“That’s the challenge for us, at this level it’s the top end of the pitch that has quality. Dealing with that quality as a team collectively.”

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