UEFA Champions League

November 20, 2012

Full-time

Benfica

2 - 1

Celtic

Group G

19:45 +00:00, November 20, 2012

Estadio da Luz

Samaras: We must stay positive

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras was staying positive despite Neil Lennon's side losing 2-1 against Benfica in the Champions League.

The Hoops' bid to progress to the knockout stages will go to their last Group G fixture following their defeat at the Stadium of Light.

Ola John gave the home side the lead in the seventh minute before Samaras levelled in the 32nd minute from a Charlie Mulgrew corner.

Defender Ezequiel Garay restored Benfica's lead in the 72nd minute to ultimately, and deservedly, leave both sides on seven points after five games.

The Scottish champions, guaranteed a Europa League spot after Barcelona beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 earlier in the evening, will go through if, in their home game against the Russian club, they better Benfica's result in Barcelona.

Samaras told Sky Sports 2: "For 90 minutes we were a little bit nervous but it is finished. The team effort and the really hard work we had...we must stay positive, we can still go through.

"I am not really happy. I reckon we played really well today, the game was really close, we lost the game in the details. I am just looking forward to the next game.'' Celtic manager Lennon bemoaned his side's lack of composure and echoed Samaras' sentiments that the team had been anxious.

He told Sky Sports 2: "I'm disappointed with the two goals we conceded, particularly the second one. I was disappointed with the lack of composure about us and the nervousness on the ball. However, we have one more crack at it and know what we have to do.''

Lennon put the nervousness down to it being a young team and he admitted the loss of victor Wanyama for the crucial game against Spartak through suspension will be keenly felt.

"It will be a huge loss because he has been magnificent, he will be a big miss," he said.

"I thought some decisions really went against us sometimes but hopefully we will be getting some players back for Spartak. A few are running on empty.''

He also revealed captain Scott Brown, withdrawn here after 64 minutes, would be assessed over the next few days before a decision is taken over his fitness for coming games.

Scoring Summary

Benfica Celtic
Ola John (7')Georgios Samaras (32')
Ezequiel Garay (71')