Brendan Rodgers defends Emilio Izaguirre after mistake in Celtic's loss to Barcelona

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Celtic's hopes of remaining in Europe were dashed by the Catalan giants.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez reacts as Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre looks onBarcelona's Luis Suarez reacts as Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre looks on

Brendan Rodgers has defended Emilio Izaguirre after the Celtic defender gave away a penalty during the Hoops' Champions League defeat to Barcelona on Wednesday, the Daily Mirror reports.

The Bhoys needed to match Borussia Monchengladbach's result against Manchester City if they hoped to go into the final game of the group-stage with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League. Ultimately, the German side secured a point against Pep Guardiola's men

Celtic's chances of holding the Catalan giants were dealt a huge blow as Lionel Messi broke the deadlock midway through the first-half at Parkhead with a smart finish.

And their hopes of turning the game around were all but over when the referee pointed to the spot after Izaguirre and Luis Suarez tangled in the box 10 minutes after the break. Messi duly doubled the lead. 

Barcelona's Luis Suarez in action with Celtic's Emilio IzaguirreBarcelona's Luis Suarez in action with Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre

But Rodgers has insisted that the penalty was a harsh decision and suggested that the official had a poor night. 

"I don't think [the second] was a penalty. I think the referee made some very strange decisions," he said, as reported by the Mirror.

"Emilio [Izaguirre] is just fighting for his space... from then it's 2-0 and it becomes very difficult for us."

Celtic manager Brendan RodgersCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

In fairness to the Honduran, it does appear that Suarez is holding onto his arm as the ball rolls in which forces him off balance, so it is hardly surprising that the pair have ultimately fallen to the floor.

But what Suarez has done to get the penalty is perhaps the kind of cleverness that the Scottish Premiership side need to learn about if they hope to make more of an impact when they return to the competition in future.

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