Celtic’s centre-backs were dreadful as the Scottish Premiership winners lost their Champions League qualifying tie against CFR Cluj of Romania.
Celtic’s defence collapsed in their Champions League horror-show against Cluj this week and Chris Sutton believes Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic have to take their share of the blame, while speaking to the Daily Record.
After drawing 1-1 away in Romania, the Scottish giants were clear favourites to progress to the next round of Champions League qualifying on Tuesday night.
Instead, they endured a defeat as bad as anything in their recent European history. Cluj tore the hosts’ defence apart again and again at Parkhead and eventually sealed a dramatic 4-3 win on Scottish soil.
Ajer, the highly-rated Norwegian who is apparently valued at £15 million (The Sun), toiled at the back while Simunovic endured one of his worst performances since joining Celtic back in 2015.
No wonder Sutton was not impressed, questioning why on earth £7 million newbie Christopher Jullien was left on the bench. Plenty of Celtic fans have been asking the same thing.
“If the team then loses four goals at home I’m afraid questions have to be asked,” said the outspoken club legend.
“Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic have been playing well for (Neil) Lennon since the start of the season but this was the acid test and they failed.”
This is not the first time, and probably not the last, that Celtic have endured a damning defeat before the Champions League proper even begins. This time last year, they were dumped out by a limited AEK Athens side.
12 months on, with a new manager and a host of new players, it seems that no lessons have been learned.