Loovens - Passing game costly

Dutchman says passing game was not up to scratch

Loovens: first-leg defeat

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Defender Glenn Loovens believes Celtic's possession play was not good enough in their UEFA Champions League defeat to Arsenal.

Celtic went down 2-0 to a goal from William Gallas and an own goal from Gary Caldwell in the first leg at Parkhead as Arsenal close in on a place in the group stages.

The Bhoys rarely troubled the Arsenal goal on the night and centre-half Loovens believes their wastefulness of possession did not help their cause.

"We weren't good enough on the ball," said the Dutchman.

"We didn't give much away, the two goals we conceded were very unlucky and we could have prevented them.

"But we weren't good enough on the ball so I don't think we deserved anything from this game.

"We knew they would pressure us straight away when they lose it high up the pitch. We knew that before the game, they are a top team. They made it very hard for us."

Goals

The home side almost managed to hold the Gunners until half-time until a Cesc Fabregas strike deflected off Gallas to put the away side in front before the break.

"We felt we had everything under control so it's a hard pill to swallow," Loovens added.

"I don't think we lost confidence. When we had the ball, it wasn't working for us. We were sloppy even with 10-yard passes and that's not normally like us.

"So we couldn't get into the game. Like I said, we didn't give much away but to win a game you need good possession and to create chances, which we didn't.

"It's going to be even more difficult in the second leg but there is still everything to play for and let's hope we score a quick goal," said the 25-year-old.

"I never go into a game thinking of not losing heavily. If I go out on to the pitch I want to win and that's not going to change."

The former Cardiff player also voiced his support for own goal victim Caldwell and has no concerns over the defender's ability to bounce back in the next game.

"The second goal, these things happen in football, but it's a bitter pill to swallow," Loovens said. "He has character and he is a good footballer, so he will come back strong."

Competition

Meanwhile, Bhoys striker Chris Killen is hoping he will get his chance to impress in the second leg and firmly believes he has what it takes to break into a side full of competition up front.

"These are games you enjoy. You want to play against the best and you want to test yourself against the best players in the world," he told Celtic View.

"That's what we'll be facing next week and I am hoping for a chance to get our there and play.

"We have a new manager here and that means a fresh start for every single player in this squad," added the New Zealand international.

"He has had a look at what players are available to him at Celtic and we have a massive squad here so no-one is guaranteed a start in the team."