Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner rejects criticism of tactics against Celtic

Last Updated: 13/02/13 2:49pm

Stephan Lichtsteiner: Does not think Juventus did anything wrong against Celtic

Stephan Lichtsteiner does not believe Celtic had any reason to feel aggrieved at the way Juventus defended in their UEFA Champions League clash.

Neil Lennon accused referee Alberto Mallenco of favouring Juventus following Celtic's 3-0 defeat on Tuesday as he felt his players were regularly being fouled in the box as they were preparing for corners or free-kicks.

However, Juve defender Lichtsteiner insists it is just a part of the game and does not think Celtic deserved a penalty, saying they were more to blame for trying to obstruct goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Lichtsteiner - I did nothing wrong

He told Sky Sports: "It's normal. I think it is part of football that they play the corners and the free-kicks, and of course they score more than 40 per cent of their goals in the Champions League from free-kicks, and they look to block the goalkeeper.

"It was my role today to keep him away from Buffon."

Pressed on whether Juve were lucky not to concede a spot-kick, Lichtsteiner, who was booked for holding, added: "A penalty for what? It is more a foul from him than from me because if you attack the goalkeeper it is a foul."

Celtic's players were far from happy with the performance of the officials, suggesting that Mallenco did not carry through on his promise to penalise Juve if they carried on with the same tactics.

"It is more a foul from him than from me because if you attack the goalkeeper it is a foul."

Stephan Lichtsteiner

Mikael Lustig said: "They used a lot of arms when we got our corners but it is up to the referee. Of course we tried to speak to him but he didn't listen to us."

Asked what the referee did say to them, midfielder Kris Commosn added: "He said if they did it again we would get a penalty. That was in the first half.

"The whole idea of the official behind the line was to look out for this kind of stuff, and if he can't identify when people are being hauled, man-handled or wrestled to the floor, I don't think he should be in a job."

Whilst admitting that Celtic now 'need a miracle' to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Lennon was furious with the referee.

He said: "I thought he was poor. I thought he was very pro-Juventus. I was disappointed with his performance to say the least.

Lennon: Huge task ahead

"They were being fouled at every occasion. The referee is looking at it. They were putting their arms around players, blocking their runs, trying to pull them down...

"The game must be different in Spain and in Italy from what it is in Britain because you cannot do that in the penalty box because it is a penalty."

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