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Lennon rages at tackles

CELTIC manager Neil Lennon last night criticised Hibernian for "shocking", "reckless" and "rugbyesque" tackling after his team came from behind to draw 1-1 at Easter Road.

James Forrest fires in Celtic??s equaliser at Easter Road   Photograph: PA
James Forrest fires in Celtic??s equaliser at Easter Road Photograph: PA

Lennon was also irritated at Hibs' goal which was scored from an offside position and concerned over an injury to Kris Commons, who pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring strain.

The injury will almost certainly rule him out of Tuesday's vital match against Ajax in Group H of the Champions League at Parkhead.

Referee Calum Murray booked two Hibs players - Liam Craig and Ryan McGivern - but the Celtic manager was scathing in his comments over some of the home side's challenges. Lennon said: "It was shocking, absolutely shocking. Reckless. I'm all for competitive football but seriously, they were borderline tackles.

"The tackle by [Rowan] Vine on [Darnell] Fisher was rugbyesque. We've got a big Champions League game coming up and I'm not asking any favours, I don't mind teams being competitive, and the physicality of the game was good, but I felt it was over the top."

Commons is now almost certain to join the suspended Scott Brown on the sidelines for the Ajax match, but Lennon can be consoled by the form of James Forrest who scored a spectacular goal to cancel out Paul Heffernan's opener.

''You can see he's at least a yard off,'' Lennon said of the Irishman. "I am not here to criticise officials, but when it is as blatant as that you have to ask, 'why did you miss that?'"

Hibs manager Pat Fenlon said of Lennon's criticism of the tackling: "Good, that means the message is getting across to my players that we want to go and compete and be in people's faces.

"I think most of the tackles were fair. There was one in the first half that they moaned about, but it was a good tackle.

"We made sure Celtic knew they had been in a game and that is what it was about today. If you stand off them and let them play, they will tear you apart.''

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