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Christie 'devastated' by Celtic's Champions League exit

The midfielder says his side have to be more "street-smart"after defeat to Cluj.

Christie scored against Cluj but his side crashed out.
Christie scored against Cluj but his side crashed out. SNS Group

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie has admitted his side have been left feeling "raw" by their Champions League defeat to Cluj and admits they have only themselves to blame for the shock exit.

The Scottish champions came from behind to lead after conceding an early goal in the second leg, with Christie scoring to put them 3-2 ahead with 14 minutes to go. But Cluj bounced back to equalise and then kill off the tie with a late counter-attack as Celtic chased a goal.

Christie admitted there were lessons to learn from the game but said that the impact of the loss was significant.

"We need to be more street-smart, especially going up twice in the game and not really managing to see it out," he said. "It's a very bitter pill to swallow.

"Everyone is absolutely devastated. Everyone wants to play Champions League football at this club, everyone thinks we deserve to be there but you can't concede four goals at home and expect to go through.

"It's all very raw. Over the next few days we can look back and analyse it a bit more and try and learn from it, but when you go a goal up, especially in Champions League football, especially when you are at home, that should be the tie over.

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1439983-celtic-out-of-champions-league-after-4-3-defeat-to-cluj/ | default

"We wanted to keep going and get a bit more of a cushion but at the same time we need to keep the back door shut and we didn't do that."

The Scotland international was out of the first-team picture when Celtic reached the group stages twice under Brendan Rodgers and he said that he was particularly disappointed on a personal level.

"Since I broke in last year, me more than anyone else, I was desperate for Champions League football this season," Christie said.

"Coming off a treble-treble, you put in all that hard work to hopefully go and push on again the next season.

"I think personally we are a Champions League team but you need to prove it on the pitch and get through these tough ties. Fair play to Cluj, they have come here and managed to outsmart us."

Celtic now drop into the Europa League play-off round where they will face Moldovan side Sherrif Tiraspol or Sweden's AIK.

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