Arda Turan’s speculative strike after 30 minutes won it for the Spaniards..in bizarre fashion.
Celtic captain Beram Kayal ducked to avoid Turan’s strike and it sailed past Forster into the back of the net.
But Lennon insisted his players were equal to the Spanish visitors.
“I thought we matched Atletico for the majority of the game – if not bettered them,” said Lennon.
“It was an excellent performance, and I thought we deserved better from it.”
Gary Hooper had a goal disallowed for Celtic during the second half of the match when Anthony Stokes helped set it up with his arm.
The Spanish giants are through to the knock-out stages while Celtic must travel to Udinese and win….something Celtic don’t do..win away in Europe!
“It’s a tall order – Udinese are an excellent side,” said Lennon.
“We haven’t won away from home in a long while, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got.
Lennon didn’t want to blame Kayal for the goal either!
“He mis-judged the flight of the ball and Fraser didn’t see it until late, so he couldn’t really do much about it,” said Lennon.
“He did his best, which was a split-second reaction.
“I’m not going to be over-critical of the goal – they defended the corner well. It just got through a ruck of bodies and he didn’t see it until late.
“Up until that, it was the only difference between the sides. We created more chances tonight than we did against Rennes and we didn’t win the game.
“We played well against a top quality side, and, if anything, I think it’ll give us more determination.
“There were some brilliant performances out there tonight – [Georgios] Samaras and Kayal didn’t look out of place – I thought they were among the best players on the pitch.
“But for a bit of luck, we would have won the game.”
Ever the optimist our Neil!Tags: