Brendan Rodgers slams Celtic defending in AEK Athens loss

Brendan Rodgers manager of Celtic looks on ahead of the Scottish Cup Final between Motherwell and Celtic at Hampden Park

Rodgers, whose side drew 1-1 with AEK in the first leg last week, refused to be drawn when asked if Boyata had played his last game for the club.

The Dutch side's reward is an intriguing clash with Dynamo Kiev, who eliminated Slavia Prague 3-1 on aggregate after goals by Benjamin Verbic and Artem Besedin fired the Ukrainian side to a 2-0 home win over the Czechs.

But Celtic continued to look susceptible to the counter and it was not a huge surprise when AEK got themselves a second in the 50th minute, as Marko Livaja nodded in from close range after Vassilis Lambropoulos headed a free-kick down to the former Inter man.

Celtic's Champions League hopes came crashing down on Tuesday night - and Swansea City duo Oli McBurnie and George Byers have taken great joy in their defeat.

Celtic had been looking to make it to the Champions League group stage for the third year in a row but despite Scott Sinclair's goal to push for a comeback they ultimately fell short.

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"Unfortunately I could not play tomorrow because I'm not yet 100% operational but I'm with all my teammates to bring the qualification".

"He's a player that we would've loved to have been here with us", said Rodgers.

Celtic will now contest a Europa League playoff round tie with Latvia's Spartaks Jurmala or Suduva Marijampole of Lithuania. "I've always said we needed to strengthen (in the transfer window) and hopefully we can do that now".

And ahead of the return leg in Greece, they were stunned 1-0 in the Scottish Premiership by Hearts, with Kyle Lafferty's goal the difference between the sides.

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