Lennon: Celtic will enjoy ultimate challenge against Barcelona

The Bhoys’ boss claims that his side’s incredible 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow last time out has set them in good stead to face the Blaugrana in their next Champions League game

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes that his side's 3-2 victory over Spartak Moscow in their last Champions League encounter has prepared them well for their upcoming fixture with Barcelona.

The Bhoys came from behind in Moscow with an injury-time winner from Georgios Samaras which clinched their first away win in the competition in 19 attempts.

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And the 41-year-old has claimed that the nature of the victory has prepared them well for a tough test at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

"The performance in Moscow was probably even beyond my expectations," Lennon told The Times.

"We've got a lot of young players and they played very well that night. Tactically, and in terms of the bravery and spirit they showed, they were excellent and that has given us a platform to go to Barcelona.

"I don't think we've got the mentality or the players just to sit in and defend, like Chelsea did against Barcelona.

"We have to try to create chances, like we did in Moscow. It won't be easy - it's the ultimate challenge for the players and for me, too - but we're going to enjoy it."

The former Leicester City player also stated that the relegation of Rangers from the Scottish top-flight, intimating that the lack of Old Firm rivalry has made his life easier.

"With Rangers not around, the stress levels have diminished a little bit," he added.

"But for the whole of Scottish football - for the glamour, the energy, the exposure - it would be better if it hadn't happened."