'Conte is talking rubbish', blasts Lennon in ref row

The Hoops manager has dismissed claims from the Italian that his side were just as guilty of grappling inside the area in Glasgow three weeks ago, ahead of Wednesday's second leg
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit back at Juventus boss Antonio Conte ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

The Bianconeri hold a 3-0 lead from the first leg at Celtic Park where the game was dominated by the Scottish side's fury over what they felt was continuous grappling by the the visitors inside their penalty area.

Conte, though, claims Celtic were just as guilty of infringement because Gary Hooper positioned himself near Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon during set-pieces, a view which has incensed Lennon.

"Hooper is allowed to stand in front of Buffon so Conte is talking rubbish," Lennon told reporters. "Any player can stand anywhere he likes in the box.

"He's not affecting the goalkeeper, he's not touching the goalkeeper and he's not preventing him from getting the ball.

"If he prevents him from getting the ball then, yes, it's a free kick. But before the ball is kicked he's not doing anything and he is entitled to stand where he likes. So Conte is talking nonsense."

Celtic had sent Uefa a dossier of the Serie A side's behaviour during the match but Conte responded by threatening to send a dossier of his own.

"Every time there is a corner to Celtic there is always a punishment in favour of the defending team because there is a player who systematically blocks our keeper in the six-yard box," said Conte.

"In this case of the first leg it was Hooper. Regulation says in the six-yard box a keeper must not be touched and if he is it is a foul.

"So I say every time there is a player that goes in there then all angles show there was a foul in favour of Juventus.

"Lennon talks about the rules so I'll bring a dossier about the Celtic player blocking our keeper."