In Review

'Shock of Gibraltar' as Celtic lose to Lincoln Red Imps

But Brendan Rodgers says he is 'not embarrassed' by defeat to Gibraltar's part-timers in Champions League qualifier

Lincoln Red Imps 1 Celtic 0

Celtic suffered what the Daily Record described as the "most embarrassing result in the club's history" as they lost 1-0 to Lincoln Red Imps from the footballing backwater of Gibraltar. 

And fittingly for a team with a name that sounds like a craft beer the Red Imps have left the Scottish champions the mother of all hangovers thanks to a win that, predictably, was a headline writer's dream.

"Rock bottom" was the Record's reaction to defeat in the first leg of the Champions League qualifier, others branded it the "Shock of Gibraltar". The Glasgow Evening Times could barely believe that one of Europe's most venerable clubs - a one-time winner of the tournament - had succumbed to a club who treat football "as a hobby". 

Emphasising that Gibraltar's finest were part-timers, the Evening Times lists the players' professions: a fireman, taxi driver, teacher and a customs officer. But it was a policeman, 34-year-old Lee Casciaro, who got the all-important goal, putting the ball into the visitors' net three minutes into the second-half to send the fans - all 2,000 of them - wild.

The crowd wasn't actually that bad, considering there are only 32,000 on the British Overseas Territory, which is just over half of the capacity of Celtic Park.

The Red Imps, on the other hand, play their games at Victoria stadium, which lies in the shadow of Gibraltar's airport, and planes came and went throughout the 90 minutes. But it was Casciaro who hit the heights with a goal that left him "over the moon". 

The policeman scored Gibraltar's first international goal in 2015 - against Scotland - and he was on target again against Celtic. "This is my biggest achievement, beating a European champion like Celtic at home is something that will be with me for the rest of my life," he said. "We knew we were going to get chances and they were going to press us. So any balls over the top I was going to run the defenders, luckily I got that chance and I scored."

As The Sun points out, the only plus for the visitors was the proximity of the stadium to the airport so they could quickly "escape the embarrassment" of being beaten by part-timers. 

Bizarrely, however, Celtic's new manager, Brendan Rodgers, didn't see any shame in losing to the mighty Red Imps. "There's no embarrassment," said Rodgers, who was appointed manager of the Bhoys in May. "There's no panic. We've got enough quality here to get through to the next round. It's a two-legged affair, our objective is to get through.”

Asked if he had a message for the Celtic fans, Rodgers replied: "Keep calm". 

As for the Red Imps they later posted a message on their twitter page [4,500 followers as of Wednesday morning] from Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar. "This is the best result since we joined Uefa three years ago and we cannot wait for the return leg in Scotland next week."

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