Lennon thrilled with victory

Neil Lennon described himself as 'probably the proudest man in Europe' after Celtic's historic 3-2 UEFA Champions League Group G victory over Spartak Moscow in the Luzhniki Stadium.

Georgios Samaras's last-gasp header gave the Hoops their first win away from home in the group stages of European football's elite club competition and it was a deserved victory for the Parkhead men.

Gary Hooper gave the visitor the lead in the 12th minute before Emmanuel Emenike netted twice for the Russian club, once either side of the break.

Spartak defender Juan Insaurralde was sent off just after the hour mark for preventing Hooper going clean through on goal before Celtic levelled after a drive from substitute James Forrest deflected in off Spartak captain Dmitri Kombarov.

Celtic, though, refused to settle for the point and to cap a remarkable night for the Scottish champion, Samaras headed in an Emilio Izaguiire cross to send the small band of Hoops fans - and the Celtic bench - wild with delight.

"I am probably the proudest man in Europe tonight," said Lennon.

"I cannot speak highly enough of the players, they were magnificent.

"They played magnificent football at a very tough venue against an excellent side.

"They showed great character and fortitude to come back after going behind just after half-time.

"I thought we thoroughly deserved to win it.

"We didn't start the game particularly well, we looked a bit nervous and our passing wasn't there for the first five or 10 minutes but we had a quick break and scored a good goal.

"I have to say I thought Gary Hooper was world class tonight.

"I thought he was just magnificent and the catalyst for a lot of good things we did tonight.

"People keep asking me about him playing for England, well I think he showed how good he is tonight.

"But there were so many good performances, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Wilson, Brown, Samaras came on to a game, Commons got stronger as the game went on, James Forrest came on and gave us pace and quality.

"I think people underestimate Celtic. I don't think we get the respect we deserve but maybe tonight's performance might change a few attitudes."

Celtic has four points from two games but Lennon refused to get carried away with regards its chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

He said: "We just have to play Barcelona home and away ...

"It is a huge step for the club.

"It is our first away win in the Champions League so we have broken a record.

"It is fantastic but there is a lot of football to be played in the group.

"We have two home games and Benfica and Barcelona away so it is still an open group for second place as far as I am concerned.

"We are still novices in this tournament but a few more performances like that wouldn't do us any harm at all.

"Every one of the players was a credit to the club tonight."

Spartak had been unlucky to lose 3-2 to Barcelona in the Nou Camp on match day one but could have few complaints about the defeat to Celtic.

Coach Unai Emery said: "You can't compare the two games, Barcelona and Celtic are two different sides.

"In Barcelona we seemed to be more disciplined.

"We should have been more aggressive in midfield tonight, that was our main problem.

"Some players lacked confidence."