Neil Lennon was proud after Celtic's UEFA Champions League win at Spartak Moscow
Neil Lennon spoke of his pride after Celtic's historic 3-2 UEFA Champions League Group G victory over Spartak Moscow.
Last Updated: 03/10/12 7:07am
Georgios Samaras' last-gasp header in the Luzhniki Stadium gave the Hoops their first win away from home in the group stages of European football's elite club competition.
The Hoops had to do it the hard way though - withstanding sustained early pressure before Gary Hooper's 12th minute goal - and then battling back from 2-1 down to win.
Lennon said: "I am probably the proudest man in Europe tonight.
"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."
Lennon reserved special praise for Hooper, who scored, provided a goal assist and ran through on goal which saw Spartak defender Juan Insaurralde sent off.
The Celtic boss said: "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 have four points from two games but Lennon refused to get carried away with regards their 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."