Brown pleased with point

Skipper Scott Brown claimed Celtic gained a point rather than dropped two against Benfica in their Champions League Group G opener at Parkhead last night.

Brown was the only Celt with experience in European football's elite club competition but Neil Lennon's men held their own against the Portuguese club in a goalless draw which produced few clear cut chances.

The Scotland midfielder, who is playing through an ongoing hip complaint, was pleased with the way Celtic performed and looks forward to adding to that hard-fought point away to Spartak Moscow next month.

"I think we played really well overall," said Brown. "I think it's a point gained.

"The lads who hadn't played in the Champions League before were excellent.

"We were unlucky that we didn't create as many chances as we would like but over the 90 minutes I think we were the better team.

"We've showed what we can do away from home already in Europe this season.

"We're managing to keep clean sheets which we've rarely done in the past."

Brown may have to sit out against Dundee in the SPL on Saturday in order to give his hip a rest.

He said: "I felt fine and got through the game no problem.

"We'll just need to wait and see if it's tight or sore and I might need to give Saturday a miss."

Lennon was bountiful in his praise of Brown and will keep an eye on the former Hibernian player over the next few days.

The former Celtic skipper said: "He gives the team real drive and he is improving all the time.

"There were moments in the second half when he saw the danger and covered the ground, made tremendous tackles and nipped counter-attacks in the bud very quickly.

"He has matured a lot and has blossomed into the captain that he is.

"He has played at this level before, there were 10 who haven't, and he sets an example.

"He finished the game tremendously strong which was surprising and we will see how he is over the next couple of days."

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus claimed his side deserved to leave Glasgow with all three points.

"We deserved victory," he said.

"We knew it was not going to be an easy game.

"Celtic are a hard team who play very aggressive football with high balls but defensively we were very good and victory would have been deserved."

Most Read in Sport