Leigh Griffiths was inconsolable following Celtic’s defeat to Ajax as the wasteful striker shouldered the blame for the Scottish champions’ Europa League exit.
Celtic’s faint hopes of qualifying for the round of 32 were dashed by Ajax, who claimed a late 2-1 Group A win in Glasgow on Thursday.
Griffiths had two opportunities to put Celtic ahead with the score level in the final 15 minutes before substitute Vaclav Cerny’s 88th-minute winner condemned the home side to elimination.
After apologising to supporters for his “shocking” performance on matchday five via Twitter post-match, Griffiths told reporters: “This has been my toughest moment of 2015, 100 per cent.
“I will be taking a lot of stick from fans, but that is part and parcel of football.
“We had the chance to go to Istanbul [against Fenerbahce] with a chance and the fate rested with me and my shooting boots. Unfortunately for me, they were on the wrong feet.
“I will beat myself up until Sunday. Ultimately, my performance has cost the team in Europe. I’m putting that on myself because I can’t fault anyone else in the team. I thought they were outstanding.
“I will blame myself. If I take my chances, it could be a different scoreline. I had three, four, five good chances. On another day, I would have scored two or three of them, but, tonight, it has cost us dearly.
“I probably won’t sleep for a while tonight. I’ll sit up and reflect on the game.
“I couldn’t utter a word to my team-mates after the game. I was just so disappointed. It is not their fault. It is down to me and my finishing.
“If it was down to me, we could have gone 3-1, 4-1 or 5-1 up and put them out of sight.”
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