Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admitted their last-gasp 2-1 defeat by Lazio was a “devastating” blow after he felt they deserved to be in front.
Luis Palma thought he had given the Scottish champions an 81st-minute lead but it was ruled offside by a lengthy VAR check when the officials decided Daizen Maeda had helped on Alistair Johnston’s cross.
There was a bigger blow to follow five minutes into stoppage-time when Pedro robbed Cameron Carter-Vickers before spraying the ball out wide and running into the box to head home the resulting cross.
Kyogo Furuhashi’s early opener had been cancelled out by Matias Vecino following a 29th-minute corner.
Rodgers said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. I felt we totally deserved to take something from the game.
“We had a great start and scored a great goal. I’m disappointed with the goal we conceded, I felt we could do better with the corner.
“We were getting through them and it looked like a matter of time before we could score. We got a goal but unfortunately Daizen just got a touch on it and made it offside.
“I felt at that point we deserved to be in front, we had got into some good areas.
“To concede late on was harsh but there’s a learning there. You have to secure the ball late on. The learning is just managing the game at that late stage.
“We knocked on the door second half, if you can’t make the breakthrough just make sure in that late stage of the game that you are secure behind the ball.”
Carter-Vickers had come off the bench to make his comeback following seven weeks out with a hamstring injury.
Rodgers said: “There’s no blame on Cam, it’s one where they steal the ball from him but if we were in a better position, we deal with the cross.
“That’s the learning for the team – you can’t be coming out from the space unless you have good control of the ball.
“It was a devastating way to lose because we deserved something, but like every game there are learnings and when the Atletico game comes hopefully we can learn the lessons.”
Despite the finest of margins between potential victory and a ninth defeat in 11 Champions League group games at home, the facts remain that Celtic are on zero points from two games in Group E.
Rodgers said: “We were under no illusions at the beginning of the competition where we sat. I said at the beginning our idea was to qualify for European football, and that’s still the ambition and mentality.
“We have shown over the two games against good sides that we can compete. If we can just tidy up one or two moments and maybe get a bit of luck, we will still fight in every single game to get that qualification.”