CELTIC 0 RENNES 0
NEIL LENNON will be more than satisfied with a work-out in the Glasgow sunshine against quality opposition this afternoon.
The fans took the opportunity to look at new Bhoys Christopher Jullien and Luca Connell and they, too, looked comfortable in their first appearances in the hoops.
Leigh Griffiths’ early touches were applauded by the appreciative audience, especially two raking diagonal passes to pick out Scott Sinclair. raiding from the left.
Lewis Morgan, who looked bright and alert when he came on as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over FK Sarajevo in Bosnia, was clearly in the mood again against the French Cup winners.
The winger, who returned in the summer after his loan spell at Sunderland, was keen to get down the right touchline before firing in crosses.
He demonstrated that superbly in the 11th minute when he raced clear to curl one into the penalty area, but it was just too high for Griffiths, smack in front of goal.
The ball dropped to Sinclair who pushed it in front of Ewan Henderson and the teenage midfielder moved it swiftly to his right foot before rifling in a low angled drive which was competently dealt with by the sprawling keeper at his left.
In the 35th minute, a brilliant one-two between Sinclair and Henderson opened up a chance for the blond, all-action youngster, but he was thwarted by a first-class reflex save.
Jullien looked comfortable playing on the left-side of central defence and he showed radar-like qualities with a long crossfield pass to Morgan who knocked the ball back to Anthony Ralston. The right-back set up Connell for a dangerous lob to the far post, but there was just too much power on his release and the chance was gone.
Callum McGregor, Steven Welsh came on for Scott Brown and Nir Bitton, who took a knock just before the interval.
Just before the interval, Lennon sent on Conor Hazard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie for Craig Gordon, who made two decent saves, and debutants Jullien and Connell and in the 70th minute James Forrest was introduced for Morgan.
Shortly afterwards, it was the turn of Odsonne Edouard, Karamoko Dembele and Scott Roberston to come on for Griffiths, Sinclair and Henderson while Grant Savoury and Calvin Miller also got a quick outing near the end in place of Ralston and Hayes.
Before being replaced, Sinclair had two good chances after service from Hayes and Henderson and missed both. On another day, the Englishman would no doubt have had more accomplished finishes.
Hazard made a good save as he pushed away a powerful 12-yard effort and the game ended with the French defence desperately clearing on Edouard lob off the line.
Now all eyes turn to Parkhead in midweek as the Hoops concentrate on sidestepping a potential banana skin on their way to the next stage.
TEAM: Gordon (sub: Hazard 57); Ralston (sub: Savoury 86), Bitton (sub: Welsh 46), Jullien (sub: Ajer 57), Hayes (sub: Miller 86); Brown (sub: McGregor 46), Connell (sub: Christie 57); Morgan (sub: Forrest 70), Henderson (sub: Robertson 77), Sinclair (sub: Dembele 77); Griffiths (sub: Edouard 77).