Celtic 3-1 Rennes


Celtic came from behind to beat Rennes in the Europa League tonight with two goals from Anthony Stokes and a late finish from Gary Hooper.  Rennes took the lead after 85 seconds when Kader Mangane converted a corner with a fine header.

Rennes pushed forward from kick-off and Julien Feret’s bullet corner kick evaded Victor Wanyama.  This in turn deceived Daniel Majstorovic allowing Mangane to meet the ball and redirect it into the top corner of the goal.

Losing the early goal direct from a corner, for the second time in four Europa League games, seemed to sap Celtic’s confidence as Rennes pushed forward with confidence in the opening 30 minutes.  During this period Rennes goalkeeper, Benoit Costil, touched the ball only once, to cut out a cross from James Forrest.  Celtic were disjointed and no one seemed keen to receive or hold the ball.

Celtic needed a break and it came from James Forrest, not for the first time this season.  The Celtic midfielder evaded two challenges and created space for a shot 25 yards out on the corner of the box.  Costil, who had perhaps lost concentration during his long period as a spectator, stopped the shot but allowed it to rebound back into play, instead of turning it around the post.  Anthony Stokes was on hand to pounce and turn the ball into the empty net.

Two minutes from half time Celtic took the lead when Georgios Samaras flicked on a Fraser Forster clearance which was missed by Mangane.  Stokes collected outside the box and finished confidently with his left foot into the corner of the net.

Having dominated most of the first half Rennes would have wondered how they were behind at half time but the second half was a different game.  Celtic came out with more fight than finesse but as the half progressed they played some of their best football of the season.

Neil Lennon’s injury problems were compounded when Glenn Loovens failed to return for the second half but the manager will be delighted by the debut of 17-year-old central defender Marcus Fraser, who threw himself into the game like an experienced professional.

Adam Matthews, Celtic’s other teenage defender, typified the home teams’ resurgence.  He managed to maintain his cool under pressure with 28,000 fans nervously looking on.

Gary Hooper replaced the tiring James Forrest and wrapped things up for Celtic on 82 minutes.  The striker collected a clearance under pressure in the centre circle and found Samaras in space on the left wing.  Memories fleetingly flashed to mind of a similar break against Udinese when Samaras passed up a chance to make a decisive break but today the Greek was not to be denied.  He played an inch-perfect pass into the path of the onrushing Hooper who met it 13 yards from goal, controlled and knocked it past Costil.

On 66 minutes Kris Commons replaced Paddy McCourt, who struggled to get into the game.  Yann M’Vila, distributed the ball with great effect for Rennes and mopped up lots in central midfield but he failed to take account for ‘Tenacious C’, Commons, and collected his second yellow in the final minutes as the Celtic midfielder nipped the ball away from him.

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  1. LB



    They where your average sized English club, who had a great team at the time that suffered true tragedy. In the aftermath they became many peoples second team. Without out that they’d be mentioned in the same breath as Aston Villa and Nottingham Forrest.



    Everything Man U are today came from that tragic day in 1958.

  2. the hooped crusader on

    A great performance last night, at last some fight and


    determination getting shown. I said to my son after


    Hooper goal that’s the type of goals we usually concede,


    fast effective counter attack a joy to behold.


    I’d also like to congratulate young Marcus Fraser on


    his debut. Marcus was at st Helens primary with my


    son they also played in the same team at rossvale.


    He was always going to be a bhoy who could make it


    at the top level, although when I watched him he was


    a free scoring midfielder. He is from a big Celtic family


    and his mum dad and grand parents will be very proud


    people today. My son and I seen him on match days


    doing his ballbhoy it’s a big step up to where he was


    last night but very well deserved.



    Hail Hail.

  3. What makes a club? It’s an interesting question.



    I think it takes much more than money, much more than a generation of players and supporters.



    I love Celtic. But why and what is Celtic? Is it because I am a Glaswegian of Irish descent? Is it because my parents and grandparents loved the club? Is it because when I was a child and developing an interest in football Celtic were magic? Is it because some of my forebears were among the masses who benefited from Walfrid’s idea? Or because some of them were among those who gave their labour free of charge to build Celtic Park?



    All I know is that if we were in a position to engineer some shady pre-pack administration deal and were trying to re-invent our club with a ‘not-too-old, not-too-new’ different name while shamelessly walking away from unpayable debts that our vanity had made us to build up, whether starting in SFL Division Three or tricking our way straight into the SPL, we wouldn’t be talking about Celtic.



    Whatever entity we were talking about would have no claim on my love, my passion, my support, my children’s affections, my time or my money. Celtic would be dead. No other club could take its place.

  4. McCourt for 7 @ 11.19



    I agre absolutely. The younger players definitely need to be handled with care. Forrest is a good example. But if he is rested on Sunday there will no doubt be lots of enraged CQNers saying Never change a winning team.

  5. 79caps @ 11.26


    I agree with what you say but I dont like the way that he seems undroppable and gets picked in games that you know arent to his liking. Not his fault but the SPL has to come first. He very rarely shows in away games in the SPL. He has great technique and abiltiy but lacking in heart.

  6. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on




    Sorry i missed your post last night!



    It was great to meet you too!



    Olivia had a great time and she is away to school with her programme, ticket and half time draw ticket, to show the bhoys in her class who weren’t at the game!



    Take care!

  7. Celtic_First says:



    4 November, 2011 at 11:32



    There is a difference in that Celtic have a history that no decent person would want to lose, whereas Rangers have one that any decent person would be glad to lose.

  8. Auldheid



    Maybe if any of them admitted they have reasons to be keen to lose their history it would help make sure the Govan Gobshites or whatever the end up calling themselves is a club of a different hue and we can all move forward.

  9. Paul the Spark,



    I have been saying exactly the same on here about Ki for most of this season. He will be a good player in a very good team who don’t play in the SPL. He won’t/can’t do what is necessary here. When we’re winning 3 or 4 nothing, bring him on. Kayal was a different player last night without Ki there.

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    Six men locked away in steel tubes for a year-and-a-half to simulate a mission to Mars have emerged from isolation.



    The Mars500 project, undertaken at a Moscow institute, was intended to find out how the human mind and body would cope on a long-duration spaceflight.



    It is a venture that has fascinated all who have followed it around the globe.



    The study even saw three of the men carry out a pretend landing on Mars, donning real spacesuits and walking across an enclosed sandy yard.



    “The international crew has completed the 520-day mission,” Russian commander Alexey Sitev announced after stepping through the opened hatch of the Mars500 “spaceship”. “The programme has been fully carried out. All the crew members are in good health. We are now ready for further tests,” he told those gathered to witness the emergence. “Emdy seen Cadizzy?” he added, with a look of concern.

  11. RavenCelt at 11:20



    Zonal marking or zonal defending isn’t the problem. Most teams employ this type of defence when defending set pieces. It’s how our players implement the system that’s wrong.



    Take the goal last night as a perfect example. The ball was delivered into a zone where their forward was able to move into that zone to get a header on the ball. What our defenders did was ball watch and wait. What in the proper implementation of the system should happen is that the defenders should follow the flight of the ball and attack it as it is coming in. They didn’t (and haven’t been) do this last night, not just for the goal but in a couple of other occassions. The only player I noticed doing this properly was Sammi and it was telling that he made 4 or 5 headed clearences from set piece deliveries.




  12. DBBIA,



    I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. I have only just now had the chance to read back. I was meaning the smallest of all time, for a European tie. Parkhead looked empty last night, although the atmosphere was absolutely brilliant.

  13. Glad to see Kayal back to his tigerish best last night, was chasing down everything and driving the team on. Wanyama again impressed me last night, the big man is absolutely solid and the opposition seem to bounce off him. We are at our best when we work hard off the ball and close teams down, something we were doing last season and have been failing to do with any regularity so far this season. Going to Fir Park on Sunday we need to win the battle in the middle of the park first to earn the right to play football. For that reason I hope we go with Ledley (if fit), Kayal, Wanyama & Forrest in midfield. Away to Murderwell in a must win game is no place for Ki, although he is a gifted player we need guys ready to fight for the cause.



    p.s. Well done to big Sammi for all his faults the big man never hides and produced a performance when needed last night.

  14. The Battered Bunnet – Six men locked away in steel tubes for a year-and-a-half to simulate a mission to Mars have emerged from isolation.



    Russia: Europe’s hillbilly cousin. (thumbsup)

  15. Very well done to the team last night. The performance so uplifting after Saturday’s poor display.



    Great to see the team pulling together and maximum effort from all, no passengers last night and some outstanding individual performances.



    After the Kilmarnock game I called for the Manager to go. I hope I was wrong to call for this, jury still out in my mind, but I sincerely hope we have turned the corner.



    Looking forward to Sunday, if we get the same commitment from the players on Sunday I think we will be happy with the result.




  16. voguepunter – Ole Philvis will be lurking right now ,looking for another podium.



    Don’t think I’ll make it today VP, too many people want a piece of Philvis right now. (thumbsup)

  17. Paul The Spark @ 11.32



    As Kojo would say, pal, let’s disagree to agree. Anyway with all the injuries the team is getting we’ll need all our midfielders to play a part.



    Hail hail

  18. Contented sigh… great to read so many positive posts today, and like Estadio I’m wondering where the Rangers updates/updaters have gone.



    So, best thing about last night was that we saw just how much potential there is in our squad. There’s an abundance of talent and the age profile is great. We’re not Ajax circa 95 or anything, but then they had Danny Blind and we have Danny Majstorovic for experience. Our Danny had a great game last night, mind.



    How can we deal with the negative opinions? They are a serious drain on the club and the team. I don’t mind our fans (indeed any fan) getting uptight about a seasoned and well paid pro underperforming, although always within reason, but when we’re talking about younger guys in the growth period of their careers it’s totally unacceptable.


    Yet this is a burden we’re placing on our squad and our manager.



    Lennon may not be the perfect manager, but, this is his team and he’s asking them to do good things. The youth deserves our understanding and support, and this extends to the board who have taken us down this route. I can only say that for 20 years I hoped we’d start building a squad based upon youth development and clever scouting. The alternative doesn’t work, because we simply can’t spend enough, and it can kill the club.


    I guess this is why there is so much negativity. Not every fan is willing to accept the club needs to give this strategy a chance.


    Impatience will get in the way.



    I spend a day or two reading the blog in the aftermath of a recent defeat and ultimately posted that I felt Lennon’s time was coming to a conclusion. The team lacked cohesion and purpose, I said. Give him three games and re-assess, was my thought. Well we’ve actually done ok in the last few games (Saturday aside), and this despite the increasingly farcical injury situ.


    However I was wrong, the Rennes manager persuaded me. He said he watched Celtic and felt we were quite different from his expectation. He worried about the quality of football we were capable of – last night his team tried to outmuscle us. In the end Lennon’s team bested Rennes quite handsomely.


    I remembered that the team had so much room to grow, and that this is probably our best chance of success in the medium to long term. I’m irritated that I was influenced by so much negativity.


    We pretty much have a responsibility to this team and manager to grow up too. They’re growing and we’re not, and so we’re not helping. There will be blips with the team and the manager. We probably aren’t going to get anything worthy of our expectations and history this season – winning the league without half the league in admin will be a tough task, and if we’re the only club still solvent and operating under our own name it won’t mean much to win the league anyway.


    Games like last night are our benchmark…



    So, my message of the day is that it feels good again, and we all need to take a long hard look at ourselves. It’s all about growth, the team, the manager, the club and this will all work if we grow with them. Let’s step it up.

  19. Mort – I’m in complete agreement. The zonal marking system gets it in the neck when a goal is conceded from a corner. Whereas a player gets it in the neck (and is quickly forgotten about) when man-marking fails.



    IMO – Dan was in the correct position to head that ball but didn’t.

  20. According to BBC website we concede NINE corners last night. And they scored from one of them. That’s almost as poor a conversion rate as we have for our corners…

  21. SuperSutton – I remember hearing a story that one of the EPL teams had worked out the ratio of goals scored from direct corners and it was something like 1 in 90 (iirc) so they decided only ever to take short corners and re-introduce the ball to open play as there would be a better chance of creating a goal.


    Barcelona pretty much do that same now.




  22. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    I see a wee bit of talk about one of those hun websites,I’m not sure if its the childishly named vanguard or the union mob but I remember looking at one of their sites a while back and its header was a picture of some buildings to represent Glasgow with the words “This Is Our City”



    How can you take anybody like that seriously?




  23. Celtic First / DBBIA ——



    Dumfries and Galloway — ” if it ain’t got that swing “—-



    A wee story —–



    I was last in Dumfries and Galloway in the autumn of 2004 . Doing a wee tour of Scozia with Mrs South of Tunis in a hired car. Hired car gave up the ghost on the outskirts of Sanquhar . We had to book into a ” hotel ” in Sanquhar for the night . On being shown the room by The Night Manager — Mrs S of T [ from Padova ] treated me to a tirade in Italian about ” British hotels never having bidets — filthy unhygienic barbarians ” etc etc. — I replied with my best apologetic — ” I know ” .



    To my surprise Mrs S of T then decided to speak with the Night Manager and asked [ in her excellent English ] — ” Do you have a bidet ? ” —– Night Manager responded thus –



    ” At this time of the night , naw , but you”ll be able to get wan in the morning from the baker or the butcher’s ”



    Took me a long time to explain it to Mrs S of T.

  24. TBB -if it helps I’ve already heard from ole Cadizzy earlier today – he’s not ‘lost in space’, rather he’s been held up on his train.



    Wrong kind of poppies on the line, apparently.

  25. Sammi for president. Sammi for CEO. Sammi for manager, coach and goalie coach.



    Sammi for team capatain.



    Sammi SAMMI Sammi



    First name on the team sheet, every week.



    Hai Hail Big Sammi




  26. VP- You are always lurkin’ about this time,i wonder why? Your big China has been quiet this week.

  27. BontyBhoy



    How can you be so positive? Surely you know that the evil Lawwell is not allowing Lenny to sign the players he wants and instead is bringing in sub-standard players on the cheap like Wanyama and Matthews?

  28. tomtheleedstim says:


    4 November, 2011 at 11:56



    I have banged on for years about our dead ball deliveries. There is no imagination.


    Watch the team of 67. They had variation and the opposition didn’t know what was coming.


    I have advocated the use of someone like Bertie Auld at the training to bring a freshness. An afternoon session on free kicks. Bobby Lennox could work with the wingers. Get Billy McNeill to discuss with Big Dan etc how to header a ball at a corner.


    We have some of the finest Scottish players of all time at our disposal and we don’t use them. I’m not saying that they should be there all the time but Henrik was there for one session and we scored 9 goals.


    Get new ideas in.


    Neil is the manager but a different session here and there may just help the players.




  29. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on




    She had a great time thanks and her record continues!!



    When do we play the huns?



    I’m kidding, I couldn’t take her to that one.

  30. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    bonty bhoy


    you speak of patience



    thats 3 in a row (maybe 4)



    how much patience is needed –