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. 79Caps



    Damn, you’re right… :)






    thanks… it’s not everyday one of my posts get’s praised. I should retire on a high.

  2. SuperSutton says:


    4 November, 2011 at 11:53


    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…






    Ah but you missed our one hundred percent conversion rate against Hibs.



    No of Corners won by Celtic – 0



    Goals – 0



    After all dividing a number by itself – 1 and times 100 = 100. That of course assumes that 0 is a number and not an abstract concept created by the Indians to apportion land to the hierarchy of sects. When they reached the ‘untouchables of utter pradesh’ they didn’t want to give them any land and so they came up with concept of 0. (much of this is of course made up tosh, just in case anyone thinks I am sober).



    hail hail




  3. When the ball’s in the net


    And it’s not Jorge Cadette


    It’s Big Sammi


    When the ball’s in the air


    And it’s not big Pierre


    It’s Big Sammi

  4. Tamrabam,


    Ultimately we’re Celtic supporters…. so we’ll hang in until, well, there’s no more hanging in.


    Actually, whilst you’re right it’s approaching 4 years without the title (and I honestly think by May no-one will care about the title this season) Lennon has only had a season and a bit, and he was mightly close and a little unlucky last year.


    There are people still holding grudges from transfer windows before Lennon was even on the coaching staff. So, there is a climate of negativity and panic around Celtic which is not entirely of Lennon’s making, and certainly not of the squads making.


    Ordinarily it would be impressive if a 23 year old Israeli was able to settle in to a club as massive and demanding as ours. Blips can be forgiven.


    I’m sure some will continue the crusade against the board, and for my part, I’m equally sure it won’t achieve anything, but when all is said and done we need a little forward thinking and a lot less of the harsh retrospective.


    Like I said, I’m not taking the view that we turned a corner last night. We simply saw the potential we have. I think we have a role in harnessing that.

  5. Delighted with the win last night, however clocked something for the first time – when our poor crosses are delivered into the box, apart from them being poor crosses, our strikers or players in the box don’t attempt any movement to shrug off their marker. Time after time the incoming cross doesn’t reach a player and the strikers are static. Surely one striker should be running towards the front post & the other peeling off to the back post

  6. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    The Untouchables has to be the worst mafia related film ever made although perhaps slightly more bearable than the one Alec Baldwin was in.

  7. BontyBhoy says:



    4 November, 2011 at 11:51



    How much pressure is caused by the need to beat Rangers though?



    If that were removed how much more relaxed would we be with off days?



    Would Rangers minus Jelavic, Naismith and Davis not drop more points than they have so making the gap more tolerable on any off day of ours?



    How much do the media make of the gap and is it just the need to shout GIRUY to them and hunfiltrators that some perspective is lost?



    With every passing day and the revelations about how Rangers conduct their business I get less concerned about the gap meaning anything other than a reflection of their unfair practices.



    The sooner they start paying their creditors rather than players they cannot afford, the better for everyone.



    Just had a read at pages 34/35/36 of the current CQN magazine, (thought it was only page 36) have a look if you want to see what has been happening.

  8. I know we’re not Barca but I think we should vary our corners. We score so rarely from corners whipped into the box that we should rethink our strategy and force opponents to rethink theirs. Right now it’s just so easy for opposition ‘keepers and defenders to deal with our efforts, because we have so few players who are decent in the air.



    50% short corners- give the ball to one of our Dribblers and let them run at defences, try to score, cross or win penalties or free-kicks in scoring positions.


    20% conventional corners- hope that Chico, Dan, JoeJed or St Sammi can knock in a headed goal.


    20% cut-back corners- play it to Ki (or Commons, perhaps) on the edge of the box and let them him try and spark it from 25 yards, as we know he can.


    10% cheeky effort- try for a bit of Charlie Tully/Lubo-style magic and score straight from the corner!



    C’mon, Celtic, introduce a bit of excitement into winning corners again!

  9. A slow burner of a game.



    We started dreadfully, with the early goal loss.



    For the next twenty or so minutes we struggled to get a foothold in the game.



    The lack of confidence stuck out a mile.



    However, by the efforts of one man, we gradually came into the game. That man was Kayal. No wonder he went down with cramp later on.



    He hunted down every ball, right and left. This gave Wanyama the will to also get involved.



    Add Sammi the Magnificent to the mix and we were well in charge.



    A major feature of Matthews’ performance was the support Sammi gave him in defence.



    The rest of the team eventually followed the lead and they all stepped up to the saucer.



    I think Big Dan benefited from the responsibility for young Fraser, although the boy offered good sweeping cover for him, too.



    The only real threat from Rennes was from corners and free kicks and that was/is always a worry.



    Nevertheless a good, timely and confidence boosting win for the club.

  10. Bonty Bhoy – last night was a pleasant surprise and today also (on the blog) its the first time assertion of being a Hun not passed your way :-)



    I hope you are right about the manager and the team. I also think we need some independent analysis of our training regimes. We have way above average injury list and probably about 100k in the treatment rooms each week. Something may well be wrong there. If we could get the squad fit we would have a far better chance of seeing more of last nights performances.

  11. Philvis….Lennon n Mc….Mjallby



    For just a moment I thought that I had written something sensible :-) OR (and more likely ) I wasn’t the only one slipping a wee hauf in my coffee.



    Then it dawned – ‘The Untouchables’. Obvious now.



    Off to write the ‘Official Match Report’ now!!! That should be interesting. I think I’ll base it on ……The Enduring Mystery of David Fernandez and his doppleganger.




    Hail hail




  12. Auldheid/ Bonty – perhaps some of us, and I include myself in this, heap pressure on too. We make heroes of ‘decent’ players too soon and despair when they don’t live up to the tag we placed on them.



    Funny thing is I remember it took a good while before Henke, Chris Sutton or Big Bad John were lionised in the way Kayal, Izzaguirre and Hooper were last season. Joe Ledley has been one of our more consistent performers, as has the very youthful Adam Matthews. Stokes scores as many as Hooper but gets more criticism. Yet he has been a better player this season. Forrest, despite his great season to date is yet to achieve the acclaim of the trio I mentioned. Long may they stay under the radar of adulation – it seems to help the form.



    The converse of this is that there are some players who will never be ‘good enough’ and get over the top attention for being ‘useless’ – Loovens, Dan M, Samaras – to name a few (still don’t get the criticism Forster comes in for – two great saves again last night) and their game suffers as a result.



    When I was ‘Redbiddy’ at Keep-the-Faith I wrote about the power of positivity and the draining nature of negative vibes coming from the stands. I also wrote that we could learn a lesson or two from genuine supporters of ‘small’ clubs who never win anything, lose or draw as often as they win but still keep going back for more. Enjoying football is what that is all about. Enjoying the camaraderie and belonging. We have something great to belong to. We should really enjoy it.



    Of course the last time I wrote about joy and football I was having a go at the leeches of the EPL who had ruined everything for almost everyone else around Europe. Rangers did much the same when they bought their way to 9-in-a-row on borrowed cash. The real poison at the heart of football is the same thing that poisons almost everything else in life – greed.



    Rant over, back to work for me. Have a good day.

  13. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy : yes the Ballieston boys could play.. though me and Thomas where Broomhouse boys and only became Ballieston boys on those Saturday mornings ;-) Myself and Thomas made our school debuts for you together in a cup final, it was for the older lads a year or two above us..Norrie Innes etc..think you had injuries ? You told us make sure we didn’t give away any free kicks because their top guy had a great shot..cue me giving away a free kick which they duly scored from :-( My name is Gerry, Mody I was called by the lads though.. cant say my surname on here at the minute, due to other matters..lol.



    ChairBhoy : Are you guys enjoying a pint while watching the games anywhere, Id try pop in ?

  14. The only difference between Celtic and the huns is the domestic officiating. Remove the psychological handicap of mibbery and we vastly improve. Do it with the huns and it is not a pretty site to behold. If you think there is more to it than that then I excuse you as your doing good for a wannbe vegetable.




  15. The Jury’s Out says:


    4 November, 2011 at 00:48


    Mr X,



    I agree it was a good night’s work. As I say, a win’s a win but don’t agree that they rarely looked like penetrating us. On another night we could easily have come away with zilch.



    My main point again: Until we start holding that ball in midfield and playing with some authority our defence – irrespective of whom it comprises – will be under constant pressure.



    A positive result nonetheless. Let’s hope we can build on it.






    hail hail TJO


    I agree we musn’t get carried away as we knew we’d win a game in this tournament at home. MAdrid will be a different kettle of fish,far superior I think. Great result yes but a lot of careless mistakes that is like school bhoy fitba. Yes we bullied the midfield but in the SPL we won’t get away with that as they’ll hound us and flip yellow cards right left and center! Mathews is a great player, good speed, calm and is great support for the men in front of him, defends solidly and never shuns a tackle. Great result let’s hope it’s the turning point……….I’m praying. hail hail