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. Paddy McCourt starts and Celtic return to winning ways…




    Vmhan 05:43



    Not sure, was thinking about late December to catch the derby if its still on but still not decided.





  2. .



    Estadio Naci..



    Especially For You..



    The Sammi Report..



    Thereafter, the crowd were transformed from quietly supportive to full egg-on mode and the results of that might be considered startling. Because, in the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, it was Samaras who proved so telling a presence. Stokes provided a brilliant finish to make it 2-1 but the headed flick-on from the Greek was textbook.



    Soon afterwards, and as the interval loomed, Samaras hared up the other end to make a crucial sliding tackle to prevent a ball into the box and, from the resultant corner, was there at the back post, to block a shot and ensure Celtic did not immediately give up their unexpected advantage. And it was the same Samaras who made a 30-yard run and played the perfect ball in for Hooper to seal the victory. Supporters actually supporting their own players can prove worthwhile, wouldn’t you know.



    Summa ft SammiTheFrogSlayerCSC

  3. Fortunes Favour Mibbes says:


    4 November, 2011 at 06:03





    Nowhere else but here.



    Could do with some GB plants in other areas imo :)



    And more Paddy McCourt Foot Soldiers.





    Sounds brill, merchant city or Gallowgate , a few beers, music, fitba and we’re laughing lol.




  4. merseycelt loves Neil Lennon and will always be thankful to him for standing up to the bigots and the cowards on

    Great night for scottish football. Must be the headlines throughout the impatial media!



    Euro summary – narrow away defeat against one of the best teams from the (arguably) strongest league in the world; followed by a draw (which should have been a victory) over one of the best teams from the third strongest league in the world; followed by an away draw and home victory against one of the top teams from the (arguably) fifth strongest leagues in the world.



    Well done Neil and the bhoys. We showed real character tonight and the team bonding between Lenny and co at the end of the game was reassuring.



    I was slightly worried about Neil’s comment about Kayal being world class when he’s in the mood (I paraphrase).



    Ki didn’t play tonight and we were combative in midfield. Coincidence?



    Need to physically stand up to the SPL cloggers. In – Victor, Kris, Sammi and Jo; Out Ki, Paddy and Hoops. Back four same except for Thomas replacing young lad (well done!).


    Midfield of Beram, Victor, Jo, Kris and Sammi. Stokesy up front. Hoops to score second half-trick after coming on after an hour with the score at 5-1 to the good ghuys!



    To the Sammi swipers – hope you sicked up all that humble pie you consumed last night!



    To the Lenny knockers-Do us real Celtic fans a favour and stop making whineing, poorly thought out, reactionary, negative comments (constructive criticism with perspective and context is fine eg consider the injuries, the young age of the team (including manager) and the continuing influence of MIB – witness commons straight red card against mini-huns vs naisy not getting sent off for assault against the dandy dons).



    Support your team-ban yourself from posting until you can demonstrate balance and critical thinking! You might be away for a while. You wont be missed!



    Keep the Faith!

  5. Snake Plissken on

    Up early this morning – must go to the dentist unfortunately – no doubt 50 Euros down the drain (yes even in Slovakia dentists are extortionate) but my God what a game like last night can do for the spirits. For a change I avoided drinking alcohol and feel better for it. Celtic winning is the best feeling there is and it lasts longer as well.



    I was heartened by the heart and fight shown against the French team who are not famous for being up for a battle let us say.



    That attitude will be required on Saturday. The Haircut that time forgot’s team will have been be sharpening their studs all week, make no mistake. Total thuggery awaits on Sunday but lets see how things shape up.



    I would like to offer a crumb of comfort regarding our league position – should the animals get docked 10 points for starters all their efforts thusfar become worthless as their lead evaporates in front of their eyes. Now that’s a kick in the head. With the cash flow problem the january sales could be interesting.



    This does not make up for Celtic’s inept performances but it certainly does change things and with ratboy out for the season, their bad patch is yet to hit them. They haven’t been playing well at home so hopefully United can get their one good result against Rangers a season tomorrow and then things will look better with that game in hand still to come.



    Celtic must win against BOTH Motherwell and Inverness to give themselves a shot at this. These games are make or break.



    Mon the hoops.

  6. merseycelt loves Neil Lennon and will always be thankful to him for standing up to the bigots and the cowards says:



    4 November, 2011 at 06:22




    Well said.



    Hail hail

  7. Tw3o things about last :


    a) The referee might not have been brilliant . In fact, an objective look might even say that , simply as a referee, he might not be as good as the SPL refs.BUT! He was impartial and that made a massive difference. We were awarded free kicks when opponents banged into the back of us and we were NOT penalised every time we won a header.



    b)I watched the game on UEFA video site (Morf at 19.40 for link) and was able to keep the volume on! I cannot stree too much how strongly I feel that as many of us as possible email Setanta about the unproffesional and biased commentating of Burley (referred to in many posts last night). Even if you do not subscribe to Setanta, you could email to say he is the reason why you won`t.






    PS Matthews is becoming a very good player.

  8. Morning all, from a dark, dreary morning 100miles east of Dundee, Great to see the THUNDER back and a midfield up for it ,more of the same on Sunday,defence coach please DITCH Zonal marking, IT JUST DOESNT WORK ,have a nice day,

  9. merseycelt



    I am one of those that has criticised our Neil and I have due cause to. I have supported Celtic for over 45 years, it is the team I support not individuals.



    I have said before, the man cannot be expected to run a team of our size with his own health problems ( I too suffer from depression) and the horrendous situation his partner and young child find themselves in. Panic alarm buttons in their own home for god sake.



    Therefore it is nothing personal with Neil it is just that Celtic come first.



    In saying all that I will be the first to acknowledge that I was a doubting Thomas if the wee man, against all those odds turns it around.

  10. Good morning friends and a big Happy Happy Friday!!



    Feeling a bit under pressure after BRTHs post at 11.12am yesterday morning and sorry to tell you all that whilst it’s a damp and grey start to the day in EK, there doesn’t appear to be any danger in their game being called off tomorrow…



    Great performance last night particularly given our decimated squad. In paricular I thought that Kayal had his best performance of this season for us.



    Have a lovely smiley day!






    ps Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  11. Good morning, and isn’t it good?



    I remember a poster (forget name) stated his intention to leave the stadium and head to the pub if he saw Sammi’s name on the teamsheet. Another poster weighed in to join him.



    I hope they both had a quiet night over their beers. :-)

  12. Morning all from gay Paree, beautiful sunny morning here.



    Well done to Neil and all the players for a gutsy performance and great win last night.



    Is THIS the turning point ?



    Hail Hail

  13. Paddy Gallagher on

    Morning friends from a sunny Jersey. A very subdued pub at the start of the game last night was transformed into a happy, singing united group by the end. Much credit to management and players alike especially after the bad start.

  14. That zonal marking was dreadful last night. When the defenders stand in the zone they can jump from a standing start. Forwards can attack on the run. I would rather have my players touch tight.

  15. Vmhan who Supports Neil Lennon from last night and the lawyer in the GB. Now there’s a an idea. I’ll chip in for that.

  16. Jungle Jim says:


    4 November, 2011 at 07:06


    Tw3o things about last :



    Everybody knows Burley is a joke but both him and the match commentator last night were truly appalling. They had their pre-match agenda set to rubbish Celtic at every opportunity and continued to do so even when the evidence in front of their own eyes was that Sammi & Stokes were turning in a great performance they still persisted. I decided last night to write to ESPN to state I will not renew if they continue with Burley.

  17. So the Rennes team did their homework on the way we defend corners and that is why we lost the goal?



    If so, why did they not score more goals from all the other corners they had?



    The answer is simple. Big Dan. He got “under the ball”. Misjudged the flight. Which brings me to our pre-match warm-up routine. It’s all very well stretching and limbering and posturing and a bit of shootie-in. The goal keeper gets special warm-up activities related to his role in the team.



    So why no special warm-up routine for the centre back to let them get their eye in?



    Once he had is eye in, Dan was able to contribute to our ability to defend corners – but in that first 5 minute period he was all akimbo.



    Wanyama – superb, Matthew – superb, Sammy MotM.

  18. Good Morning CQN



    Good result last night



    Victor Wanyama is a first pick for Sunday, and it’s difficult to see how he can leave out, the much maligned Sammi.



    Hooper’s time on the bench did him no harm, and there should be as little change to that side as possible.



    Onwards to Motherwell.

  19. Zonal marking is not the problem. As with any system an individual failure will cause the system to break.



    Dan would have lost out on man-marking to the same guy. The result would have been the exact same except it would be much easier to find the individual to blame.

  20. Great game from the young Bhoy.


    Not many players prepare for their European debut at Kilwinning Sports Centre- but not many players progress like Marcus Fraser.


    On Saturday morning it was business as usual for the bhoy from Kirkintilloch as he lined up for John Kennedy’s u-19 side away to Kilmarnock at the Kilwinning Sports Centre.


    With a swing park behind one goal and golf driving range at the other the 17-year-old gave a typically determined display alongside Jackson Irvine as a Patrik Twardzik hat-trick helped Celtic to a 5-1 win.


    Fraser’s weekly routine of attending college on a Wednesday was broken with a call to prepare with the first team for the match with Rennes before a first half injury to Glenn Loovens threw him into the spotlight in front of almost 30,000 fans.


    “I got asked earlier in the week to meet up with the first team and thought that I’d just be in the squad,” he admitted.


    “On Wednesday night I got told that I’d be on the bench and was delighted with that but when Loovy’s hamstring went I got the call.


    “I got told to warm up with Joe (Chalmers) and they were watching us. At half-time he (Loovens) couldn’t play any longer, I got called over and told to get changed and be ready to get on.


    “I just got told where to be at set-pieces and was told to go out and enjoy it.”


    Fraser has been on a remarkable run since the turn of the year improving on a week by week basis in the youth ranks.


    That potential was recognised in April when he played as a 16-year-old away to Atletico Bilbao in a friendly with just one u-19 appearance behind him.


    Three days later he was back to earth with a bump as Celtic’s u-17’s lost to Queens Park in the Glasgow Cup but by the end of the season he had picked up an SFA Youth Cup winners medal at u-19 level and played a leading role in the Glasgow Cup Final win over Rangers alongside Joe Chalmers, Paul George and John Herron.


    An early injury to Jos Hooiveld in the development squad friendly against Partick Thistle in July gave Fraser another chance to shine and he responded with a man-of-the-match performance at right-back.


    Playing in the Next Gen Series against Marseilles, Barcelona and Manchester City has provided invaluable experience as Fraser demonstrated last night as Celtic’s injury jinx struck again with Loovens picking up a hamstring injury.


    He added: “Playing for the 19’s is brilliant but that was a big step up and I couldn’t ask for anything more.


    “It was great to be 2-1 up at half-time and we had to defend. We got a third goal which helped us see it through.


    “Their strikers were really fast, they had great movement but I felt that we coped really and got the result.


    “Throught the second half big Dan won every ball and helped me through to the final whistle.


    “I never had any time to think about nerves, I just got told to get on the park and get on with it.


    “This year has gone really well for me, I couldn’t have scripted it better. I’m really enjoying it and want to keep pushing on and working hard.”


    Fraser will miss today’s u-19 match against Aberdeen (kick-off 1.30pm Barrowfield) but could feature in Monday’s Next Gen Series match at home to Manchester City. Last night Barcelona beat City 4-1.




    Thanks to Videocelts.

  21. Thank you Celtic for making this Friday morning a happy one in the Starry House!!



    Well done Neil and the Bhoys for a hard fought for win last night.



    Sometimes the ole makeshift team is just what you need.



    Glad to see Sammi put in a shift that won us the game, more power to you big man.



    Big Vic is looking very good in the holding role.



    Have good day Celts.