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. Well, I didn’t see that coming, especially at around ten past eight!



    Well done the Bhoys, especially the #9 Enigma, you made the Sammi haters eat a rookery full of crow last night.



    We need to push on , and carry through to Sunday.



    A great night, well done Celtic.

  2. Morning all. Dull and overcast here.



    Didn’t have a chance to get on to the blog after the game. Very happy with our team’s performance. I thought the difference was Kayal playing (eventually) as he did last season, ably assisted by Wanyama. Sammi, I thought, was our best player. We persisted in punting the ball up the park but looking for him and most of the time, he won the header. It’s a poor poor tactic but Sammi is the only one who can benefit the team from it. I thought McCourt was really ineffective. But the brightest bit of the evening for me, apart from the great result, was the young lhad Fraser. He looks the part, as does Matthews, even at LB.



    A midfield of Kayal, Wanyama & Ledley, assisted by Commons, Forrest & Sammi, should be more than enough for most SPL teams.

  3. Wow. Just up out of bed and had this strange feeling (now, now, you at the back, titter ye not, nooooo) – you know the brief moment before reality kicks in and all is well with the world which, the day after a Celtic game almost immediately turns to ‘the result’? Well I remembered the result and it made me feel gooooood.






    Now, what do we do on Sunday?



    We have little choice at the back. Looks like Dan and Tom. (Is Charlie M fit?) Matthews and probably Cha (if Charlie M is fit I’d play Matthews at RB and Charlie at LB with Dan and Tom Central – alot to be said for balance in a team)



    Wanyama has earned a start. I also like Joe in midfield (again, is he fit?) and Kayal deserves another start for his efforts last night. Ki can sit it out in my opinion. Forrest is a must at the moment, but again, of Commons is over his hissy fit (if that’s what it was) then perhaps he could be a useful addition.



    And THE BIG QUESTION: Samaras or Hooper. Stokes is a given for me.



    Despite last nights performance the Bould Sammi will still divide opinion. But I am of a mind to say ‘you play well, you get another game’ – having played well and getting dropped the next game seems a little demotivating to me.



    So, I’ll stick my neck out and say Sammi but I’d be equally happy with Hooper (although being benched last night might not have done him any harm. He knows he has to earn a starting place. Stokes has been better this season so far.



    Without getting carried away I really hope we can kick on from last night. Good players may have found their Mojo again.



    Here’s hoping.



    Right, busy day for me.



    Later Bhoys and Ghirls!!!

  4. Anyways, only blight on the evening was ole Shane Magowan’s new ‘version’ of the ole Cellick song.






    As the bhoy said, ‘it sounds like Father Jack’



    The worst kind of Plastic Paddi-oke, ruining the best football song in the World.



    Whichever clever clogs thought that won up should be very, very ashamed.

  5. MadMitch says:



    4 November, 2011 at 01:06



    I bet that had you been a Real Madrid supporter at the Hampden cup final in 1960 you would be complaining about the 3 goals Real lost in the 7-3 victory.



    Football is a game of mistakes, the team that makes fewest tends to win, not always but by and large. No mistakes,no enjoyment, in fact nothing to complain about – then where would we all be?



    I went through the gamut of emotions, every misplaced or hospital pass gets me going but overall I left the pub with a grin on my face.

  6. Rogne in for Loovens, Mulgrew in for Dan and Ledley in for McCourt. Stokes up top on his own, Samaras on the left and Wanyama and Kayal kicking many shades out of you know what Jennings and Lasley.


    This weekend will see the season turn. Dundee United will take at least a point at Poundland and we will, with a repeat of tonight’s attitude, beat Motherwell comfortably.

  7. Great stuff last night magic performance was great fightback now same team and performance sunday and we may turn this around.



    just read back comedy gold on here though guys who didnt go to the game slagging off those that did as poor celtic fans.



    Sad but funny



    Hail Hail

  8. Great result last night, maybe not the greatest performance but this hopefully is the turning point for the season,


    Wanyama looks to be improving with every game, theres great potential there methinks, Kayal back to his snarling best chasing every ball, and what about the young lad stepping up? 17 years old I understand, well done kid,


    Im sure we could all pick faults and positives but lets enjoy the result before we start the impending post mortem and its back to doom and gloom.

  9. Was last night our smallest ever crowd for a European game? My mate, who is great at guesstimating the numbers (he used to do it all the time in the Hayshed,) reckoned it was between 25,000 and 30,000.

  10. The big difference last night was the attitude of the players something has galvanized them with some purpose.



    If they can get closer to their opposite numbers in midfield and really hunt in packs to get the ball back they made the opposition make more passing mistakes this is something we need to get better at.



    Well done last night really lifted my depression, we need to kick on from here, get some of our crocks back at build some consistant form, and victory every match into Jan at least.



    We can do this

  11. Great result poor performance other than effort got to get rid of deadwood.Foster,Dan,Cha,McCourt.Bring in youngsters

  12. Aye it was a relatively small crowd at 28,578



    Still 28,578 more than were watching FC HMRC last night tho

  13. Didn’t see the game, sounds like Samaras played well. If he plays for us he should play up front as a last resort, if he plays wide then he could do a great job, although he could still be inconsistent. But he has talent, and he works, and he needs confidence. Just play him in the correct position.



    Now who should start against Motherwell? That, I just don’t know. They are obviously a different team to Rennes, and we should recognise that in the team selection.

  14. Parkheadcumsalford says:


    4 November, 2011 at 08:37



    I had a wee look at the attendances last night in the EL we had the biggest of all the british clubs involved and maybe one of the biggest of the night, just goes to show you how big our home league support is..



    Hai Hail

  15. Please, please, please if anyone knows Philbhoy personally, I would appreciate that you pass on my request for him to take his wee lass to every Celtic game.


    I will gladly contribute to expenses :)

  16. Today in the Daily Record



    by Keith Jackson



    Celtic boss Neil Lennon: Win over Rennes was a miracle



    What Neil Lennon really said



    Neil Lennon last night hailed his players as “miracle workers”



    Not quite the same but helps imply the result was a bit of a fluke to keep the pressure on



    Anyone fed up with the same tired old football clichés also in the Record today



    Gary Hooper climbed off the bench, how do you climb off a bench ?



    Thank the lord for CQN where lazy journalism and tired clichés from the old media are non existent

  17. As Sir Alex would say, “very very pwoud”. Great peformance from all. Defence needs to forget the zonal crap but maybe the penny has finally dropped.


    Sammi playing wide was a sensation, obviously his true position. The guy is so keen to play that if Lennny asked him to play in goals he’s day yes.


    Start on Sunday with the same eleven but with Commons is for McCourt.


    “Stan” Mathews was brilliant as was young Marcus when he came on, midfield were aggressive and ‘on it’ as well, they wanted to win, no doubt about that.


    You can tell the majority of our problems are self belief. After Rennes scored , for a while you could feel players saying, oh no, not again. But they got stuck in.



    Same on Sunday please and we’ll skoosh the league, nae bother.



    Hail Hail



    Happy KINGLuBO

  18. Europa League highlights starting on ESPN for those lucky enough, like me, not to be working today. Spurs up first but we’re on later.

  19. BelfastCityCelt on

    Hmmmmm.Interesting indeed.



    I got slaughtered on here for daring to suggest that we start with 5 in midfield,and a lone striker up-front.



    Team for Sunday:
















    Wee JF looked exhausted after the Rennes games,hence his exclusion.



    Those thugs are gonna try to kick our players all over that pit,make no mistake about it.We need to counter-act their hatchet men.



    4-5-1 does not need to be a negative or overly cautious formation,especially at places like the pit that is Fir Park.



    Thoughts/opinions please.

  20. It was the night of the maligned. Fraser Forster, Daniel Majstorovic (utterly imperious in the 2nd half) and big Sammy were probably our best three players. Kayal of old returned and Stokes is becoming undropable for any occasion.



    Matthews at right back will be a revelation.

  21. BelfastCityCelt says:


    4 November, 2011 at 09:02



    I’d play Mulgrew at centre back instead of Dan and keep the full backs as last night. Mulgrew would struggle at left back with Humphries pace. Ledley for Paddy in centre midfield and Rogne for Loovens.

  22. BTW WTF was that piece of rafael played when the teams came out?



    The Celtic Song does not shrink for inferior singers!!!



    Glen Daly CSC

  23. BelfastCityCelt on

    4-3-2-1 Formation if you would like to be specific:



















    Powerful team,will crush that mob,easily.



    Thoughts/opinions please.

  24. Commons and Hooper coming off the bench turned the screw and made us see out the game with enjoyment rather than nervousness. Quality substitutions are so important and something we’ve been lacking. WGS best days as a Celtic manager were when wee Shaun and Craig Beattie used to come on after an hour and run amok. We all talked about fitter, faster, stronger and controlling the tempo. A good lesson from last night. Commons and Forrest possibly don’t fit into the same team too often but sure do scunner the opposition when taking turns at them. Shame for Paddy, he suffered from a first half when we were under the cosh.

  25. BelfastCityCelt on

    Kayal33 says:



    4 November, 2011 at 09:05



    Nah mate,we need somebody at left back to allow Ledley to move into midfield.El K is too light-weight for this fixture.Charlie can play there,no sweat.This gives the side great balance on the left,with Commons playing in front of JL.Also allows wee Matthews to play on the right,his natural position.



    Dan at CB is very much maligned,but he is capable of intimidating the opposition when he is in the mood.

  26. BelfastCityCelt says:



    4 November, 2011 at 09:09



    4-3-2-1 Formation if you would like to be specific:



    Ah.. the ole christmas tree formation- a la Mr. Venebales circa 1996.



    How about the modern 4-6-0 as played by Man Ure and even Barca.



    Team formations have to be fluid both horizontally and vertically. The problem we have is breaking down teams who line up with a 9-0-1 for ninety minutes in the SPL. Thats why last night and in Europe generally, we are performing better even with a number of non first choice picks.



    I think the Mothers will give it a go on Sunday, so a midfield pairing of Beram and Big Vic is essential.

  27. BelfastCityCelt says:


    4 November, 2011 at 09:16



    If we show the same attitude and commitment as last night then it doesn’t really matter how we tinker with the individuals within the system.

  28. Great team performance last night and if we can play with this determination and guts we could go along way.



    I thought big sammy was immense and if he plays like this every week he is unplayable.


    I also thought kayal was immense and back to his old self, the whole team played with guts and determination but this zonal marking needs to go..

  29. McNair is the greatest on

    Neil has the makings of a very decent young team and he himself given time will become a very fine manager. I ask if everyone was fit what would be our best team? None of us would probably agree on formation or team selection but the ingredients are there. Any takers to pick our best team?




    Matthews CM K. Wilson Izzy


    Kayal Wanyama Ledley


    Forrest Stokes Commons



    Who can beat this?

  30. Delighted with last night’s result and a big dig-in performance from the team.


    Hats off to Sammi. He was magnificent. We all know there is a quality player there it’s just getting him to do it. Technically I think he is THE most complete player we have . Just he wanders so often. Last night he showed total focus and oh, my, what a difference…a joy to watch.


    Thought wee Jamsie was also great before he had to be taken off – way past his bedtime.



    Fantastic. Let’s use this as the kick-off to jump start our season starting with McCall’s lot on Sunday.



    Just looked at the table and see that Malmo and Maribor have accumulated the grand total of ONE point form 24. Shows what gash the Huns are when no preferential treatment on offer from the refs.