Lazio responded to their defeat at Celtic Park with a 1-2 win away at Fiorentina on Sunday. They are just two points off a Champions League spot and a point behind neighbours, Roma. Europa League progress will be important to them, but after missing out on the Champions League on a head-to-head with Inter last season, qualification for the Big Cup will be their priority.
Rennes scored an added-time winner at home to Toulouse. They are one of 10 teams within three points of a Champions League space in a cramped Ligue 1 table. PSG are 8 points clear at the top of the French table, but there is little to choose between the others. After losing at home to Cluj, I expect Rennes appetite for the return game next midweek to wane.
Interestingly, Moussa Dembele’s Lyon are adrift in 13th place. Despite Lyon’s toil, Moussa is second top scorer in Ligue 1, ahead of the more celebrated Mbappe and Neymar.
Cluj succumbed to their third league defeat of the season last night, after taking an early lead against mid-table Politehnica Iasi. That result cuts their lead at the top of the Romanian table to two points. Not much, but it is as comfortable a domestic position as anyone in Celtic’s Europa League group.
We are entering the part of the season when injuries, suspensions and the latter stages of cup competitions begin to have an effect. November and December is all about resource management.