SCOTT BROWN admitted his delight for “buzzing” boss Neil Lennon after last night’s historic 2-1 Europa League triumph over Lazio in Rome.
It was Celtic’s first win on Italian soil in 13 attempts and it was enough to ensure a place in the knock-out stages of the competition in 2020 with two games – against Rennes at Parkhead and Cluj in Romania – still to play.
Goals from James Forrest and Olivier Ntcham, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, turned the game on its head following Ciro Immobile’s seventh-minute strike for the home side in the Olympic Stadium.
Skipper Brown, who put in his usual professional shift as he worked tirelessly in the middle of the park, told the Daily Record: “The gaffer is buzzing and I’m happy for him.
“He came in with a big smile on his face and it’s great because he’s had to go through some hard times.
“It’s the right job at the right time for the gaffer. Along with Damien Duff and John Kennedy he is incredible for us. It’s a great team.”
The 34-year-old inspirational skipper missed the remarkable 2-1 win over Barcelona, then the world’s top team in Glasgow during Lennon’s first tenure at the Hoops, and said: “I was ill for that game, but I watched it on TV and I was buzzing we won.
“It doesn’t matter who plays, if Celtic win I’m smiling. But to be part of this win in Rome was very special.
DOUBLE TOPS…matchwinner Olivier Ntcham and boss Neil Lennon embrace at the end.
“It ranks right up there with my best wins in Europe with Celtic. To become the first team to win on Italian soil shows you just how big it is.
“As the game was going on, I did feel we had a chance.
“It was becoming so open and it was just counter-attack after counter-attack.
“Fraser and the boys at the back dealt really well with the Lazio strikers and we were able to push bodies forward.
“Mo and Ryan worked their socks off and put their players under so much pressure.
“The winning goal just sums us up, really. We won the ball back and then Oli and Odsonne did their stuff. It was a great pass and a great finish.
“We all know Oli has that in his locker and he produced a quality finish. I actually thought his touch was a bit too heavy, but the angle didn’t matter to him.
“We had the belief and trust in him and it was a special goal.
“To qualify with two games to go is big because people probably wrote us off after Cluj.
“It was a hard group but we have dug deep and got the results. We got a draw in Rennes and then took nine points against Cluj and Lazio.
“To win in Rome shows that we’re learning, we’re going forward as a team and it’s exciting.
“Lazio have players who are supposedly worth £70million, so we had to up our game. We had to go and take our game to them and we did that.
“They have quality, but we have beaten them twice now so that says a lot.”