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Neil Lennon pleased to come up with a draw against Rennes

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has expressed his pleasure after the Hoops came up from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Rennes on the road. The Hoops have been pitted in a tricky Europa League group alongside Rennes, CFR Cluj, and Lazio, and they need to be at their best in order to progress to the knockout stage of the competition.

The Scottish champions found themselves trailing at the break after M’Baye Niang scored from the penalty spot for the hosts. Celtic levelled the proceedings before the hour mark after they won a spot kick of their own which was converted by Ryan Christie. Thereafter, the game was rather cagey with no side getting a clear sight on goal and the Hoops ended the clash with 10 men after substitute Vakoun Issouf Bayo was sent off for two yellow cards offences.

Speaking after the match, Lennon was pleased with the performance from his team against Rennes, who have beaten the likes of Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain this year, he told: “I have got to be satisfied to come away from home and play very strongly against a good side. It speaks volumes for the character and the quality of the team. I am delighted with the performance, and I know we can improve as well as we go along. It was really important in the opening game in the group. We have a lot to look forward to.”

Meanwhile, the other game in the group saw Cluj secure a 2-1 triumph over Lazio and that could be regarded as a surprise result, considering Lazio are the standout favourites to qualify from the group. Celtic’s next European meeting comes against Cluj at Parkhead next month. Prior to that, they have league games against Kilmarnock and Hibernian as well as a League Cup quarter-final against Partick Thistle.