Celtic 3-1 Rennes: Landmark victory for Bhoys

Celtic sealed first place in their UEFA Europa League group for the first time with an impressive display against Rennes.

Lewis Morgan enjoys his opener for Celtic
Lewis Morgan enjoys his opener for Celtic ©AFP/Getty Images

Celtic secured top spot in Group E with a convincing performance against already-eliminated Rennes.

Lewis Morgan turned in James Forrest's pass for the opener and Ryan Christie blasted in the second on the stroke of half-time. Fraser Forster produced a superb double save before substitute Mikey Johnston made it three, slamming in after a one-two with Olivier Ntcham.

It could have been more for the Hoops but for the performance of Edouard Mendy in the Rennes goal, and his side grabbed a late consolation at the other end when Adrien Hunou headed in Christ-Emmanuel Maouassa's cross a minute from time.

Reporter's view

Alex O'Henley, Celtic
It’s another historic night for Celtic who have finished top of a UEFA qualifying group for the first time. Morgan and Christie set the Hoops on their way with a first-half double and, although Forster bailed them out with a string of outstanding saves in the second half, Johnston's third sealed the victory. With Lazio seeing off CFR Cluj in the other game, Celtic finish top of Group E and will be a seeded team in the draw for the round of 32.

State of Play

  • Celtic are through as group winners
Ryan Christie takes the acclaim after adding Celtic's second
Ryan Christie takes the acclaim after adding Celtic's second©Getty Images
  • Rennes are out of contention

Reaction

Lewis Morgan, Celtic midfielder:
"Obviously we have been working on me playing through the middle in training. Great service for the goal and on another night I could have got a few more, but we are delighted with the three points. It's a record points total for Celtic in a group stage. I have had to bide my time and hopefully I have repaid the manager's faith in me."

Ryan Christie, Celtic forward:
"Since the away game against Rennes we have been on the up and up. Obviously we are delighted to top the group and to break a few milestones. I thought we were brilliant. We will take it one step at a time, but at European level we feel we have a point to prove and we want to keep pushing on at this level."

Benjamin Bourigeaud, Rennes midfielder:
"It was a very difficult game and they were better than us today. We never gave up, though, and it's that team spirit that we need to take out of the game. We managed to get a goal and we stayed united right until the end, through the difficult times."

Key stats

• Celtic clinch first place in the group at the sixth time of asking. They made it through twice from their five previous attempts but never won their section.

• Celtic have scored in all 13 of their European matches this season, 32 goals in total.

• Celtic have won six of their last seven UEFA Europa League games, drawing the other, and have scored at least twice in each victory.

• Rennes have lost five of their last six UEFA Europa League games.

• Rennes have lost nine of their last 11 away UEFA Europa League matches.

Highlights: Rennes 1-1 Celtic
Highlights: Rennes 1-1 Celtic

• Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths made his 50th European appearance in this game.

Line-ups

Celtic: Forster; Bauer, Jullien, Ajer, Taylor; Brown (Bitton 76), McGregor; Morgan, Ntcham, Forrest (Johnston 67); Christie (Griffiths 79)

Rennes: Mendy; Boey, Nyamsi, Gnagnon, Maouassa; Léa-Siliki, Bourigeaud; Del Castillo (Hunou 75), Siebatcheu, Tait (Gboho 80); Guitane (Da Cunha 65)

Top