Neil Lennon hails Celtic character after Rennes draw

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Lennon said his Celtic side deserved at least a draw in France

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hailed his side's character as they came back to draw with Rennes in the Europa League.

Joe Ledley's header cancelled out a calamitous Cha Du-Ri own goal to give Celtic their second point in Group I.

"It was a great game; I thought we were fantastic and at least deserved the point," Lennon said.

"Our players showed great character. I'm glad I'm not being asked about the away-day hoodoo for a change. It gives us a chance [in the group]."

Celtic looked fairly comfortable in France before a horrible mix-up between Cha Du-Ri and goalkeeper Fraser Forster saw the former's back-pass trundle into the unguarded net.

But the visitors, shorn of the creative talents of Gary Hooper, Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras, fought back to earn a point and keep alive their faint hopes of progressing from the group.

With Celtic having gone into the game with an unenviable record of one away win in Europe in 31 games, Lennon said he was satisfied with his side's work.

"I wouldn't say their goal was just one of those things," Lennon said. "It was a breakdown in communication.

Joe Ledley celebrates his equaliser against Rennes
Joe Ledley's goal gives Celtic hope in their Europa League campaign

"Fraser got himself in no-man's land and you think the curse is going to strike again, but I said to the players: 'look, go out there and keep playing, keep committed, keep concentrated' and once we got a good delivery we scored from it which delights me.

"Fraser showed his character with tremendous saves, but we created some good chances and I felt on the balance of play we should have won the game.

"It's a testament to the team after the weekend [to] come and show the quality. I'm very, very proud of them tonight."

Udinese top Group I with seven points, Atletico Madrid have five, and Celtic and Rennes both have two points.

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes, who spurned a couple of chances to score in France, said the players were content with a point after conceding a poor goal.

"We knew we couldn't lose this game and it was a massive game for us and we're just glad we got the point at the end - but maybe on another day we would have won," he said.

"We're happy with the point considering where we were at half-time."

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