Europa League - Group H
CelticCeltic3LilleLille2

Celtic 3-2 Lille: Neil Lennon's side end Europa League campaign with first win

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland
Celtic's David Turnbull and Callum McGregor celebrate
David Turnbull and Callum McGregor both scored for Celtic

Celtic ended their Europa League campaign by beating Lille to earn a first victory in Group H and relieve a little of the pressure on Neil Lennon.

David Turnbull scored the winner in a rare start, having set up Christopher Jullien's first-half opener before Callum McGregor netted a penalty.

Jonathan Ikone and Timothy Weah twice pulled goals back for the French side, who had already reached the last 32.

But Celtic responded to end a run of five games without a win.

Nevertheless, they finish the group stage having conceded 19 goals - only Slovan Bratislava (2014/15) and Vardar (2017/18) have shipped more at that stage in the competition's history.

Lille miss out on being seeded in Monday's draw - so could play Rangers - after AC Milan's 1-0 win over Sparta Prague.

These two sides drew 2-2 on matchday two and, while Lille have continued in an upward trajectory since coming from two goals behind in France, Celtic have gone in the opposite direction.

Given the pressure mounting on Lennon after only two wins in eight games since then - and five in a row without a victory - the manager's decision to make so many changes could be read as brave by some, but as a sign of desperation or resignation by others.

Giving 22-year-old goalkeeper Conor Hazard a debut ahead of Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain was the headline grabber, but it was rare starts handed to Turnbull, Ismaila Soro and Patryk Klimala that had the greater impact.

Table

Lille looked the more dangerous in the early stages, but it was Polish striker Klimala who provided the first test for either goalkeeper with a snap shot from just inside the penalty box.

As Celtic maintained the pressure, midfielder Turnbull's inswinging corner flicked off the head of Jullien at the front post, deceived goalkeeper Mike Maignan and flashed into the net.

Scoring has not been a problem in the Europe League for Celtic, but they went into this game having conceded more than any team in the group stage. And their fragility at the back - and knack of surrendering leads - returned within seconds.

McGregor's poor back-pass allowed Yusuf Yazici to set up Ikone, who scored Lille's equaliser the last time the sides met, for an easy tap-in at the front post.

But then it was midfielder McGregor's turn to make amends, his precise spot kick completing a spell of three goals within seven minutes after Jeremie Frimpong was tripped by Domagoj Bradaric following a clever Turnbull through ball.

Former Celtic loanee Weah looked to have come back to haunt his former side when he volleyed in from 15 yards after the break, but Turnbull steered in his first Celtic goal after a fine run from Kristoffer Ajer.

Man of the match - David Turnbull

David Turnbull scores Celtic's winning goal
Turnbull had a hand in all three goals and scored his first for Celtic in what was only his second start

What did we learn?

Lennon has been hesitant to give Turnbull and Soro game time, but both proved to be inspired introductions on this occasion.

Turnbull was the bundle of energy, strength and creativity that led Celtic to pay Motherwell around £3m for the 21-year-old. A year older, Soro was handed his first start since joining from Israeli side Bnei Yehuda in January and slotted seamlessly into the midfield holding role in place of Scott Brown.

Hazard - with one fine stop denying Lille a third equaliser - Klimala, and 20-year-old midfield substitute Euan Henderson will not have done their case of starting at home to Kilmarnock on Sunday any harm.

Lille were not at full strength, but Rangers will surely not be fearful of drawing the side sitting second in Ligue 1 in the last 32.

Match stats

  • Celtic ended a run of eight Europa League matches without a win (D2 L6) since beating Rennes in November 2019.
  • This was Lille's first Europa League defeat of the season
  • Celtic have conceded in their last 12 Europa League matches, shipping 28 goals since last keeping a clean sheet in the competition.
  • Turnbull is the third Celtic player to record a goal and assist in the Europa League and the youngest to do so (21y 153d).
  • McGregor ended a run of 21 Europa League matches without a goal, since scoring in February 2018 against Zenit.
  • Weah scored his first goal in a major European competition, 21 years and 37 days after his father George Weah's last for AC Milan against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

What's next?

Celtic must now concentrate on domestic league duty and narrowing that 13-point gap with Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers, starting on Sunday at home against Kilmarnock (15:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 65Hazard
  • 35AjerSubstituted forWelshat 87'minutes
  • 2Jullien
  • 4DuffyBooked at 70mins
  • 30FrimpongSubstituted forHendersonat 30'minutes
  • 12SoroBooked at 90mins
  • 42McGregor
  • 93Laxalt
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forRogicat 87'minutes
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 11KlimalaBooked at 58minsSubstituted forAjetiat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Brown
  • 9Griffiths
  • 10Ajeti
  • 18Rogic
  • 22Edouard
  • 29Bain
  • 52Henderson
  • 53Harper
  • 57Welsh

Lille

Formation 4-4-2

  • 16Maignan
  • 27NiasseSubstituted forBambaat 71'minutes
  • 6José FonteSubstituted forBotmanat 45'minutes
  • 3Embaló Djaló
  • 29Bradaric
  • 10IkonéBooked at 2minsSubstituted forLihadjiat 66'minutes
  • 8da Silva RochaBooked at 58mins
  • 24SoumaréSubstituted forAndréat 66'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22WeahSubstituted forMandavaat 78'minutes
  • 9DavidBooked at 84mins
  • 12Yazici

Substitutes

  • 1Karnezis
  • 5Botman
  • 7Bamba
  • 17Yilmaz
  • 18Renato Sanches
  • 19Lihadji
  • 21André
  • 28Mandava
  • 30Chevalier
  • 34Innocenti
Referee:
Fábio Veríssimo
Attendance:
300

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamLille
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home11
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, Lille 2.

  2. Booking

    Benjamin André (Lille) is shown the yellow card.

  3. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Lille 2.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Domagoj Bradaric (Lille).

  5. Post update

    Ewan Henderson (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Jonathan Bamba (Lille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Albian Ajeti (Celtic).

  8. Booking

    Ismaila Soro (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Benjamin André (Lille) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan Bamba (Lille) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

  11. Post update

    Sven Botman (Lille) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Bamba (Lille).

  15. Post update

    Ismaila Soro (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stephen Welsh replaces Kristoffer Ajer.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces David Turnbull.

  18. Post update

    Mike Maignan (Lille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Christopher Jullien (Celtic).

  20. Post update

    Foul by Reinildo (Lille).

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma6411135813
2Young Boys631297210
3CFR Cluj6123410-65
4CSKA Sofia612337-45

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal66002051518
2Molde6312911-210
3Rapid Vienna62131113-27
4Dundalk6006819-110

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Leverkusen65012181315
2Slavia Prague64021110112
3Hapoel Be'er Sheva6204713-66
4Nice6105816-83

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers6420137614
2Benfica6330189912
3Standard Liege6114714-74
4Lech Poznan6105614-83

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSV Eindhoven6402129312
2Granada632163311
3PAOK Salonika61328716
4Omonia Nicosia6114512-74

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli632174311
2Real Sociedad62315419
3AZ Alkmaar62227528
4HNK Rijeka6114612-64

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester6411145913
2Sporting Braga64111410413
3Zorya Luhansk6204611-56
4AEK Athens6105715-83

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1AC Milan6411127513
2Lille6321148611
3Sparta Prague62041012-26
4Celtic61141019-94

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal5410145913
2Maccabi Tel-Aviv632167-111
3Sivasspor6204911-26
4FK Qarabag5014410-61

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Tottenham64111551013
2Royal Antwerp640285312
3LASK63121112-110
4Ludogorets6006719-120

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Zagreb642091814
2RZ Pellets WAC631276110
3Feyenoord612348-45
4CSKA Moscow603338-53

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hoffenheim65101721516
2Red Star Belgrade632194511
3Slovan Liberec6213413-97
4KAA Gent6006415-110
View full Europa League tables

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