Monday 21 October 2019

Lennon hails team's 'absolutely superb' display

Celtic manager Neil Lennon takes part in a minute's applause as a tribute to former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA Photo
Celtic manager Neil Lennon takes part in a minute's applause as a tribute to former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA Photo

Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon hailed a "superb performance" after Celtic came from behind to beat Kilmarnock 3-1 at Parkhead yesterday.

Killie striker Eamonn Brophy fired the visitors ahead in the 33rd minute against the run of play, but French striker Odsonne Edouard headed in a leveller a minute before the break and then slid in a second eight minutes after the restart.

Ryan Christie added a third soon afterwards, while Hoops 'keeper Fraser Foster saved a late penalty from Alan Power as the home side made it six Premiership wins out of six to remain three points ahead of Rangers.

"That was an absolutely superb performance," said the Hoops boss, who revealed defender Chris Jullien came off with a hamstring problem and Moritz Bauer suffered a twisted ankle.

"The scoreline flattered Kilmarnock at half-time. They had one real chance, if you even want to call it an attack, and a great goal from Brophy.

"There was a bit of luck with the deflection.

"Before that, we had peppered Kilmarnock's goal and they are a good side. We hit the post and worked the goalkeeper on a number of occasions. We thoroughly merited the equaliser when it came.

"We just asked for more of the same in the second half. Some of the play for 15 to 20 minutes after half-time was absolutely outstanding."

Under new rules red and yellow cards can be issued to managers and coaches for misconduct in the technical area.

Lennon praised the system while being disappointed by the yellow card shown to him by referee Greg Aitken after his complaints following the penalty, awarded for a challenge by Celtic skipper Scott Brown on Killie substitute Osman Sow.

He said: "It's great. It's like a warning to calm down. It's fine. I've no issue with that at all.

"I was a bit disappointed, but I'm not going to criticise the referee for that.

"I was not happy with the yellow card, because I just reacted the same way any other manager would have. But overall I thought the referee was fine. Bobby (Madden, fourth official) is a great official. I was talking recently about not losing my temper.

"I didn't lose it that badly, but you get a warning and that's it. I was maybe a bit demonstrably (voicing my opinion) and you're not allowed to do that anymore, but there's no real issue there at all."

Angelo Alessio hoped his side could have made it into the dressing with their lead intact.

He said: "We were 1-0 on the counter-attack, then it was a shame because we lost a goal at the end of the first half.

"The second half was very difficult for us, because Celtic pushed very high.

"We made two mistakes and Edouard scored two goals."

Irish Independent

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