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Unsung Hero: Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham got an assist in ‘defensively strong and offensively creative’ display against Rennes

Unsung Hero: Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham got an assist in ‘defensively strong and offensively creative’ display against Rennes - Celtic

Celtic ensured top spot in Group E of the Europa League after beating Rennes 3-1 at Parkhead last night, having already clinched qualification for the knockout rounds earlier this month.

Lewis Morgan opened the scoring for the home side on 21 minutes, sweeping home James Forrest’s cross, before Ryan Christie doubled the Hoops’ lead on the stroke of half-time. [via BBC]

Mikey Johnston came off the bench in the second half to extend Celtic’s lead, which allied with Lazio’s win over CFR Cluj made Adrien Hunou’s late consolation goal irrelevant in the context of the group. [via BBC]

While manager Neil Lennon spoke of his delight at topping the group afterwards (as per celticfc.net), the hard work had been completed following the win away to Lazio three weeks ago.

Olivier Ntcham conjured the dramatic winning goal in Italy that night and while he wouldn’t follow it up with another against Rennes, the French midfielder still delivered a convincing performance against the team from his native country.

The 23-year-old was involved in Celtic’s third goal, with he and Johnston playing a one-two just before the substitute finished to the net, therefore enabling Ntcham to claim his fourth assist of the season.

In addition to that valuable contribution, he also got both of his shots on target last night, as well as playing two key passes and winning two tackles in a well-rounded midfield performance. [via WhoScored]

Even though he didn’t replicate his glorious moment against Lazio, Ntcham still won plenty of deserved praised from reporters for his display against Rennes.

Hamish Carton of 67hailhail.com wrote that he “showed all his talent on the European stage again with a wonderful display”, while The Scottish Sun‘s Kenny McDonald said that he “used power and physique to good effect”.

Ntcham’s performance was lauded by BBC reporter Tom English, who described the 23-year-old’s display as “clever, impactful, defensively strong and offensively creative”.

It wasn’t quite a flawless night for the Frenchman, who “got a little careless after the break” according to the Daily Record‘s Michael Gannon and misplaced nine of his 42 passes.

However, he can still feel satisfied to have contributed an assist and struck a happy balance between making key passes and winning the ball diligently on a night when Celtic did enough to ensure the luxury of an inconsequential final group match against CFR Cluj in two weeks’ time – partly thanks to his heroics earlier in the competition.

Celtic fans, did you feel that Ntcham was one of the team’s better players against Rennes last night? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Article title: Unsung Hero: Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham got an assist in ‘defensively strong and offensively creative’ display against Rennes

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