Football

Neil Lennon Lauds ‘Outstanding’ Olivier Ntcham After Win Over Kalju

Neil Lennon Lauds ‘Outstanding’ Olivier Ntcham After Win Over Kalju

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has lavished praised on midfielder Olivier Ntcham following his side’s 2-0 win away to Nomme Kalju in Estonia.

The Scottish champions sealed a straightforward 7-0 aggregate victory over their opponents thanks to an own goal and a deflected strike from debutant winger Marian Shved in Tallinn.

Lennon rang the changes following last week’s 5-0 procession at Celtic Park, with goalkeeper Craig Gordon handed a start ahead of Scott Bain, with defender Christopher Jullien installed at the heart of the defence.

but perhaps the most surprising change was that of Ntcham, who was deployed in the No.10 role just two weeks after appearing to fallout with Lennon, and the Frenchman put on an impressive display.

After the full-time whistle, Lennon spoke to the media, and explained just how pleased he was with Ntcham’s performance.

Speaking via Football Scotland, he said: “We wanted to win the game tonight. To win the tie 7-0 is pretty impressive considering it’s so early in the campaign. 

“I can’t ask for any more for them really. They controlled the game and made good chances, scored two great goals and it sets us up nicely now for the start of the domestic campaign.

We know we have Cluj now who we know are a step-up but we are going in the right direction now, there’s no question of that. 

“They are a really difficult side and they have a very shrewd manager in Dan Petrescu. 

“The good thing is the first leg is away so hopefully we can get a result to take back to Celtic Park but we have done a lot of work on them already so we will be well prepared. 

“We are not getting carried away but we are pleased with the new boys. Christopher Jullien had his first 90 minutes, Boli looked good tonight and I thought Olivier Ntcham was outstanding given it was his first run-out since he came back.”

Celtic will now play Romanian champions CFR Cluj in the third qualifying round for the Champions League – but will they make the group stages?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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