CELTIC boss Neil Lennon hailed the “incredible” feat from his players as they came back from a goal down to hammer Motherwell 5-2 at Fir Park.

The Hoops prepared for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League third round qualifier return leg against Cluj with a resounding triumph over Stephen Robinson’s side.

Lennon was particularly pleased his players responded well to an early noon kick-off after returning from Romania in Thursday morning following their 1-1 draw.

The Irishman, speaking to the club website, said: “We looked powerful against Motherwell and I know how hard that can be coming off the back of a European game in midweek.

“Five goals away from home, we’ve got to be pleased with that at any stage of the season, but to be doing that at this point is incredible.

“We’ve also still got a few players who still need to get back up to speed. Some of the new boys are really finding their feet.

SHAKE ON IT…Neil Lennon congratulates Kristoffer Ajer.

“I thought Kris Ajer was magnificent and Lewis Morgan’s running power was exceptional. As the game went on, they looked stronger and stronger. We’re in a good place at the minute, but we’re not taking anything for granted and it’s still very early.”

Lennon also took the time to praise defender Kristoffer Ajer and French midfielder Olivier Ntcham who vied with the Norwegian for the Man of the Match award.

He added: “Kris Ajer is playing so consistently. It’s not ideal playing him right-back, but he’s been fantastic. He’s not just a versatile playing, he’s outstanding in both of those positions at the moment.

“Olivier Ntcham is a very talented footballer and as the game wore on against Motherwell, you could see his talent coming to the fore. His footwork is fantastic and his work-rate was fantastic. He can be very pleased with himself .”

The Hoops conceded a 12th-minute goal to Liam Donnelly before Ajer stormed forward to level within two minutes and Leigh Griffiths gave the champions a 2-1 lead at the interval after thumping in a glorious free-kick.

James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie, with an unstoppable penalty-kick, made certain the points were heading back to Parkhead while Donnelly got a second consolation effort in stoppage time.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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