Celtic boss Neil Lennon hails victory against Rennes

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon was delighted with the win over Rennes

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hailed his injury-hit side's 3-1 Europa League victory over Rennes as "a miracle".

Two goals from Anthony Stokes and a third from substitute Gary Hooper saw Celtic come back from conceding an early Kader Mangane goal.

"It was a wonderful team performance and a miracle, really, when you consider our absentees," said Lennon.

"Some really did their bit: [Georgios] Samaras, Stokes, [Beram] Kayal and [Victor] Wanyama were amazing."

Victory in the Group I encounter means Celtic have five points from four games; two behind joint-leaders Atletico Madrid and Udinese.

Celtic's absentees included defenders Mark Wilson and Charlie Mulgrew and midfielder Joe Ledley.

Lennon praised full-back Adam Matthews for playing "a stormer" against the French, adding that he hoped his side could use the victory to gain some momentum.

"I'm very proud of these players and once again they made us proud," he said.

"I was disappointed with them on Saturday [in the draw against Hibs] but they've come back and shown great character.

"We have to improve on defending set-pieces but the reaction was great.

"Stokes and Samaras were huge tonight and started to show what they can do. What we have to do is find the consistency between Thursday and Sunday, but if that doesn't give them confidence I don't know what will."

Stokes said he thought the side responded superbly after conceding an early goal.

"We fought back very well and played some great football," said the striker. "We defended as a team and I thought it was a complete performance.

"We had to defend quite a bit but the lads at the back were outstanding, particularly the goalkeeper.

"It was hard early on and we had to graft to get the chances and I was grateful to get on the end of them."

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