Neil Lennon: A Great Team Performance
Celtic secured a dominant 2-0 win over Swedish champions AIK on Thursday night in the first leg of their Europa League play off tie, thanks to goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard.
After the match, a buoyant Neil Lennon praised his side stating that it was a ‘great team performance’ and singled out a number of players for special praise - including versatile defensive mainstay Kris Ajer and the two goalscorers.
Speaking to the official Celtic website, Lennon said:“It was an outstanding performance, and a great team performance. We played well in the first-half, but I thought we were magnificent in the second. Some of the football we played was great and we scored some fantastic goals.
“Odsonne is playing brilliantly. He’s leading the line superbly, and I can’t speak highly enough of his talent. He’s an integral part and important figure in this team.
“I also think James is underplayed in terms of public image, but I think that suits him. That’s five goals in five games for him now and we never take that for granted. He’s an outstanding player and he’s got so much more to come. I’ve known him for a long time. He did wonders for me the first time round and he’s doing it again."
He added: “We defended resolutely and strongly tonight. AIK were tough, but I thought we played very well and had good energy around the pitch and a spark that we might have lacked last weekend.
“Next week is a European tie away from home against the Swedish champions. We’ve given ourselves a foothold which is important, but we need to see it through next week.
"Boli was good, as was Christopher, and Kris Ajer is having an outstanding period at the moment. We didn’t give AIK a foothold in the game early on, we pressed as a unit and the tempo pleased me.
“We’ve now got a big game at the weekend, but we want to get the job done properly next week. We still have an important 90 minutes ahead of us.”
Lennon will be hoping his side complete the job in next week’s second leg to secure a place in the group stages of the Europa League.