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Lennon delighted with commanding Celtic and Griffiths goal

The Celtic boss couldn't fault his players after they beat Nomme Kalju 5-0.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon lauded his players for their performance as they beat Nomme Kalju 5-0, singling out goal heroes Leigh Griffiths and Ryan Christie for praise.

The Scottish champions take a healthy lead into the second leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie after Kristoffer Ajer, Griffiths and Callum McGregor all got on the scoresheet with Ryan Christie scoring a double in a man of the match performance.

"It's a brilliant performance and I can't ask for anything more from the players," he said. "To call it straightforward is a bit unflattering towards them. 

"It took a little bit of time to get going but once we got the goal then they really upped the tempo. 

"It's a clean sheet, it's five goals and it puts a real marker down. It's still obviously a work in progress."

Griffiths made his first start this year after returning from a spell out of the game to recover from mental health issues. His free-kick put Celtic three goals in front and brought a rapturous response from the crowd. Lennon said it was a special moment and said there was more to come from the striker.

"I'm delighted for him. he's doing what he does best," he said. "There's always an air of anticipation when he lines up a free kick because he's got that range and you expect something to happen.

"I was disappointed with his first one but he's made up with it for the second one.

"The reception he's had from the players since he's come back, and the supporters and the club, it makes me very happy and proud. He's got a huge lift from all of that.

"Now he needs to keep a level. he's still got a bit of work to do on his conditioning, as you can see but that will do his confidence the world of good. You could see what it meant to him."

And Christie's impressive performance as a creator and goalscorer also enthused the Celtic boss.

"He's got that in his game," Lennon said. "He's got goals and his set play delivery was fantastic. His penalty was great.

"He was annoyed with me for taking him off because he was on a hat-trick but he was on a booking and we just didn't want to risk any suspension.

"He's in a good place at the minute and he can get better."


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