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Lennon unhappy with decisions but feels draw is 'good start'

The Celtic boss was pleased with the performance as his side drew 1-1 with Rennes.

Neil Lennon saw his Celtic side fight back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Rennes and said his side could have won their opening Europa League encounter.

The Scottish champions went behind after Kristoffer Ajer conceded a penalty that was scored by M'Baye Niang but Ryan Christie scored an equaliser from the spot after James Forrest was fouled.

Christie had previously had a strong claim for a penalty himself when he appeared to be fouled in the box.

Lennon was unhappy with that decision and the dismissal of Vakoun Issouf Bayo for a second yellow card in the dying moments but the Celtic boss said he had to be satisfied with the result.

"It's a good start for us," Lennon said. "You always want more but I think after we scored we came off it a little bit. We saw the game out quite comfortably.

"I'm not happy about the sending off. I'm not happy because we should have had another penalty when there was a clear foul on Ryan Christie.

"However, I've got to be satisfied when we come away from home and play very strongly against a good side. It speaks volumes for the character and the quality of the team."

Bayo had been booked for an aerial challenge when he chased down a loose ball and made contact with Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy.

"It looked to me like the referee was waving play on," Lennon said. "I don't know if he was looking back at the goalkeeper who was holding his head when there was no contact with his face at all. 

"If anything it was minimal across his midriff. The referee changed his mind. So I think Bayo can feel very hard done by by that decision. 

"We are playing under the UEFA banner and I'm surprised we don't have (VAR) for this competition because if we had it, we would clearly have had another penalty."

In the other group game, CFR Cluj came from a goal down to beat lazio 2-1 and Lennon predicted a campaign with a few twists and turns.

"I'm delighted with our performance and I know we can improve as well as we go along," he said. "The first half, I didn't want us to play really well but lose the game.

"We got the reaction I was looking for and we played well and got something which was really important in the opening game of the group.

"We've a lot to look forward to.

"The other result isn't a surprise to me either because teams will take points off each other as the group goes on."


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