Celtic legend pinpoints the one area where Neil Lennon could've done things differently in Lille

Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner reckons Neil Lennon should have made changes earlier in the game as the Scottish champions saw a two-goal lead slip away in Lille.

Olivier Ntcham battles for possession with Lille defender Sven Botman. Picture: SNS
Olivier Ntcham battles for possession with Lille defender Sven Botman. Picture: SNS

The under-fire Parkhead boss saw his players excel on the European stage as they netted twice in the first half through Mohamed Elyounoussi.

The second half was a very different story with Lille pilling on the pressure, ultimately pulling one back on 67 minutes through Mehmet Celik before Nanitamo Ikone earned the hosts a draw with a deflected strike with 15 minutes remaining.

Lennon made a triple-change in the last 10 minutes with the visitors altering their formation from a 4-4-1-1 to a 3-5-2 which helped stem the tide, though Bonner feels it should have been made sooner.

He said on BBC Sportsound: “It looked to me like [Oliver] Ntcham ran out of legs before he was taken off. I was surprised Scott Brown was taken off but they obviously felt he was running out of legs too. [Ryan] Christie came off as well.


Hide Ad

“I think they were maybe the right changes to make but they could have happened ten minutes earlier.

“They went with the three-at-the-back but I didn’t mind that. It seemed to help and change things in their favour with them having a couple of chances near the end there. It’s good that they have that flexibility to change things.

“He maybe should have made them a little bit earlier because they were under the cosh and every time Ntcham got the ball he was almost falling over it, giving it away.”

Message from the editor


Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.