Sport Diego Laxalt receives Celtic 'wall' verdict as French press lay into Olivier Ntcham

13:10  30 october  2020
13:10  30 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Celtic fans want Lennon to hand Laxalt his debut against Rangers

  Celtic fans want Lennon to hand Laxalt his debut against Rangers Celtic completed the signing of AC Milan left-back Diego Laxalt earlier this month, and many Hoops supporters want to see a first glimpse of the 27-year-old in the Glasgow derby. Laxalt became the club’s fifth and final summer signing and now looks set to battle Greg Taylor for a starting spot on the left-hand side. The Uruguayan’s debut could come against rivals Rangers on Saturday lunchtime, and it appears that if Lennon does place his trust in Laxalt, it would go down a treat with several Celtic fans. The Hoops will return to the top of the Scottish Premiership with a win at Parkhead, in what will be the first Glasgow derby in 10 months.

Celtic 's Olivier Ntcham talks up Diego Laxalt . Both players started on Saturday though, and midfielder Ntcham has offered his view on their performances to the Daily Mail, stating that he felt Ntcham also felt that it was a difficult game against Dundee, but he was delighted to grab the winning

Olivier Ntcham struck twice in seven second-half minutes for Celtic . Then came the show-stopper. Ntcham 's thunderous blast from at least 30 yards settled any lingering nerves. The Frenchman added a sumptuous second after robbing Raffaele de Vita on the left and curling in off the inside of the far post.

Their two-goal lead may have been pegged back, but Celtic's impressive performance against Lille has been commended by the French press.

Few tipped Neil Lennon's men to get a result against Les Dogues, who are second only on goal difference to PSG in Ligue 1.

A Moi Elyounoussi double saw the Scottish champions go 2-0 up in the first half, and while Zeki Celik and Nanitamo Ikoné eventually secured a Europa League draw for the home side there was much admiration for Celtic's performance.

There were, however, some Celtic players who attracted criticism. Most notably, Olivier Ntcham's return to his home country was not regarded as a success.

Four Findings: Celtic 0-2 Rangers

  Four Findings: Celtic 0-2 Rangers Celtic dropped their second consecutive Glasgow Derby defeat to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers on home turf. Neil Lennon was forced to deal without Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest, Ryan Christie, Nir Bitton, Hatem Abd Elhamed, and Christopher Julien. With the long list of Celtic absentees, this opened the door for a rare chance for 20-year-old Stephen Welsh, who joined four others from the Hoops in making their Glasgow Derby debut as Diego Laxalt also got his first start since coming on loan from AC Milan.

Suduva 1-1 Celtic : Olivier Ntcham delivers dream start but Bhoys are held by Lithuanian minnows. However defensive concerns continue to haunt manager Brendan Rodgers. Olivier Ntcham opened scoring in third minute but Ovidijus Verbickas levelled.

Celtic 's winless run extended to four games as they let slip a two-goal half-time lead in an engrossing Europa League stalemate in Lille. Mohamed Elyounoussi netted an outstanding double before stand-in Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain saved Jonathan David's weak penalty.

a group of men playing football on a field © DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

Here's a look at what the French media have been saying.

Foot Mercato - "Elyounoussi and Ajeti made the French defence live an ordeal"

Elyounoussi's superb opener drew praise from Foot Mercato, who called it "a superb curled shot".

Calling it a "lively match", they praised Lennon's side for a "much more enterprising" performance after Lille's lively opening spell.

In their live commentary they hailed Celtic's "real offensive strengths" and singled out Jeremie Frimpong for praise, saying the right-back "has really good qualities on the ball."

With Lille two goals down at the interval, they said Elyounoussi and Albian Ajeti had "made the Lille defence live an ordeal".

Of Celtic's second, they said: "Sublime Scottish movement, with a perfect cross from Frimpong, who saw Mohamed Amine Elyounoussi demarcated in front of the penalty spot. The Norwegian offered himself a double with a cross shot from the right with finesse."

Ramon Vega urges Celtic players to take responsibility for recent displays

  Ramon Vega urges Celtic players to take responsibility for recent displays Former Celtic defender Ramon Vega believes the Hoops players need to take responsibility for recent performances, seemingly giving his backing to former teammate Neil Lennon in the process. Celtic slipped four points adrift of Steven Gerrard’s side after the 2-0 defeat, with the Hoops failing to record a shot on target during the lacklustre Parkhead display. Plenty of supporters were furious with Lennon after the loss, with the Northern IrishmanCeltic slipped four points adrift of Steven Gerrard’s side after the 2-0 defeat, with the Hoops failing to record a shot on target during the lacklustre Parkhead display.

If Olivier Ntcham feels burdened by being the most expensive Celtic player in a generation, he has a funny way of showing it. What a strike the young French midfielder Ntcham produced, though. His right-foot volley fizzed through a ruck of bodies and past Cerny, with a telling deflection off Brown.

Olivier Ntcham 's dramatic injury-time winner against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico sent Celtic into the last 32 of the Europa League. The Hoops arrived in Rome at the summit of Group E after beating the Italian side last month but amid a shaky start they fell behind in the seventh minute when striker Ciro

L'Equipe - "Celtic rewarded for their technical discipline and offensive daring"

Elyounoussi's opener was deserved following a strong period of play from Celtic, according to L'Equipe.

They said: "This goal rewards the good last minutes of the Bhoys, who are playing more at the top during this first period."

Scott Bain saved Jonathan David's penalty after the forward "tried to take justice into his own hands" following a foul by Shane Duffy in "the Truth Zone".

Two-up at the break, Celtic were said to have been "rewarded for their technical discipline and their offensive daring on the counter-attack".

With Lille attempting to find a way back in the second half, Elyounoussi was again the recipient of praise. They said: "Elyounoussi is a constant danger with his ability to position himself between the lines. The Norwegian keeps the ball well and allows his team to come back."

"The only good thing about the Milan game" - these Celtic fans are keen to see Griffiths start on Thursday

  Celtic host AC Milan tomorrow evening in the first of six Europa League group stage fixtures. And ahead of the game, several Hoops fans have taken to social media to urge Neil Lennon to start striker Leigh Griffiths. The 30-year-old has featured in just 37 minutes of competitive action this season, with both cameo appearances coming in the Hoops’ last two league games. Griffiths, who had been out with a calf strain, was the hero against St Johnstone off the bench, netting a late header to give Celtic the lead.

Olivier Ntcham joined Celtic in a move worth around £4.5m. Ntcham , a French international youth player, spent the past two seasons on loan at Genoa in Italy. He played for just over an hour of Saturday's friendly and Rodgers reckons that was enough to show how vital he will be.

Il centrocampista del City arriva in prestito per due anni al Genoa classe 1996 ♫ Music: Jim Yosef - Firefly [NCS Release] Facebook Page

Mohamed Elyounoussi holding a ball © Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

After missing chances to complete a hat-trick, however, his performance in the second 45 was called "less inspired than in the first period".

Maxifoot - "Laxalt turned the left side into a wall"

Lille dominated the early exchanges, but the complexion of the game changed entirely thanks to that Elyounoussi double.

Maxifoot said: "Celtic were almost smothered in the first 20 minutes, until the huge opportunity missed by striker (Albian) Ajeti. That reversed the face of the match since it was the Scots who took control.

"Elyounoussi took the opportunity to open the score with a magnificent roll! Then a few minutes later, the Norwegian international scored again."

After levelling the game with 15 minutes remaining, Lille failed to mount significant pressure for a winner, prompting Maxifoot to say: "This obviously suited Celtic who will ultimately be content with this draw, just like the locals.

"The two teams never played well at the same time."

They published man-by-man ratings for the visitors, with Elyounoussi and Diego Laxalt considered Celtic's best performers.

Everything Celtic's European opponents have said since Neil Lennon took charge

  Everything Celtic's European opponents have said since Neil Lennon took charge The Hoops take on AC Milan on Thursday night and here's everything every European opponent has had to say about Celtic since Lennon took the reins.It was days after a two-legged defeat to Valencia so he had to wait until the following season to get a chance to manage the club on the big stage again.

Celtic were held to a 3-3 draw with Aberdeen on Sunday and are six points adrift of Rangers; "Does Olivier Ntcham want to be in Glasgow as a No sales, and additions like Vasilas Barkas, Albian Ajeti, David Turnbull, Diego Laxalt , Mohamed Elyounoussi and Shane Duffy to strengthen the squad.

Midfielder Olivier Ntcham is a doubt for Celtic 's Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens. Celtic face four rounds of qualifiers to reach the Champions League group stage, and have already "We'll delve into that over the next few days and prepare the players. They will be a good side, but

For Ntcham, Duffy and Ryan Christie, it makes somewhat less pleasant reading.

Scott Bain: "Thanks to the penalty saved from David, the Celtic goalkeeper could have become one of the great architects of a victory in Lille. But after his failed exit, without consequence since (Sven) Botman found the bar, he was far from flawless on the two goals conceded, two balls that he seemed able to push back." - 4

Diego Laxalt: "We found the Uruguayan so attractive during the 2018 World Cup. Very legs. The left side turned into a wall! Impossible for Ikoné nor for Celik to pass one against one or to cross. It took a favourable counter to allow the attacking midfielder to win a single small duel in the match." - 7.5

a group of young men playing a game of football © Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Kristoffer Ajer: "The central defender followed the movements of David in depth and to the sides. Injured and replaced by Nir Bitton, who had difficulty facing the waves of Lille in the second period." - 6

Shane Duffy: "We still wonder how the Irishman managed to escape the box after his dangerous tackle on (Jonathan) Bamba. An awkward intervention, just like the one that caused the penalty on David." - 3

Jeremie Frimpong: "After taking the time to resolve the (Domagoj) Bradaric problem, he timidly entered his match. His decisive pass on the second goal freed him as he then increased his climbs. It must be said that his running speed is a serious asset. Author of a beautiful sequence at the very end of the match but his shot was not on target" - 7

Celtic fans heap praise on Diego Laxalt's Europa League display

  Celtic fans heap praise on Diego Laxalt's Europa League display Diego Laxalt came up against his parent club on Thursday evening, as the Hoops fell to a 3-1 defeat to AC Milan. The 27-year-old, who joined on a season-long loan at the beginning of the month, was eligible to face his permanent employers in the Europa League opener. Neil Lennon handed the Uruguayan a second start in green and white, however, despite his best efforts, couldn’t prevent a defeat at Parkhead. Laxalt was the standout performer on the pitch, though, and that was recognised by plenty of Celtic supporters. The left-back ended with a WhoScored rating of 7.89, a rating higher than any other player from either side.

Callum McGregor: "What activity in the midfield! Thanks to his enormous volume of play, the midfielder was often placed on the Lille passing lines, in addition to his incessant pressing." - 6.5

Scott Brown: "Unlike McGregor, the Celtic captain had a harder time resisting LOSC attacks. He was combative in the first half before experiencing a drop in speed after the break." - 4

Mohamed Elyounoussi: "Nice double for the Norwegian international, who surely thought he had given victory to his team. Unfortunately for the Scots, he was much less inspired on his two occasions in the second half, in two situations identical to that of his first goal." - 7.5

Olivier Ntcham: "As French observers, we were necessarily curious to see the environment at work in this post of playmaker. But the former target of Olympique de Marseille made an interesting start with good shifts, then nothing.

"His direct opponent (Benjamin) André completely dominated him, hence his inability to breathe his team's breath in the second period. Replaced in the 82nd by Stephen Welsh." - 3

Ryan Christie: "Not always disciplined in his defensive retreat on Bradaric, the right winger was hardly dangerous in front. He made a good cross for Elyounoussi at the start of the match but it was largely insufficient. Replaced in the 81st by Tom Rogic" - 3

Albian Ajeti: "Involved in his team's second goal, the Swiss centre-forward weighed heavily on the Lille defence. He did not win all his duels but his power nevertheless hampered his opponents, who were sometimes forced to make mistakes on him. Note a big missed opportunity just before the opening of the scoring." - 6

Frank Lampard Pre-Sheffield United Press Conference: Key Points .
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has given his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are in action for the final time before another international break and the hosts can be confident of finishing this period on a high. Chris Wilder’s side have been struggling this term after a remarkable campaign in 2019/20 saw them finish ninth, having being tipped to struggle by many. Lampard’s men will be on the hunt for their sixth successive clean sheet against a low-scoring Blades team who have managed just three goals in their opening seven league games.

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