Celtic clawed their way to their first win of their Europa League run this season on Thursday. Although the Hoops had already sealed their fate in that they would be knocked out of the competition, it was a spirited performance from Neil Lennon’s side.
Despite Lille’s efforts to bag two goals, Celtic outperformed them by netting three of their own David Turnbull, Callum McGregor and Christopher Jullien were on song, with the latter performing well in both defence and attack.
However, it wasn’t the French centre-back who stole the show for the Bhoys. Ismaila Soro was handed his first ever start for the Premiership club and he made sure he left a lasting impression.
The 22-year-old played the full 90 minutes of his first Celtic start and he was a rock in the middle of the park.
According to Sofascore, Soro contributed a whopping ten successful tackles and made two interceptions. He also won 13 of his 20 attempted duels and was fouled three times.
The Ivorian tank has made himself very difficult to be ignored as Lennon moves forward with his season. After a run of poor performances, the Hoops boss has an uncertain future and talks of a potential replacement have been swirling.
But experimenting with his team like he did last night has uncovered hidden gems like Soro, who could give Lennon a last-gasp chance of turning the season around.
Celtic trail by a hefty 13 points in the Premiership table as Rangers look set for glory. It’s a tough time to be a Hoops fan but one major positive from the match against Lille is that Soro is certainly an option Celtic must be utilising a lot more.