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Celtic claim top spot after cruising to win over Rennes

Celtic beat Rennes 3-1 to guarantee they finish top of their Europa League group.

Super-sub: Johnstone climbed off the bench to score Celtic's third goal. SNSGroup

Celtic cruised to a 3-1 win over Rennes to claim top spot in their Europa League group.

Goals from Lewis Morgan, Ryan Christie and Mikey Johnstone made the difference for the Scottish champions, who are now guaranteed to finish first after Lazio beat Cluj 1-0.

Having already booked their spot in the knockout stages, Celtic came into the match full of confidence.

Neil Lennon’s side grabbed the lead after 20 minutes when Morgan, stepping in to fill rested striker Odsonne Edouard’s spot, made his mark by getting on the end of a flowing team move to open the scoring.

Rennes were struggling to contain the hosts, with Olivier Ntcham following on from his match-winning display off the bench in Rome by impressing from the start here.

It looked like Celtic might have to make do with a one-goal lead at the break but they doubled their advantage just before the whistle through Christie.

The attacking midfielder struck from range and the Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy misjudged the bounce of the ball to concede.

Celtic were comfortable after the break. Captain Scott Brown was eventually booked after a series of fouls, meaning he will miss the final group fixture with Cluj.

The visitors began to threaten as the half progressed but were unable to beat Fraser Forster, who produced an impressive double stop to deny Rennes.

The Scottish champions then put the result beyond doubt when substitute Johnstone worked a neat one-two with Ntcham and drove the ball across the goal into the far corner.

Rennes grabbed a consolation late on through Hunou but it was only a slight blot on the copybook for Celtic, who will now be seeded for the round of 32 draw.

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