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Celtic draw 2-2 with Lille in Europa League

The Scottish champions let a two-goal lead slip in France.

Celtic draw 2-2 with Lille in Europa League SNS Group

Celtic have drawn 2-2 with Lille in their Europa League group stage match in France.

Neil Lennon’s side had a two-goal lead at half-time but were pegged back by the home side and had to settle for a point for their efforts.

The Scottish champions lost their Group H opener to AC Milan a week ago but hit the ground running at Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Mohamed Elyounoussi put Celtic ahead just before the half-hour mark, cutting in from the left and taking his time before bending a shot inside the far post from the edge of the area.

The visitors then piled the pressure on Lille with another goal just four minutes later. Jeremie Frimpong made a run down the right and drilled in a low cross that was met smartly by Elyounoussi for his second goal of the night.

Lille, unbeaten this season, pushed back instantly and quickly had a chance to get into the game from the penalty spot. Shane Duffy fouled Jonathan David and the referee judged that it had been inside the box. David stepped up but Scott Bain dived to save his weak spot kick.

The home side were undeterred and went close again before the break when Bain spilled a routine catch and Sven Botman pounced to shoot but saw the ball hit the bar.

Lille kept pressing in the second half and made a triple change, while Celtic introduced Odsonne Edouard.

After 67 minutes Lille had a goal back when a croner wasn’t dealt with and Zeki Celik fired home from the back post.

Eight minutes later the French side were level. Again a ball in the Celtic box wasn’t dealt with and Jonathan Ikone hit a deflected shot beyond Bain.

Both sides visibly tired and clear chances dried up and the teams had to settle for a point each from a tough contest.