Neil Lennon delighted with ruthless Celtic performance


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Neil Lennon says he could not have asked for any more from his Celtic players after they thumped Estonian outfit Nomme Kalju 5-0 on Wednesday.

The match was the first leg of the second round of Champions League qualification and, barring any miracles, Celtic have already booked their place in the next round, where they will face either Cluj of Romania or Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel.

Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie put the Hoops into a 2-0 lead just before the break before Leigh Griffiths – making his first start since December after suffering with personal problems – whipped in a free-kick to send Celtic Park into ecstasy.

A second strike from Christie and Callum McGregor’s fine finish in the second half wrapped up a near-perfect night for the club, who play the return leg next Tuesday. And Lennon, who is entering the first full season of his second spell in charge, says he was thrilled with the display and can now look to rest players for the return fixture.

“I can’t ask any more of the players,” he said straight after the game. “I thought the second half we were very good. We took a bit of time to get going but once we got the goal we really went for it. “We got five goals, a clean sheet and that’s a nice luxury to have. We can perhaps have a look at the wider squad over there now.”

Celtic can now put some of their focus on the start to the new Scottish Premiership season on August 4 when they are aiming to win their ninth straight title, available at 1.33, while Old Firm rivals Rangers are on offer at 2.80.

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