Celtic player ratings vs Nice: Christie and Edouard shine in entertaining draw

By Hamish Carton

July 16, 2020

Celtic got their 2020/2021 season underway with an entertaining friendly draw against French top-flight side OGC Nice.

Kasper Dolberg put the Ligue 1 side ahead after Odsonne Edouard had a neat goal wrongly ruled out by VAR.

But Neil Lennon’s Hoops responded in the second-half after making eleven changes, with Patryk Klimala netting his first for the club after a bad mistake from Nice keeper Yoan Cardinale.

Here’s how we rated the players.

Scott Bain – 6

Bain is perhaps the only member of the Celtic side that started the match who won’t be a first-choice pick this season.

Who knows, he may still be. And he certainly did little wrong against Nice.

Faultless for the goal and good in possession, many may think Bain has a part to play this campaign.

Jeremie Frimpong – 6

Frimpong had an immense breakthrough season last year and will be hard pushed to match that this term.

His long, direct runs have been badly missed over the past four months and it was just great to have him back.

He looks even quicker than he was before.

Jeremie Frimpong in action (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Christopher Jullien – 5

The big Frenchman looked a little lethargic in all honesty and didn’t cover himself in glory for Dolberg’s goal.

But the 60 minutes in his homeland will have done him a lot of good and he’ll be better in the coming weeks.

Kristoffer Ajer – 5

The Norwegian international looked slightly better than his central-defensive partner, but he also could do with some more matches in the coming weeks.

Whether Ajer will still be a Celtic player in a few months time is the bigger issue at present.

Greg Taylor – 7

Many Celtic fans aren’t convinced by the former Kilmarnock defender, but he did a lot of good during the game.

A brilliant cross for Edouard aside, Taylor was always an option on the wide left and defender well too.

Hopefully a sign of things to come.

Greg Taylor put in a good display (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Scott Brown – 6

The skipper started the game with real energy – clearly bursting at the seems to get back playing football.

He faded as the match went on, surely a sign of not having had many minutes under his belt lately.

Just great to see him back. And with his hair shaven.

Callum McGregor – 7

Another player who will have benefited massively from some time on the pitch.

McGregor is just a brilliant player, and always looks up for matches, regardless of competition or venue.

It’s going to be another hectic season for him.

James Forrest – 6

The winger had some moments of good stuff, and some moments that convinced you he’s gonna need a few weeks to get right up to speed.

Unlike Brown, Forrest hasn’t had a recent haircut, but he did put in a similar performance to the skipper.

Better things are in the pipeline.

Ryan Christie – 8

Christie was probably our best performer on the night, with his intelligent movement and passing shown against the Ligue 1 side.

Involved in Edouard’s goal that wasn’t, Christie should have scored when sent clear by the Frenchman at the start of the second half.

You’d have had your house on him to do so, but he slid it past the post.

Celtic star Ryan Christie (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Mohamed Elyounoussi – 6

The Norwegian looked bright in spells, but is another who seems to take a little more time to find his groove.

Once he does, he’ll be a frightening prospect.

Odsonne Edouard – 8

The prolific Frenchman should have had his first of the season, but was wrongly adjudged to have been offside by VAR.

Edouard was excellent in the game, creating numerous chances and looking by far the best player on the pitch.

You get the impression he’s gonna have a pretty big season.

The subs

Neil Lennon chose to sub all 11 of his starters on the 60 minute mark. Quite frankly, nobody has enough time to wade through each of their performances.

However, Patryk Klimala looked very lively and netted a hard-earned equaliser courtesy of a bad Yoan Cardinale mistake.

Olivier Ntcham also looked composed in possession while Boli Bolingoli and Ewan Henderson were heavily involved on the left-hand side.

Ismaila Soro and Karamoko Dembele were among the others who got half an hour of action under their belt.