"Tarnished", "excellent David Turnbull"; French media reacts as Celtic beat Lille

By Euan Davidson

December 11, 2020

Reading the French football press, it was clear that only one result was expected last night as Celtic faced Lille.

Celtic, who were already out of contention in the Europa League, hosted a Lille side who were battling for 1st place in Group H. A win for the Northern French team was taken for granted in the French media, and the nature of Lille’s defending has been criticised from all corners.

With goals from Jullien, McGregor and Turnbull, the Bhoys ensured that this year’s European adventure would not end without a victory. Christophe Galtier’s men needed a win to avoid a tricky last-32 tie against some of the more dangerous sides in the competition.

Here’s how the French media reacted as Lille surrendered to a 3-2 loss at Celtic Park.


Timothy Weah battles former team mate Kristoffer Ajer / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)


Le Figaro‘s live text commentary of last night’s game is full of wonderful language. That is, of course, if you’re a Celtic fan. Or you’re David Turnbull specifically:

“Dominated by a reorganized Celtic Glasgow team, Lille ended its Europa League campaign with a defeat at Celtic Park.

“…the excellent David Turnbull gave back the advantage to Celtic by placing an unstoppable strike in front of a northerner defense [sic] more passive than ever.”


Jullien, Turnbull and Henderson take it all in / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“Mission failed”

Goal FR’s verdict was similarly tough reading for LOSC supporters. In a frank summary of Lille’s performance, the website claims:

“Facing the last of the group, the LOSC had to do the job to finish first. Mission failed.

“Christophe Galtier’s LOSC had to win tonight… to be sure to finish in first place, regardless of the result of AC Milan’s trip to Prague. That was the whole point of the meeting against the Scots.

“But this opponent turned out to be tougher than expected for the Northerners.”


Rugged: Christophe Galtier / (Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Maxifoot lead with Galtier quote

Christophe Galtier had some fun with the media before Lille’s meeting with Celtic, but he won’t have enjoyed his post-match conference as much.

Top French media outlet Maxifoot led with Galtier’s comments, illustrating the French coach’s frustration with his charges:

“It’s a disappointment, admitted Lille coach Christophe Galtier on RMC Sport after the meeting. We will learn the lesson. We will do better. We will still retain qualifying, it was difficult to get AC Milan. But this match should serve as a lesson to us, we lost on details.”


Hazard impressed on his European debut / (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“A defeat at the worst time”

I wish I could speak fluent French. As dramatic as the translation is here, you can’t help but feel it loses a little something in English. A little… “I do not know what”.

Ouest-France heralded the 3-2 Celtic win as “spectacular”, but bemoaned the potential difficulty of Lille’s next meetings in the Europa League:

“A defeat at the worst time.

“the Mastiffs had the weapons to win but they were too imprecise.

“This defeat somewhat tarnishes the beautiful European course of Losc, marked in particular by a superb success (3-0) against the Milanese at San Siro.”