Neil Lennon has given Scott Bain plenty of plaudits for a productive night in Lille as he helped Celtic secure a fine 2-2 draw.
Bain was the hero at the end of the first half when he kept out a penalty from Lille’s Jonathan David. That was just one of several fine stops on the night before he was horribly exposed for both of the home side’s second-half goals.
It was his second consecutive appearance and only his third of the season overall as he deputised for Vasilis Barkas. On another night, it could’ve been another poor defeat had Bain not come to the fore.
And Lennon was happy to big up his display after the game when speaking to Celtic TV:
“I’m delighted with Scott. The penalty save – it was never a penalty so we felt really aggrieved with the decision – and he’s made a very good save. He had a couple of saves in the first half.
“I didn’t think we were under much pressure in the second half but he can be delighted with his contribution.”
A decent display, but question marks over Barkas must be made
Whilst Bain put in a decent shift on the night, you have to acknowledge that the decision to play him over Barkas raises more questions than answers.
After all, Barkas was surely signed for nights like this one. These are the kinds of games he would’ve been expected to slot in and make some big saves in. Instead, he was sitting on the bench.
Now that could be down to the fact that Barkas missed the Aberdeen game and hadn’t fully recovered. But if he was in the matchday squad at all then you have to assume that he’s fit. After all, an injury to Bain and the former AEK Athens man would’ve had to come on.
It could simply have been a case of Lennon giving Bain his chance to shine in a European game, but it certainly raises a question over where Barkas is at.
That will likely come clearer on Sunday when Celtic face Aberdeen at Hampden in their Scottish Cup semi-final meeting. If Bain’s selected again, it could be a sign that the goalkeeper position at Parkhead is back up for grabs again.
Bain did himself no harm last night, but we’ll see where Lennon goes from here.