The group stages of the Europa League comprises 48 teams. There are 12 groups with four teams in them. If you look at the current standings in the groups after five games, Celtic can proudly say they have amongst the best records in the group stages.
In fact, with one game left to go in the group stages, Celtic have the second best record in the tournament, with 13 points from five games. Only Sevilla have more points, they have 15.
Terrific achievement after opening draw
That points tally is one that all at Celtic should be very proud of. The way the Hoops have responded to drawing their first game in the group stages – 1-1 against Rennes – with four victories in a row is a terrific achievement.
When the draw was made it looked like it would be a bit of a struggle for the Hoops to qualify. They would play the aforementioned French cup winners Rennes, Lazio and Cluj, who of course knocked the Hoops out of the Champions League qualifiers.
Taken the tournament by storm
However, Neil Lennon’s side have taken the tournament by storm, recording four wins in a row. The nature of the performances means that the Hoops can justifiably be proud of their achievements so far.
At the start of the season, and especially after the loss to Cluj in the Champions League qualifiers, there might not have been that much interest in the Europa League from some Hoops supporters. After all, it is not as attractive a competition as the Champions League.
That attitude would have changed after the double header against Lazio. The Hoops’ two victories against the Serie A side – particularly the Hoops’ first ever victory in Italy – were massive results for all at the club.
Celtic should now be aiming to progress into the later stages of the competition. Their results so far show that they have nothing to fear in the tournament.