THERE may have been the novelty of French opposition for Celtic, but there was only one Frenchman that the home supporters had come to see; £7m man Christopher Jullien. It was difficult to make much of an early judgment on him though, given the lack of action around the Celtic box in a match that was standard friendly fare. Which is a nice way of saying that the goalless draw was a bit of a snoozefest.

The immediate impression of Jullien of course is that he looks like a dominant presence, given his height and build, but he showed he was decent with the ball at his feet too at times, albeit under very little pressure.

He had one slip-up during his 57 minutes of action as a misplaced pass almost presented a goal to the visitors, but he looked decent enough overall without really having too much of an opportunity to impress.

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In terms of the action – such as it was - there was nothing of note happening really in the opening half an hour, although Leigh Griffiths was looking sharp and eager to impress upon his return to action at Celtic Park. Youngster Luca Connell, if anything, was a little too eager to impress on his debut, but when he calmed down a little and kept things simple he showed that he may well be a tidy player in the middle of the park.

Ewan Henderson injected a burst of urgency into proceedings as he exchanged a one-two with Scott Sinclair 10 minutes before the break, breaking into the box and bringing out a decent save from visiting goalkeeper Tomas Koubek.

Jullien had a new partner for the second half as Nir Bitton made way for young Stephen Welsh, while Callum McGregor came on for Scott Brown and took on the captain’s armband in the process.

Jullien then had that shaky moment a few minutes after the restart as a pass from Connell put him under a little pressure, but the defender should still have done better than present the ball to Rennais attacker Adrien Hunou. Luckily for him and for Celtic, his shot was saved by Craig Gordon.

Debutants Jullien and Connell then both took their leave, and while it is far too early to make any snap judgments on either player, they will both be better off for the run-out as they look to catch up to their teammates in terms of their sharpness.

Celtic almost got their noses in front as Jonny Hayes did well to dig out a cross from the left, only for Scott Sinclair to put his free header wide from six yards.

Glasgow Times:

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Quite how he didn’t score a few minutes later only he knows, as Henderson laid the ball on a plate for him three yards out, but somehow the winger got the ball caught under his feet and substitute keeper Romain Salin got across to scramble the ball to safety.

Celtic’s own sub keeper Conor Hazard was then called into action as a good run from Lucas Da Cunha saw him get a shot away that Hazard stood up well to block, before James Forrest was given a run-out for the last 20 minutes in place of Lewis Morgan, who had a decent afternoon on the right.

Karamoko Dembele was given the last 10 minutes or so and tried to liven things up, and fellow substitute Odsonne Edouard went close with the final kick, his lob over the keeper being hacked off the line.

The return of the real stuff on Wednesday night will be most welcome, and it is doubtful whether any of the fringe players involved here will have done enough to force their way into Neil Lennon’s thinking for that Champions League qualifier second-leg against Sarajevo.