RELIEVED Neil Lennon praised substitute Moi Elyounoussi after his last-gasp goal squeezed Celtic past FK Riga and into the Europa League play-off round.

The Scottish champions were frustrated for most of the evening by their stubborn hosts, and looked to be heading for extra-time before Elyounoussi popped up with an 89th minute winner to send Celtic through.

And Lennon was delighted with the impact and the attitude of the winger after biding his time to make an enormous impact.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” Lennon said.

“We took him out of the team for a couple of games and he’s trained brilliantly over the last week or so.

“He took the goal fantastically well and he’s a great example to the rest of the squad. His attitude is great.

“He’s worked really hard in training and I thought he looked good tonight. He was probably unfortunate to get on a bit earlier.

“But he’s come up with a really important goal for the team and the club.

“Hopefully, that will set his season in fire. He’s a great player and a great boy and I’m delighted with him.”

Lennon also praised the mentality of all of his players after the game, saying it would have been unthinkable for his side to go out of Europe at this stage, and insisted his men played well against the ultra-defensive hosts.

“It was a big result,” he said. “We knew going out of Europe was unthinkable. But we had prepped well for this and we looked strong. Our focus and mentality was really good.

“It was another important away win in Europe for us - and now we’ve got another one to negotiate.

“Scoring early would’ve made it a bit more comfortable. You start thinking about extra time — but I thought we would get a goal eventually.

“Riga just operated a low block for the majority of the game and it was tough for us to get through it. They didn’t want to come out and play. I’m really glad we broke then down in the end.

"In the end, on a difficult pitch, we’ve played well and won and I’m absolutely delighted for the players.”