NEIL LENNON believes that a good night for Celtic could have been a great one had the Video Assistant Referee system been in operation in their Europa League draw against Stade Rennais in Rennes.

A Ryan Christie penalty cancelled out a M’Baye Niang spot-kick for the hosts, but Lennon was angry that his side weren’t awarded another penalty for a foul by Joris Gnagnon on Christie prior to the one they were given.

He was also upset by referee Jose Maria Sanchez’s decision to order of substitute Vakoun Issouf Bayo in stoppage time for a second bookable offence after a clash with home goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, with the Celtic manager accusing the keeper of feigning contact with his face.

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It left Lennon coming away from a positive night for his side with a tinge of regret that VAR wasn't available in this competition, despite being used in the Champions League.

“I was aware of that before the game,” Lennon said. “We are playing under the UEFA banner. I’m surprised we don’t have it in this competition. If we had had it, we would have had another penalty.

“I'm not happy about the sending off and we should have had a clear penalty for the foul on Ryan Christie. However, I have to be satisfied to come away from home and play very strongly against a good side speaks volumes for the character and quality of the team.”

The ordering off of Bayo in particular bemused Lennon, with the Spanish official initially signalling that there had been no contact between the players.

"It looks to me like the referee was waving play on,” he said. “I don’t know if he looked back at the goalkeeper as he was holding his head. There was no contact with his face at all. If anything, it was minimal across his midriff.

“The referee changed his mind. Bayo can feel very hard done by by that decision.

“We pride ourselves on our team discipline. Yes, we lost a player to a red card, but we feel harshly done by.”

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Despite the grumbles around the officiating, Lennon was proud of the performance that his players put in as they made the team currently sitting in second place in Ligue 1 look distinctly second-best for large portions of the night.

“The players acquitted themselves brilliantly in testing circumstances with the volume of crowd going up and their bench getting a little bit vociferous,” he said.

“We kept our composure very well. It’s great start to the group.”