RYAN Christie has predicted Celtic will take confidence from the swashbuckling style of football they played in their historic victory over Lazio this week and can beat Rennes and Cluj in their remaining Europa League matches to finish top of their section.

The Parkhead club have recorded some famous wins in Europe under their manager Neil Lennon – not least against Barcelona in the Champions League back in 2012 – by adopting ultra-defensive tactics and seeking to grab a goal on the counter attack.

But the treble treble winners created a raft of scoring chances against their Serie A rivals in Rome and could have sewed up their first ever triumph on Italian soil long before Olivier Ntcham netted in the fifth and final minute of injury time.

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Christie, who covered every blade of grass on the hallowed turf at the Stadio Olimpico before being replaced by Ntcham in the second-half, feels that was the most impressive aspect of their remarkable victory.

The playmaker is now hoping Celtic can build on their result against Rennes at home later this month and Cluj away next month, finish first in Group E and go into the last 32 draw as one of the 16 seeded sides.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “It has to rank right up there with anything we’ve done, just in terms of the scale of the result. It meant so much, progressing at such an early stage from such a hard group. It’s really special to get that kind of result.

“You know about the previous achievements at the club, the likes of Barcelona, Seville and so on. To go out and do something to be part of that history was something really special. At the start of the season you hope to be involved in these kinds of big nights.

“I think the bravery we showed on the ball was incredible. To go away to Lazio and get a result was one thing, but to actually play some good football as well and score some good goals along the way was a credit to everybody involved.

“We had to show a lot of resilience again. We went a goal down but there was no panicking. We managed to feel our way in to the game and we got the goal before half-time.”

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Christie added: “The next thing for us is finishing top of the group. It would put us in a better place in terms of the draw for the next phase in the knockout stages.

“We are desperate to finish top. We’ll still be full of confidence when we have Rennes at home and then away to Cluj. It’s amazing to have the knockout stages tied up already but we want to finish strong and win the group.

“To go away to Lazio and create that many chances was something else.”

Christie has stressed the importance of Fraser Forster, the Celtic goalkeeper who pulled off some vital blocks in both halves in Rome, and the Parkhead players’ fitness levels in the Lazio win.

“The second half was really strange,” he said. “It was end-to-end and it was almost like a game of basketball.

“We had to rely on Fraser a wee bit towards the end. When you see someone like Fraser making those saves it really drives you on to try to win.

“I was pretty tired. I knew that was what was going to be required though. The gaffer mentioned before the game that every team we have come up against has praised our workrate and our fitness.

“That’s what pushes us through and gets us the big results when we need them. To do it against Lazio was unbelievable.”