Celtic were up against a club owned by a former Formula One chief and there were times when it seemed the Hoops were finally hitting top gear again.
But Neil Lennon’s men eventually were caught after running out of gas.
Celtic couldn’t quite make the chequered flag to win but there was still enough to cling on to, even if it probably will be ignored by the section of the support who keep question whether the right man is at the wheel.
The Scottish champions would have taken a point before kick off. They would have taken one when Lille got back level with 15 minutes to go and Celts dropping like flies.
Whether it eases the pressure is another thing though.
It’s been a tough road for Lennon of late. Four games without a win never looked good for any Celtic boss but he’s had to deal with more bumps than most.
There were glimpses of the old Celtic in France last night. Not the side that’s been stuck in the slow lane too many times this season.
A couple of goals up and cruising after Moi Elyounoussi’s sensational double, it looked like they were back on track.
But it was Lille who put the foot down – while Celtic hit the skids and the wheels started to get a bit shoogily in the second half.
It all got rather chaotic after Kris Ajer limped off but there was still enough to suggest Lennon and his men can turn the corner.
Elyounoussi was back up and running, Jeremie Frimpong was so quick he could have given Lewis Hamilton a lift and Diego Laxalt might be the unluckiest new signing ever.
The Uruguay cap is a decent pub question after starting his Hoops career with four games without a win but he looks a quality addition.
A point in Lille might have felt like the pits after being two up but this was a serious test against a club who have put the foot down in recent years.
Lille might not have the shiehk squillions like PSG, the money and glamour of Monaco or the – sometimes chequered – history of Marseille.
But they do have their own identity and ambition in French football.
Gabriel Lopez – who helped run the Lotus F1 team – has ploughed millions in to his side, but he’s also got the kind of buy cheap, sell big business model Celtic have attempted to recreate in recent years.
Cashing in on the likes of Pepe, Thiago Mendes, Gabriel and Victor Osimhen have banked Lille more than 200 million quid – and they haven’t been shy to sink it back in to the side.
Celtic could have been facing old pal Alfredo Morelos last night, of course. Lille wanted the Rangers frontman but didn’t fancy chunking the £18m fee up front.
The Colombian isn’t allowed to forget the fact he’s not scored against Celts but the fella Lille signed instead didn’t do much better.
Jonathan David cost a cool £24m from Gent but the Canadian has now gone 10 in a row without a goal and did a brilliant impression of the Morelos duffed penalty against the Hoops in last season’s Betfred Cup Final.
Bain did the business this time after retaining his place despite Vasilis Barkas being declared fit and the keeper’s display has more hair raising moments than the Monaco Grand Prix.
One minute he was brilliantly beating away a long range drive, the next he was hoofing out a cross with his feet. He’s superbly spread himself to save the penalty, then have hearts fluttering with a fumble that left his goal gaping.
By that stage Celts were motoring though.
This was a Lille side who hadn’t lost all season, are joint top of the table with PSG and and who spanked Sparta Prague last week, and they were a a couple down in the blink of an eye.
The penalty save was justice done as Shane Duffy’s slight trip was miles out of the box and there was no VAR around to sort it out.
It was seatbelts on for the second half though Celtic struggled to hang on. There was another goal lost at a set piece, confusion at the back for the second. But it could have been worse. A winner for the hosts seemed inevitable.
But those last 15 minutes were every bit as impressive as the first 45. Celtic had to hang tough, they had to get something, otherwise the usual suspects would have been suggesting Lennon was heading towards the end of the road.