Brown and his Bhoys teammates held the more experienced Eagles to a scoreless draw at Parkhead with the result a positive considering they had a number of top-line players sidelined including midfielders Joe Ledley and Keram Bayal.
Brown teamed up with Victor Wanyama to guide the Celtic team through a tough fixture and Provan spoke highly of the skipper’s showing in his column for SunSport.
“What a boost for Neil (Lennon) that Scott Brown and Victor Wanyama did the work of three men in the Celts engine room last night,” wrote Provan.
“In terms of effort, tackles won, blocks made and yards covered, they were excellent. They were box to box for 90 minutes.
“In an age when you very rarely see teams go in with just two players against three in central midfield, they were fabulous.
“Benfica are technically superior to the SPL champions. They took off a player in Rodrigo who has a 45million euro escape clause in his contract.
“But the sheer determination and will of Brown and Wanyama – closely followed by Charlie Mulgrew – shone through.
“Brown led the way. I’ve been one of his biggest critics over the years but he was absolutely magnificent against the Portuguese.
“His performance was made even more special by the fact he had to take an injection just to play in the game. In an era when some players won’t play if they have a cold, he put his body on the line for the team.
“When your skipper sets that kind of example, it’s terrific.”