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Internazionale 1-0 Celtic

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Inter scored a breakaway goal from Guarin, who should have earlier received a red card for deliberately striking Stefan Johansen on the face, on the 88th minute to win this tie 4-3 on aggregate.  But despite playing for the majority of the game with 10 men, after Virgil van Dijk’s 36th minute red card, Celtic looked comfortable throughout.  Man of the match Nir Bitton dictated play for long periods.

The best actual chance of the game fell to Gary Mackay-Steven on the 7th minute when a cross-field pass from Emilio Izaguirre was misjudged by the Inter defence, allowing Mackay-Steven to control and nip clean through on Carrizo but the keeper spread himself to block.

Stuart Armstrong had a strong penalty claim denied on 14 minutes.  As he prepared to shoot, Santon grabbed him by the shoulder but the referee gave the first notice that he would give the home team the benefit of the doubt all night.

Inter took time to get into the game but Icardi almost connected to a blasted cross ball by Santon as the home team made their first chance, on 19 minutes.

Two minutes later Celtic had their second penalty claim on the evening when John Guidetti was held but again the referee was in no mood to award a decision against the home team.

Ultimately the red card may have determined the outcome of this game but if anyone expected Celtic to collapse afterwards, they were mistaken.  Inter enjoyed their best spell of the game between van Dijk’s 36th minute red and halftime, but the man advantage was not evident from the flow of play.  Craig Gordon made a stunning save from a header, which was ultimately found to be offside, on 38 minutes, and two minutes before the break Gordon saved again at his near post after Jason Denayer blocked an initial shot.

Needing a goal while a man down requires a difficult tactical balance.  Celtic decided to keep things tight until later in the second period.  Gordon saved twice, from Hernanes and Guarin, before the latter retaliated when Stefan Johansen nutmeged him but hitting the Celtic player with a forearm smash.

Ronny Deila sent Kris Commons on for the final 13 minutes and, with Celtic struggling to test the keeper, the midfielder tried his luck from 35 yards but Carrizo was untroubled.

With Celtic pressing for what would have been a winner, Inter broke with speed.  A Guarin shot from 25 yards thundered into the top corner, leaving Gordon with no chance.

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