CELTIC 3 – 3 INTER MILAN
JOHN GUIDETTI rescued Celtic with a sensational late equaliser in a dramatic Europa League last 32 match at a sell-out Parkhead.
The Swede, a second-half sub for Leigh Griifiths, lashed an angled drive high into the net much to the relief of the 60,000 fans when it looked as though the tie was slipping away from the SPFL champions.
Ronny Deila’s side got off to a disastrous start and found themselves two goals behind after just 13 minutes.
Craig Gordon parried a Xherdan Shaqiri shot which was heading wide in the fourth minute and the Swiss striker pounced on the rebound to accept the gift.
Emilio Izaguirre was involved in the Serie A club’s second strike just nine minutes later when he failed to clear at a corner-kick.
Rodrigo Palacio slotted through Gordon’s legs and it looked as if the Hoops were crashing out of Europe.
However, Adam Matthews burst into the Inter penalty area in the 24th minute and cut the ball back to Stuart Armstrong, who side-footed into the net.
Just two minutes later the Glasgow club were back on level terms with new arrival Armstrong once again in the right place at the right time.
Stefan Johansen scooped a Matthews throw-in into the opposition area and, under pressure from Armstrong, Hugo Campagnaro turned the ball into his own net.
Celtic were very much in the ascendency by that stage, but Roberto Mancini’s side snatched a goal against the run of play after a bad error by Gordon just before half-time.
The Scotland No.1 failed to deal with a long ball upfield from Gary Mendel and gifted Palacio possession. Such was the pace on the through ball the Inter player had no chance of reaching it other than through Gordon’s second blunder of the evening.
The 33-year-old Argentinian must have thought it was his lucky day as he had the simplest of tasks to stroke the ball into the empty Celtic net.
Gary Mackay-Steven, Nir Bitton and substitute Liam Henderson, who had replaced Armstrong, all had good opportunities to equalise in the second half.
But Guidetti finally levelled in the third minute time when he controlled a Henderson chip on his chest and volleyed a left-foot shot into the top corner.
For a period in the first half Celtic simply swept the Italian side away as Ronny Delia’s team announced themselves as a decent side after some very indifferent form earlier in the season in European football. It has to be said that Celtic were only involved tonight due to the earlier performances of Craig Gordon – a fact recognised by the wonderful Celtic support who chanted the big goalkeepers name.
Celtic head to Milan next week to finish the job. COYBIG.
TEAM: Gordon; Matthews (sub: Ambrose 81), Denayer, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Mackay-Steven, Johansen, Armstrong (sub: Henderson 75); Griffiths (sub: Guidetti 75).
Click Here for Comments >