Home Football Inter Milan 1 – 0 Celtic (4-3 agg)

Inter Milan 1 – 0 Celtic (4-3 agg)

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Virgil Van Dijk was dismissed shortly after the half hour mark after picking up two yellow cards, meaning that Celtic’s task only got harder.

The Hoops had gone behind just four minutes in the first leg, and it was almost deja vu as Xherdan Shaqiri split the visitors defence with a through ball but Mauro Icardi couldn’t generate enough power in his shot to trouble Craig Gordon.

Seven minutes in Celtic had a chance of their own, Gary Mackay-Steven, could and porbably should have given the Scottish side the vital away goal they were hoping for, finding himself with just the ‘keeper to beat, the January signing was only able to blast his shot against Juan Pablo Carrizo’s legs.

The visitors were well in the game, but any momentum they had was put to a stop when Van Dijk was given his marching orders.

The Dutchman, who had already been booked for a foul on Palacio, battled with Icardi out on the flank, and Kruzliak was straight in to his pocket for Van Dijk’s second yellow, and subsequently a red. Delia was forced in to a change to cover Van Dijk’s absence in defence, Efe Ambrose was introduced with Mackay-Steven being sacrificed.

In the ten minutes or so until half-time, Celtic were on the back foot, and did well to go in to the break level, last-gasp clearances and a wonderful save from a Danilo D’Ambrosio effort kept it at 0 – 0.

Milan were still giving Gordon plenty of work to do early in the second half, Hernanes tested the ‘keeper with a strike from distance, then Icardi was denied by a point blank save.

Celtic introduced James Forrest on the hour mark, replacing John Guidetti. With the game still deadlocked, Gordon was booked for time-wasting at a goal-kick after Shaqiri stretched for a header but couldn’t quite direct it towards goal.

Kris Commons was brought on, replacing Armstrong with ten minutes left, but his side just couldn’t create the chances that would give them the advantage.

With just two minutes remaining, Freddy Guarin ended all hopes for Celtic with a powerful strike from 25 yards.

Milan progress to the last 16, with Celtic’s European journey over for another year.

By Connor Billington

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