The match was just 13 minutes old at San Siro, Milan. The visitors, Celtic were 2-0 up and the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic was seen shaking his head. Neither Zlatan nor the others could believe what was happening at San Siro!

Milan have been in such a wonderful form since the return of football after the break that such an outcome was unexpected.

Twelve months ago Neil Lennon’s side secured a place in the last 32 of the Europa League by beating Lazio to secure their first-ever win on Italian soil and early goals from Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard this should have been their second.

But the lead reduced quickly by the home team who were motivated to fight back after the early setback.

Rebic was chopped down around 20 yards outside the box and Milan were awarded a free-kick. Hakan Calhanoglu dispatched a gorgeous free-kick past a stranded Barkas. That was the type of response Milan was needed under pressure and the Turk responded in style!

Then it was 2-2!

Samu Castillejo got his name on the score-sheet.

Calhanoglu sent Theo Hernandez into space down the left side, whose low cross caused chaos inside the box with Rebic back-heeling into the path of the Spaniard who converted.

Celtic discovered themselves on the back-foot and it always seemed, they would not be able to take advantage of their lead. Milan built pressure and the visitors crumbled as the backline and midfield left spaces to exploit.

Diogo Dalot dished out an effort wide on the volley from the edge of the box after a corner was cleared just over five minutes before the break.

The last notable chance of a frantic opening 45 minutes went to the away side though, as a corner from the right was not dealt with properly allowing McGregor to get a snapshot away from inside the box that was thankfully straight at Donnarumma.

There was another change made at the break by Stefano Pioli as Sandro Tonali came into the midfield, with Krunic making way.

Kessie was the first to test either keeper inside two minutes of the restart as the Ivorian won the ball back on the edge of the Celtic box but curled his effort straight at Barkas.

The persistence pressure of Milan paid off – it would be a moment of individual brilliance.

Jens Petter Hauge picked the ball up on the left touchline and darted infield, jinking past four defenders before opening his body and curling the ball inside the far post with a perfect finish. Hauge proved what an outstanding signing he has been this season. He brings life into the game and provides a lot of width on the flank and tests the opposition defenders consistently.

Tactical changes were made on the hour mark.

Calhanoglu made way for Brahim Diaz while Kessie was withdrawn in favour of Ismael Bennacer.

Celtic kept threatening despite the three setbacks, and Frimpong perhaps should have done better when he found space to shoot on the right edge of the box before dragging his attempt wide.

In the last 20 minutes it seemed as though the substitutions had taken the rhythm out of Milan’s game, and Donnarumma was called into action as he produced an incredible save to keep out a free-kick from Christie that was heading right for the top corner.

With eight minutes to go through, Milan did open up a two-goal advantage and Hauge was involved again. The Norwegian bundled his way into a dangerous position before sliding a beautifully weighted through ball to Brahim Diaz, who lifted the ball over Barkas with a cheeky dink.

Scotland’s champions were two up in Lille and drew. They took the lead in Prague and lost 4-1. This game marked the first time they’ve lost three games in a row for 13 years and followed a now familiar and embarrassing pattern.


It was an incredible comeback by Milan as their character was tested without Zlatan and they proved, whatever the challenges are thrown at them, they are ready to accept it and fight to win.

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