herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Guidetti strike gives Celts last-gasp draw in Inter exam

John Guidetti celebrates with Virgil van Dijk after scoring the third goal for Celtic
John Guidetti celebrates with Virgil van Dijk after scoring the third goal for Celtic

Super sub John Guidetti scored a dramatic injury time equaliser as Celtic and Inter Milan shared six goals in a Parkhead thriller.

Xherdan Shaqiri was the class act on the night showing the pace and skills that attracted Roberto Mancini to sign the Swiss international from Bayern Munich during the January transfer window.

Stuart Armstrong made a memorable home debut, scoring once and forcing an own goal out of Hugo Campagnaro, but it was a night to forget for Craig Gordon in the Celtic goal.

Gordon has barely made a mistake since replacing Fraser Forster and was Celtic's star performer as they finished second to Red Bull Salzburg in the group phase.

Last night, however, he was badly at fault for Inter's first and third goals which sapped much of the energy from the home side as they fed off the enthusiasm of a 60,000 sell out attendance.

Celtic got off to the worst possible start with Inter scoring twice in the first 13 minutes with the Hoops defence torn to shreds on both occasions.

After just four minutes Shaqiri saw Craig Gordon block his first shot but the Swiss international buried the rebound from a tight angle.

Inter's slick passing was leaving the Celtic defence badly exposed with Rodrigo Palacio shooting low past Gordon in the 13th minute after the Bhoys defence failed to clear their lines from a corner.

There was an air of despondency around the ground, but incredibly within a minute Celtic scored twice to turn the tie on it's head.

In the 24th minute, Adam Matthews hit the by-line with Armstrong judging his run perfectly to get the ball into the net from eight yards out.

Amazingly, Celtic were back on level terms 60 seconds later when Campagnaro turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Armstrong after Stefan Johansen had lobbed a Matthews throw-in goalwards.

With half-time within sight Inter took the lead with a goal that was all down to Gordon. A harmless looking through ball was drifting wide till the keeper stretched out to dive only to parry the ball into the path of Palacio who gleefully rolled the ball into the empty net.

Celtic had plenty of second-half possession but it took until stoppage time to level the scores with a spectacular strike from Guidetti.

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