EL: Inter eliminate 10-man Celtic

by | Feb 26, 2015 19:59

Inter needed a last-gasp Fredy Guarin screamer to beat 10-man Celtic 1-0, qualifying 4-3 on aggregate.

The Nerazzurri both dominated and floundered in the first leg, throwing away a 2-0 lead for an eventual 3-3 draw deep into stoppages. Roberto Mancini put together three consecutive Serie A victories and was hoping that momentum would continue in the Europa League. Dodo, Jonathan and Yuto Nagatomo missed out, while Celtic were without Leigh Griffiths, Mikael Lustig and Charlie Mulgrew. Danilo D’Ambrosio returned after missing six games.

Inter needed a last-gasp Fredy Guarin screamer to beat 10-man Celtic 1-0, qualifying 4-3 on aggregate.

The Nerazzurri both dominated and floundered in the first leg, throwing away a 2-0 lead for an eventual 3-3 draw deep into stoppages. Roberto Mancini put together three consecutive Serie A victories and was hoping that momentum would continue in the Europa League. Dodo, Jonathan and Yuto Nagatomo missed out, while Celtic were without Leigh Griffiths, Mikael Lustig and Charlie Mulgrew. Danilo D’Ambrosio returned after missing six games.

The Inter defence stuttered straight away, Juan Pablo Carrizo using his legs to parry from Gary Mackay-Steven and on the counter in the same move Rodrigo Palacio straight at Craig Gordon.

Stuart Armstrong had penalty appeals for a nudge from Davide Santon, but there didn’t appear to be much in it.

Palacio and Mauro Icardi just failed to connect with a Santon ball that flashed across the face of goal.

Celtic went down to 10 men after just 37 minutes, as Virgil van Dijk had already been booked when he blatantly brought down Icardi on the counter.

Gordon performed a stunning save on Icardi’s header from the resulting free kick, but it was offside anyway.

Inter piled on the pressure with a quadruple scoring opportunity, but every shot from Xherdan Shaqiri and D’Ambrosio was either charged down or parried by Gordon. Hernanes also saw his effort blocked by Emilio Izaguirre.

The second half began in a similar vein, as Celtic locked down in defence and Gordon came to the rescue when they were breached by Icardi on a Fredy Guarin slide-rule pass.

Hernanes’ half-volley skimmed the far post, while Shaqiri was off balance as Palacio nodded across for him and Carrizo was comfortably behind a long-range James Forrest strike.

Inter rarely do things easily and waited until the final minutes to secure qualification with Guarin’s absolute rocket from 20 metres that flew under the bar.

There was still time for Gordon to deny teenager George Puscas a last-gasp goal.

Inter 1-0 Celtic (4-3 on agg)

Scorers: Guarin 88 (I)

Inter: Carrizo; D’Ambrosio (Campagnaro 80), Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Santon; Guarin, Medel, Hernanes (Kovacic 80); Shaqiri; Icardi, Palacio (Puscas 89)

Celtic:Gordon; Matthews, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Mackay-Steven (Ambrose 40), Johansen, Armstrong (Commons 78); Guidetti (Forrest 59)

Ref: Kruzliak (SVK)

Sent off: Van Dijk 37 (C)

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