Neil Lennon was “inspired” regardless of his Celtic facet being overcome by Serie A leaders AC Milan of their Europa League group stage opener in Glasgow.
The hosts began brightly after Saturday’s abject Previous Agency defeat, however have been chastened by simple scores for Rade Krunic and Brahim Diaz.
Lennon’s males rallied after two half-time modifications, with substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi’s header giving the Scottish champions hope earlier than Jens Petter Hauge nipped in late on to safe the win for the Rossoneri.
“It was markedly higher than the weekend. It was encouraging,” stated the Celtic supervisor. “I do not like shedding however there have been a number of good indicators for me.
“I needed an enchancment and we obtained an enormous enchancment. A part of me is kind of happy with that.
“We may have shied away from all of it after the criticism we have now taken and I’ve taken however they confirmed their persona within the second half.”
The alarm bells have been ringing for Celtic followers after the weekend loss, a sport through which they didn’t register a shot heading in the right direction. With that in thoughts, breaching a Serie A defence seemed a troublesome ask.
Whereas Patryk Klimala was trusted on the weekend, Lennon known as upon Albian Ajeti and Leigh Griffiths in assault right here, however neither was afforded the service to make an impression throughout a glum first half.
Too usually good positions weren’t capitalised upon, with Milan exhibiting Celtic how it’s carried out on the different finish.
Samu Castillejo was given time to drift in a teasing cross that Shane Duffy obtained caught beneath. Younger defender Stephen Welsh was not shut sufficient to Krunic, and the Bosnian glanced within the opener after 14 minutes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s European debut got here 19 years in the past in opposition to Celtic for Ajax, however the Sweden legend needed to accept a job within the build-up to a flowing second.
He began the transfer as Milan swarmed in the direction of a retreating Celtic defence and the ball was fed to Diaz. Duffy didn’t get shut sufficient as Callum McGregor tried to assist, however the Spaniard’s cool end bypassed them each to make it two.
The Italians have been cruising and Celtic wanted a response. Lennon managed to conjure it with Ryan Christie and Elyounoussi coming off the bench on the break. Their spark, coupled with a change to 4 on the again later within the half, modified this sport as Milan started to creak.
The spectacular Diego Laxalt volleyed simply over in a warning shot, earlier than Elyounoussi’s brief run and header from a Christie nook stirred hopes of a comeback. One can solely think about the response if Celtic Park was not mendacity empty.
With simply over 10 minutes to play, Milan quivered and retreated. Celtic probed and pushed, however couldn’t discover a leveller their second-half show may about have deserved.
As a substitute, Hauge’s injury-time objective on the breakaway was a harsh blow as Celtic’s group marketing campaign commenced with a defeat.
Man of the match – Diego Laxalt
What did we study?
That Celtic have a squad able to altering video games. They have been removed from their finest within the first half however appeared revitalised the extra the sport wore on.
A lot of that can come right down to the injection of creativity added by Christie. Olivier Ntcham additionally responded effectively with the introduction of Tom Rogic and Elyounoussi.
Nonetheless, there nonetheless stays causes for concern. Within the first interval, Celtic usually seemed shaky, and the continued absence of Odsonne Edouard – who continues to be recovering from Covid-19 – there is no such thing as a ready-made alternative Lennon can depend on.
- Celtic have misplaced every of their final 4 video games in opposition to AC Milan, thrice within the Champions League earlier than this defeat.
- AC Milan’s final two pictures on this match have been their second and third objectives, which have been within the forty second and 92nd minute respectively.
- Elyounoussi has been instantly concerned in seven objectives in 10 Europa League group stage appearances (5 objectives, two assists).
- Krunic scored his first objective for AC Milan in his twenty fifth look for the membership. He additionally turned the primary Bosnian participant to attain a European objective for Milan.
- Ibrahimovic (39y 19d) turned the oldest outfield participant to begin a European match for AC Milan since Paolo Maldini (40y 245d) in February 2009 in opposition to Werder Bremen.
Celtic will try and get again to profitable methods within the Scottish Premiership, however face a difficult go to to Aberdeen (12:00 GMT). A visit to Lille subsequent Thursday offers the following Europa League check.
- 57WelshSubstituted forElyounoussiat 45′minutes
- 8BrownSubstituted forRogicat 64′minutes
- 93LaxaltBooked at 65minsSubstituted forTaylorat 77′minutes
- 10AjetiSubstituted forKlimalaat 77′minutes
- 9GriffithsSubstituted forChristieat 45′minutesBooked at 86mins
- 99DonnarummaBooked at 83mins
- 8TonaliBooked at 82mins
- 79KessiéSubstituted forBennacerat 66′minutes
- 7Castillejo AzuagaSubstituted forSaelemaekersat 79′minutesBooked at 88mins
- 21DíazSubstituted forHaugeat 80′minutes
- 11IbrahimovicSubstituted forda Conceição Leãoat 66′minutes
- 17da Conceição Leão
- 20Kalulu Kyatengwa
Dwell Textual content
Match ends, Celtic 1, Milan 3.
Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Milan 3.
Purpose! Celtic 1, Milan 3. Jens Petter Hauge (Milan) left footed shot from the centre of the field to the underside proper nook. Assisted by Alexis Saelemaekers.
Try missed. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) proper footed shot from exterior the field is shut, however misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Christie.
Diogo Dalot (Milan) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Duffy (Celtic).
Alexis Saelemaekers (Milan) is proven the yellow card for a foul foul.
Foul by Alexis Saelemaekers (Milan).
Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Nook, Celtic. Conceded by Alessio Romagnoli.
Ryan Christie (Celtic) is proven the yellow card for a foul foul.
Sandro Tonali (Milan) wins a free kick within the attacking half.
Foul by Ryan Christie (Celtic).
Rafael Leão (Milan) wins a free kick within the attacking half.
Foul by Shane Duffy (Celtic).
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan) is proven the yellow card.
Try missed. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) proper footed shot from exterior the field is excessive and large to the correct. Assisted by Ryan Christie.
Sandro Tonali (Milan) is proven the yellow card for a foul foul.
Foul by Sandro Tonali (Milan).
Patryk Klimala (Celtic) wins a free kick within the attacking half.