Celtic 0 AC Milan 3 match report: Celtic crash out of Champions League following James Forrest arrest
Tuesday 26 November 2013
Celtic crashed out of Europe after a thumping defeat by Milan guaranteed they would finish bottom of their group.
With Ajax beating Barcelona 2-1 at the Amsterdam Arena, the Scottish champions do not even have the safety net of the Europa League this season.
It completed a terrible day for Celtic whose preparations for the game were severely disrupted when it emerged that midfielder James Forrest had been arrested by Police Scotland in connection with an alleged sexual assault. After much speculation the 22-year-old played last night but the upheaval was hardly ideal for manager Neil Lennon.
Celtic had actually started the stronger, Beram Kayal missing a good chance in the sixth minute in front of goal, but gifted Milan the opener in the 12th minute. Unmarked at the six-yard box when Valter Birsa’s corner came over from the right, Kaka had the easiest of tasks heading past Fraser Forster.
The home side tried to find a way back into the game yet left themselves vulnerable to Milan counter-attacks, Mario Balotelli and Kaka both going close.
The game turned in a minute early in the second period. In the 48th minute, when Charlie Mulgrew’s free-kick was blocked by the wall, he lobbed the ball into the box to find the unmarked Virgil van Dijk but the Dutchman blasted a volley straight at Christian Abbiati in the Milan goal.
A minute later Celtic were two behind and on their way out of Europe. Birsa’s lofted corner from the right was met by substitute Antonio Nocerino and he steered the ball across goal to the back post where Cristia Zapata was in perfect position to knock it in from a yard out.
Celtic looked as if they had got themselves back into the game soon afterwards when Van Dijk headed in a Joe Ledley cross but the offside flag was up. When Balotelli escaped the home defence in the 61st minute to pick up a Riccardo Montolivo pass and steer the ball past Forster from close range it truly was all over for Celtic.
Latest in Sport
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove