Celtic 3 Inter Milan 3 (Half-time 2-3)

The Scottish champions welcomed the Italian giants Inter Milan to Celtic Park last night for their round of 32 Europa League first-leg tie. The home fans were in their usual boisterous and vocal mood for a typical European night, conveniently forgetting that this was second-tier European fare, hoping to roar their current-day heroes on to a much needed victory. To assist with the atmosphere, the sides provided a classic game with twists, turns and the essential ingredient: plenty of goals.

By the end, Celtic were relieved to have escaped with a draw, even if it means that the odds are stacked against them for the second leg in Milan.

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They do know that their opponents are fallible though, after clawing their way back into a game that they looked to have handed to their opponents on a silver platter twice over, only for the Italians to return the compliment.

The crowd had hardly had time to make themselves comfortable before the home side were already two goals behind, as Xherdan Shaqiri and Rodrigo Palacio seized on defensive frailties inside 13 minutes.

Celtic pulled a goal back 11 minutes later through new signing Stuart Armstrong to settle the nerves a little and then belief flooded back to the team, as they equalised thanks to Hugo Campagnaro's own goal just a minute later.

Maybe a time to settle down and consolidate prior to the half-time interval? Not on your life, as another defensive howler let the Italians back in front again just as the half-time brews were being contemplated.

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Keeper Craig Gordon handed Palacio the simple task of scoring his second for the night.

That looked to be the decisive moment until the very last stages, when the Swede John Guidetti sent the crowd home happy(ish) as he brought the game level once more.

Time for a lie down and perhaps a wee dram for the locals at the final whistle, after a pulsating game had added to the colourful memories of the fans that witnessed such rich entertainment. They will not talk about it in quite the same tones as when beating Barcelona in 2012 one feels, when even the maestro Lionel Messi was unable to thwart the Hoops, but it does give them hope for the return leg at least.

With the second leg only a week away at the coliseum that is the San Siro, it promises to be another historic night for their fans, but they will need to tighten up at the back considerably, whilst retaining their potency going forward if they are to create an upset. The stats for the first-leg suggest that they are still in with a chance though, as both sides enjoyed 15 attempts on the opposition goal, with the Scottish side finding the target eight times. The worry for them will be that they look extremely susceptible to conceding as well, something that manager Ronny Delia will need to have in mind when plotting his approach for the second-leg. #Football