Guidetti late saviour for Celtic

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:33

Guidetti late saviour for Celtic

Inter let slip a two-goal lead and then a 3-2 advantage as Guidetti, brought on with 15 minutes to go, lashed the ball into the net in time added on to send Parkhead into raptures and keep the tie in the balance.
The fixture evoked memories of the Hoops’ historic European Cup final win over the Italian outfit in 1967 – as well as their European Cup semi-final clash five years later where Inter triumphed in a penalty shoot-out – and it produced drama all of its own.
Roberto Mancini’s visitors opened the scoring after just four minutes through January signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who played the offside trap perfectly and scored at the far post after Craig Gordon parried his initial shot.
It only took the visitors nine minutes to extend their lead as Shaqiri turned provider. His free-kick landed at the edge of the box and when Emilio Izaguirre failed to clear, it fell perfectly for Rodrigo Palacio, who knocked it home three yards from the near post.
The tie looked gone but going behind seemed to ignite the Scottish champions and they cut the deficit when Stuart Armstrong scored in the 24th minute, getting the better of the visiting defence to meet an Adam Matthews cross at the near post.
Straight from the restart the home side got another goal, although they did have Hugo Campagnaro to thank after he failed to clear from another Matthews cross and his jostling with Armstrong sent the ball over the line.
There were more defensive lapses as Gordon came rushing out of his goal moments before half-time in an attempt to take the ball from the feet of Palacio, but he failed to get a firm grip and the striker swept it home for his second of the night.
Celtic started the brighter side in the second half with Matthews and Armstrong in particular giving the Italian side problems.
Stefan Johansen had the first shot of the half although there wasn’t enough trouble to beat Juan Pablo Carrizo. Nir Bitton followed that up with a cheeky effort 20 yards from goal that bounced in the box and then flew wide.
It was all-out attack for the home side as Carrizo saved from Leigh Griffiths and Gary Mackay-Steven.
Despite a much improved second half the home side looked to be heading for a defeat until the second minute of injury time when Guidetti latched onto Liam Henderson’s cross and smashed it past Carrizo to lift the roof off Celtic Park.
There was still time for one more chance – Inter hoping to have the final say – but Gordon saved superbly from Shaqiri’s curling free-kick to secure a morale-boosting draw for the Scottish champions, ahead of next week’s second leg.

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