So now Hearts are out of the way, it’s time to talk Champions League!
Neil Lennon said before the game yesterday that he and his players hadn’t gave the game in Italy a second thought ahead of the Hearts game.
Sorry, Neil but we don’t believe you.
Of course we understand that the old football cliché book needs to come out when being interviewed but behind the scenes the build up to this game started as soon as Celtic’s name came out the pot.
As Mr McStay once said “There’s a buzz about the place”, and why shouldn’t there be? Celtic are all set for another Champions League adventure and we are all going along for the ride.
While Celtic players were getting ready to head back to their homes after yesterdays victory, our manager was boarding a private flight to Italy to watch Milan in action against Torino; a match which eventually ended 2-2.
Torino were leading the game 2-0 up until the 88th minute before goals from Sulley Muntari and a 97th minute penalty from Balotelli saved the Italian giants blushes. A reminder to Neil Lennon that Celtic will have to for the full 90 minutes if they hope to achieve anything in the San Siro.
When Celtic played Milan in the group stages in 2004 we were also heading for a credible 1-1 draw after Stan Varga cancelled out Andriy Shevshenko’s opener but Celtic were undone in the dying minutes when Inzaghi and Pirlo scored a quick double to give them a very flattering result.
Celtic also put up strong resistance in their other two visits to the San Siro losing 1-0 on two occasions. One of which was settled in extra time.
Celtic vs Milan Head to Head:
The present Celtic team should take great heart from these performances and look to go one better and get at least a point in Italy. Nothing is impossible but we all know how hard a task it will be. With the likes of Robinho and Balotelli in their ranks they will be a very potent threat going forward.
We should never underestimate our own abilities though. We can cause problems for any teams and can always take advantage of set pieces when they come our way. New bhoy Derk Boerrigter should give us some much needed pace on the counter attack and he knows how to swing a decent ball into the box. If Celtic can get bodies on the end of those crosses then we will give Milan plenty to think about.
We sit patiently waiting for Wednesday to arrive. When the players emerge from the San Siro tunnel and the famous Champions League music fills the air every Celtic fan will dream. Maybe, just maybe.