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UEFA Champions League

Celtic Park (ATT 58,643) 3rd October 2007 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: M Merk

Celtic Celtic vs AC Milan AC Milan

Celtic 2

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Bhoys grab late winner

McDonald bags goal to beat champions

By Laura Slatcher.   Last Updated: 03/10/07 11:04pm

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McManus: Opened the scoring

McManus: Opened the scoring

Celtic recorded their first victory over Milan in Europe with a 2-1 win at Parkhead in the UEFA Champions League.

The Bhoys secured their win with a late winner from Scott McDonald after Dida failed to keep hold of Gary Caldwell's shot.

Celtic initially took the lead on 62 minutes when Stephen McManus scored from a corner, with Kaka equalising from the penalty spot six minutes later.

The game was overshadowed amid Celtic celebrations when a fan ran onto the pitch and appeared to strike Milan goalkeeper Dida.

After a 2-0 loss against Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening Group D game a fortnight ago, Celtic were under pressure to get off the mark against the holders and the early signs were promising.

The home side were positive from the outset and it was former Milan midfielder Donati who had the first effort in the eighth minute, his low drive from distance saved by Dida at his near post.

The Rossoneri could not get to grips with a game punctuated by niggly fouls and there was no threat to Artur Boruc in the Parkhead goal until the 19th minute when Kaka forced the Poland international to make his first save of the game with a 25-yard drive.

The encounter became increasingly tetchy, referee Markus Merk adding to the sense of frustration inside Celtic Park with some over-zealous decisions especially regarding tackles.

Despite Celtic's energy and enthusiasm there was clearly no easy way through the well-drilled Milan defence and Clarence Seedorf's run and drive after 27 minutes, which went wide, suggesting the visitors were warming to the task.

Within three minutes of the second period beginning, Filippo Inzaghi had fired a Massimo Oddo cross over the bar from 12 yards out.

Celtic responded with verve but still the Serie A side looked neat and tidy in defence if in no rush to get the breakthrough for themselves.

Jiri Jarosik had a long-distance drive speed yards wide after the tenacious Scott Brown had robbed the lethargic-looking Andrea Pirlo, typical of the mundane fare being served up.

What was untypical was the slackness which had permeated the Milan side although Celtic left-back Lee Naylor had to be sharp inside his own penalty area in the 59th minute to take the ball away from Inzaghi's toe.

But in the 62nd minute Celtic Park cheered long and loud when the home side took the lead through captain McManus.

Paul Hartley's corner from the left appeared to take a touch off Donati before landing at the big stopper at the back post - and he bundled it over the line from inches out.

Moments later, Pirlo's free-kick from 25 yards almost caught out Boruc, the Celtic keeper looking uncomfortable as he scooped the ball over the bar.

In the 68th minute Milan levelled from the spot when, to most people's surprise, including the visiting players, referee Merk adjudged Naylor to have grabbed Massimo Ambrosini inside the box as the visitors pressed with renewed vigour.

As the jeers and boos rung round Celtic Park, Kaka sent Boruc the wrong way and instantly the Italians were in control.

But in the 89th minute McDonald gave the home side a famous victory when, following Dida's save from Caldwell's drive, the former Motherwell player slotted home the rebound.

Dida's dramatic collapse took up most of the remaining seconds but soon after his substitution Merk signalled the end of the game - and an historic win for Celtic.

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CelticTeam StatisticsMilan
2Goals1
01st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target3
3Shots off Target5
1Blocked Shots3
3Corners5
20Fouls16
1Offsides0
3Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
77.2Passing Success80.3
29Tackles23
69Tackles Success78.3
42.5Possession57.5
43.1Territorial Advantage56.9

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