Milan 4, Celtic 2: The Comeback Kids

This match was a very important match to our qualifying for the Round of 32 in the Europa League. Ahead of the match, we knew we needed to close the deal on Celtic. However, we got off to one of the worst starts of our season, going two goals and a Viking defender down in the first 13 minutes. That start also breathed life into a Celtic side who has not been in form lately, and things did not look good for Milan. But with over 75 minutes left, this young Milan team, aided by the return of Pioli and the support of Ibrahimovic from the bench, came back to ensure that we qualified for the next round with one matchday left. That is why Milan are The Comeback Kids.

Unstoppable, even in the face of adversity

First, there was the Rogic goal in the seventh minute, a massive error from poor Krunic made it look all too easy. 1-0 Celtic. Right after that, Kjaer was injured and had to be subbed off, that was a crushing loss. He has been epic for us, the only player to play every minute of every match so far this season up until that point. To literally add insult to injury, Edouard chipped Gigio to make it 2-0 for Celtic less than two minutes later. This was a disastrous start.

To this young Milan team's credit, they never lost faith in themselves. Although Celtic caught them off guard, and going down two goals can deflate even the most experienced of teams, they very visibly pulled themselves together and took control back of this match. Not only that, but they showed some improvement, too.

Dead ball hero

Calhanoglu scored a brilliant free kick in the 24th, something we haven't seen for a while. That brought us immediately back into the game, Milan 1, Celtic 2. Two minutes later, Castillejo exposed Celtic's weak defense as Rebic helped chip a ball to him, and he put it away for the equalizer, 2-2 all. Calhanoglu's confidence saw him try to score directly from the corner a couple of times, but Burkas was able to save them both. Gigio was immense in this match, and he did a bold thing in the 45th, just before the half, by coming way off his line, almost halfway up the pitch, to stop a relentlessly attacking Frimpong.

Castillejo's hard work pays off

Pioli wisely subbed Krunic off for Tonali at the half, and that helped Milan really control the match again. Just five minutes in, Hauge offered more breathtaking dribbling, and both taking on and getting around his man to score a beautiful goal, 3-2 Milan. About 20 minutes later, his fellow countryman, Ajer, tried to make an impact with a run that lasted most of the length of the pitch, but his attempt was eventually stopped by the Milan defense in the box. (If you read the preview, you'll know that I am 100% on the Ajer to Milan rumors.)

Exactly how I feel every time he dribbles or scores like that

Gigio performed one of his massive saves on a Christie free kick that would have been a goal against most other keepers. He followed it up with another save on Christie just two minutes later, as well. But it was in the 82nd that Brahim would score the final goal, complete with a fantastic assist from Hauge. 4-2 Milan. The love this team have for each other truly is like a family, and the joy when they connect like that is so amazing to watch.

The partnership of teammates and the true joy of football

Celtic actually took the same amount of shots, 14, and had the same amount of shots on target, with six a piece. But Milan ended up with 57% possession, as well as the ability to compensate better for their errors. Ultimately, that difference saw Milan qualify for the next round with one match left, while also sealing Celtic's fate to crash out of the group stage. For a match that started out so traumatically, the result is so much better than the scoreline could ever tell us. But what we learned on the night is that the resilience in mentality is a beautiful thing to behold, and that has turned this young team into The Comeback Kids.

This post inspired by the music of Silversun Pickups' "The Comeback Kid"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 10
Sampdoria vs. Milan
Sunday, December 6 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)

Milan 4, Celtic 2: The Comeback Kids Milan 4, Celtic 2: The Comeback Kids Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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