The official website for European football

Celtic start with tough trip to Milan

Published: Sunday 1 September 2013, 9.45CET
Celtic FC delivered a famous result to qualify for the group stage but it might take something equally special to earn a first win in Italy against opening Group H opponents AC Milan.
Celtic start with tough trip to Milan
Celtic have not won in four previous visits to San Siro ©

Tournament statistics


Goals scored9
Possession (%)45
Total attempts73
on target40
off target33
against woodwork2
Yellow cards18
Red Cards1
Fouls committed108
Fouls suffered116

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Sunday 1 September 2013, 9.45CET

Celtic start with tough trip to Milan

Celtic FC delivered a famous result to qualify for the group stage but it might take something equally special to earn a first win in Italy against opening Group H opponents AC Milan.

After qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage in dramatic fashion, Celtic FC travel to face seven-time winners AC Milan in their opening fixture in Group H.

• The Scottish title holders had to overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss to progress from the play-offs and did so by beating FC Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 back in Glasgow, but now face another big test having never won on Italian soil.

• Massimiliano Allegri's Milan qualified with rather less difficulty, defeating PSV Eindhoven 4-1 on aggregate in the play-offs, and are embarking on their 11th group stage campaign in 12 seasons.

Past meetings
• The clubs traded home wins when they met in the 2007/08 group stage. Scott McDonald's 89th-minute winner earned Celtic a 2-1 home success following goals by Stephen McManus (61) and Kaká (68), but Carlo Ancelotti's men avenged that defeat with a 1-0 victory at San Siro in their final group fixture, Filippo Inzaghi scoring (70). Gordon Strachan's Celtic still joined Milan in the last 16 as group runners-up.

• The lineups in Italy on 4 December 2007 were:
Milan: Kalac, Cafú, Bonera, Šimić (Kaladze 30), Favalli, Gattuso, Pirlo (Brocchi 74), Ambrosini, Kaká, Seedorf (Gourcuff 69), Inzaghi.
Celtic: Boruc, Caldwell, Pressley, McManus, O'Dea, Jarošík (Żurawski 78), Donati (Sno 71), Brown, Hartley, McGeady, McDonald (Vennegoor of Hesselink 65).

• Milan had beaten Celtic in the 2006/07 round of 16 on their way to winning the trophy. After a goalless draw at Celtic Park, Kaká's extra-time strike i nthe return leg on 7 March 2007 earned the Rossoneri victory. Bonera is another survivor of that Milan side, while Lennon played for Celtic.

• Lennon also featured at San Siro when Milan struck with two late goals in the clubs' 2004/05 group stage meeting, the hosts earning a 3-1 win through Inzaghi (89) and Andrea Pirlo (90+1) after Stanislav Varga had equalised Andriy Shevchenko's first-half opener. The return in Glasgow finished goalless.

• Celtic visited Milan for the first time in 1968/69, drawing 0-0 in the first leg of their European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final tie. However, Piero Prati's lone goal (12) at Celtic sent Milan through and they went on to lift the trophy.

Match background
• Milan have never lost to Scottish opponents at San Siro. They have posted six wins and a draw and conceded just two goals in those seven matches.

• At home in last season's UEFA Champions League, Milan beat FC Barcelona 2-0 in the round of 16 – a tie they eventually lost 4-2 on aggregate – but otherwise failed to win a game.

• Celtic won their first three European away fixtures last season – two qualifiers followed by a 3-2 matchday two success at FC Spartak Moskva – but lost the next three against Barcelona, SL Benfica and Juventus.

• In qualifying this summer, Celtic won at Cliftonville FC, drew at IF Elfsborg and then lost in Kazakhstan against Shakhter.

• Celtic failed to win on any of their previous ten visits to Italy, where their record reads W0 D3 L7. Their most memorable contest against a Serie A side was the first, a 2-1 triumph against FC Internazionale Milano in the 1966/67 European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Lisbon.

Team ties
• Alessandro Matri hit the opening goal in both legs as Juventus defeated Celtic 5-0 on aggregate in last season's round of 16.

• Scott Brown was in the Scotland team whose UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying hopes ended with a 2-1 home defeat by Italy in Glasgow on 17 November 2007. Brown's Scotland had been beaten away by an Italy team including Riccardo Montolivo and Giampaolo Pazzini in a UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier in March 2005.

• Nir Biton's hosts Israel lost 4-0 against Italy at this summer's  European U21 Championship, Riccardo Saponara opening the scoring.

• Mikael Lustig's Sweden lost 2-1 against Italy in the 2009 European U21 Championship group stage. Mario Balotelli scored and was sent off for Italy, who also had Ignazio Abate in their team.

• Efe Ambrose's Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations after being held 2-2 at home by Kevin Constant's Guinea in October 2011.

Last updated: 16/09/13 11.28CET