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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 25 November 2020

Half-full Thomond Park crowd sees Inter Milan overcome Celtic in drab encounter

The Italian giants beat Celtic 2-0 in Limerick.

Antonio Candreva scored Inter's second goal of the game.
Antonio Candreva scored Inter's second goal of the game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Inter Milan 2

Celtic 0

Andrew Cunnenn reports from Thomond Park

INTER MILAN SIGNED off their pre-season preparation with a win over Celtic in a flat International Champions Cup encounter at Thomond Park.

Goals from Eder and Antonio Candreva secured the win, with Brendan Rodgers’ outfit looking like a side forced to play a friendly in the middle of a host of important games.

Just over twelve thousand spectators were in attendance at Thomond Park to see the clash – with a gathering of rather partisan Celtic fans located on the north terrace setting off flares before the first whistle.

Apart from the occasional communal rendition of Celtic Symphony, the Limerick crowd was relatively subdued for a game that lacked any real spark, as you may have expected given Celtic’s other engagements.

A view during the game Just 12,000 were in attendance for the friendly encounter. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Scottish giants named a side with only one remaining starter from their Scottish Premiership opener against Hearts, and only two from their Betfred Cup win over Motherwell.

Inter, for the most part, had their superstars on show for Limerick football enthusiasts.

The touches from Ivan Perisic alone may have been worth the admission fee into the Thomondgate venue.

The opening half an hour saw decent chances for both sides. Inter were denied by a Stefan Johansen clearance off the line following a good header from Andrea Ranocchia.

Brendan Rogers with Frank De Boer The match was Frank de Boer's first game in charge of the Italian side. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A terrific delivery from the left-hand side was met by the defender, but Johansen was in the right place at the right time to deny the Italian international.

Down the other end, Stuart Armstrong missed a gilt-edged one-on-one after a tidy one-two with Nadir Ciftci.

Inter opened the scoring with the last touch of the half. Ever Banega’s corner from the left was flicked on at the near post by Ivan Perisic towards the unmarked Eder at the back post. He had the simplest of tasks to nod home from three yards.

Frank de Boer’s men looked sharp ahead of their Serie A opener with Chievo next weekend – but the first chance of the second half fell to the Glasgow outfit. After an intricate exchange on the edge of the box, Ciftci’s volley smashed the crossbar, much to the disgust of the Celtic support.

With twenty minutes left, Inter sealed the win with a lightning quick counter attack.

Icardi, acting as the focal point, gained possession before playing a perfectly timed pass into the feet of Antonio Candreva. Candreva took a touch before looping the ball over the helpless Leonardo Fasan.

A host of subs filled the second half – one of which saw the introduction of Celtic’s youngest ever player, Scottish underage international Jack Aitchison.

In a game that felt like a distraction to the Scottish outfit, and one of intense preparation for the Italians, the scoreline reflected exactly that, as fans of football went home relatively happy after seeing some fantastic touches.

Inter Milan: Samir Handanovic; Danilo D’Ambrosio, Andrea Ranocchia, Joao Miranda, Hugo Nagatomo (Erkin Caner, 78); Gary Medel (Stevan Jovetic, 46), Geoffrey Kondogbia; Eder (Felipe Melo, 61)., Ever Banega (Antonio Candreva, 61), Ivan Perisic (Jonathan Biabiany, 76); Mauro Icardi.

Celtic: Leonardo Fasan; Saidy Janko, Dedryck Boyata (Efe Ambrose, 46), Jamie McCart, Emilio Izaguirre; Kristoffer Ajer, Liam Henderson, Stefan Johansen; Ryan Christie, Nadir  Ciftci (Jack Aitchison, 76), Stuart Armstrong.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.

About the author:

Andrew Cunneen

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