Virgil van Dijk’s first-half red card proved too much for Celtic to overcome at the San Siro, as a 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan in the second-leg of their Europa League last-32 tie saw them dumped out of the competition 4-3 on aggregate.
After last week’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Parkhead, the Scottish champions went into the match confident of their chances of causing an upset, with John Guidetti brought into the line-up to lead the attack following his last-gasp equaliser in the first meeting.
Their hopes of progressing to the last-16 look to have been extinguished after 35 minutes, however, when Van Dijk picked up his second booking for a poor foul on Mauro Icardi.
To their credit, Celtic far from crumbled, and fought hard to remain in the tie until the final minutes when Inter midfielder Freddy Guarin fired a blistering 22-yard rocket past Craig Gordon to seal the win for the home side.
Manager Ronny Deila can take considerable comfort from the fact that his team were able to live with the Serie A giants over the two legs, with the likes of Craig Gordon, Jason Denayer and Nir Bitton putting in some colossal performances, but there will nevertheless be a sense of ‘what might have been’ after Van Dijk’s dismissal.