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Stefano Pioli admits a ‘fast, physical’ Celtic side made for difficult opposition during AC Milan’s 4-2 Europa League triumph on Thursday night, while speaking to Sky Italia, via Pianeta Milan.

Well, that didn’t last long.

After two miserable months which culminated in those shameless scenes after the weekend’s shock home defeat to Ross County, a Celtic side bereft of confidence and character pulled their finest 15 minutes of the season out of thin air at the home of the Serie A leaders.

Thanks to a Tom Rogic opener and a sublime Odsonne Edouard second, the Hoops cruised into a 2-0 lead at the San Siro.

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But, as Milan recovered from shellshock and started to turn up the heat, Neil Lennon’s side collapsed, once again, like a soggy, underdone blancmange.

A brilliant Hakan Calhanoglu free-kick and a deflected Samu Castillejo strike wiped out Celtic’s lead in the blink of an eye and, once the second half got underway, the struggling Scots were merely unwitting audience members in the Jens Petter Hauge show.

The Norwegian wonderkid skipped through half-hearted tackle after half-hearted tackle to brilliantly put Milan ahead before capping the comeback with a gorgeous assist for ex-Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz.

But Pioli would have known that, if it wasn’t for some wastefulness in the final third and a couple of fine Gigi Donnarumma saves, Celtic could have been celebrating a famous result in the San Siro last night.

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“Celtic had little to prove in the standings, but a great desire to take an important result – fast, physical team,” the former Inter boss said when asked to explain why Milan struggled to deal with the visitors in attack.

“In Europe we play with intensity. We like these kind of games, but we can do better.”

Celtic have now won just two of their last 11 games, conceding 27 goals in that run.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

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