CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – Group H: Milan send Celtic crashing out of Europe

AC Milan have taken another step towards qualifying for the Champions League knockout phase with a 3-0 victory over Celtic at Parkhead.

The Rossoneri, who had been struggling for form prior, were able to brush aside the challenge of the Scottish champions who have now crashed out of both European competitions after Ajax upset Barcelona in Amsterdam.

A revitalized Kaka opened the scoring for Milan in the 13th minute when he found himself unmarked in the six-yard box to head home Valter Birsa’s corner past a hapless Fraser Forster.

Celtic had a great chance to equalise early in the second half but Virgil van Dijk struck his volley straight at Christian Abbiati when he really should have scored.

Milan made the home side pay when they doubled their lead in the 49th minute courtesy of Cristian Zapata who tapped home substitute Antonio Nocerino’s pass at the back post.

On the hour-mark, Mario Balotelli put the game to bed when he received a ball from Riccardo Montolivo before using his strength to see off a challenge from Efe Ambrose to slot past Forster.

The win put Milan second on the group table on eight points which has them two in arrears of the already-qualified Barcelona and one ahead of third-placed Ajax.

Maximiliano Allegri’s side host the Dutch giants on December 11 with a draw enough to see them through while Celtic head to the Nou Camp in the hope of improving their current record of one win and four losses.

2013/14 UEFA Champions League – Group H scores

Celtic (SCO): 0
AC Milan (ITA): 3 (Kaka 13’, Cristian Zapata 49’, Mario Balotelli 60’)
Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland – 58,619

 
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