Season Four of our 9iar chronciles saw Celtic complete a remarkable treble and, by mid March were looking like returning to a European Final. We had drawn the champions of Italy in the quarter finals and travelled to Milan to play AC, achieving a 0-0 away from home and were favourites to win at home and move on to the semis.
- The most keenly anticipated Euro tie in Scotland for years.Celtic prepared for the game in their normal manner at Seamills.
- Milan arrived in Glasgow on the Monday with a squad that had a few absences from injury. Their Brazilian centre forward Angelo Sormani and left half Giovanni Trappatoni were left in Milan. Piero Prati was also carrying an ankle injury and had treatment at Rugby Park from the Kilmarnock trainer on all three days before the tie.
- This was an all ticket match – a 75,000 sell out and a Glasgow bookie paid £30 for two 50 shillings stand tickets.
- Celtic suffered a blow when Lennox was ruled out with an ankle injury.He had picked up the injury in the previous game against Raith Rovers. On the Monday it was still hoped, with the swelling much reduced, that he would make the game but a fitness test on the Wednesday ruled him out. Billy McNeill and Jim Brogan also had minor knocks (Brogan had just recovered from an ankle injury of his own).
Before the match Celtic were dealt a blow when Bobby Lennox was ruled out with an ankle injury.
A blunder by Billy McNeill allowed Prati to score in 12 minutes when he miscontrolled Craig’s throw in to him and allowed Prati a clear run on goal to score and despite constant pressure they could come back from that. It was a devastating blow to Celtic.
In 46 minutes Maldera clearly handled in the arae but the referee failed to see the offence. Had a penalty been given then it may have been a different outcome. Celtic attacked constantly but Milan were dangerous on the break with Rivera and Prati.
Cudicini made good saves from Gemmell, Hughes and even sweeper John Clark was joining the attack. When Wallace missed from five yards out with 13 minutes left the supporters realised this was not to be their night.
Milan went on to win the European Cup at Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, in May after beating Manchester United in the semi and Ajax in the final. Their assistant manager Cesare Maldini (father of the great Paolo Maldini) said afterwards that they knew they would win when they knocked out Celtic as they were the only team that they feared in the entire competition.