Jens Petter Hauge stole the show while Samu Castillejo and Gianluigi Donnarumma impressed as well, as AC Milan beat Celtic 4-2 in the UEFA Europa League.
In a frantic start to the game, Celtic took the lead as Tom Rogic pounced on a mistake from Rade Krunic to finish past Gianluigi Donnarrumma just seven minutes in. The Italian was called into action soon after by Callum McGregor before Odsonne Edouard made it 2-0 minutes later, dinking over the AC Milan goalkeeper.
Milan, though, came roaring back into the game as Hakan Calhanoglu pulled one back in the 24th minute with a brilliant free-kick before Samu Castillejo equalised with a thumping left-footed strike two minutes later. Both teams had chances but couldn’t find the back of the net as the scoreline read 2-2 heading into the half-time break.
Five minutes after the break, the turnaround was complete as Jens Petter Hauge scored a sensational solo goal, beating three Celtic players before curling the ball into the net. Castillejo could have made it 4-2 but was denied by Vasilis Barkas in the Hoops’ goal before Donnarumma pulled off a brilliant save at full-stretch at the other end to keep Ryan Christie’s free-kick out.
Brahim Diaz then put the game to bed in the 82nd minute, lifting the ball over Barkas and into the net after some fine work by Hauge on the left. Celtic conjured up another chance late in the game but Donnarumma was at hand to deny Jeremie Frimpong as Milan won 4-2 and sealed safe passage to the knockouts. Here’s how we rated the performances of Stefano Pioli’s men on the night.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 8/10
Not a lot he could have done about the first goal but went down a tad bit early leading to the second one. Had made a decent stop to deny Callum McGregor in between those two moments and denied the Scotsman again before half-time. Made a fantastic save to keep Christie out at 3-2 before denying Frimpong in stoppage time. May have conceded a couple of goals but came up clutch when needed. Misplaced just two of his 22 passes on the night.
Diogo Dalot: 6/10
Coming in at right-back, the Portuguese wasn’t able to provide an outlet down the right flank but put in a fairly solid display at the back, although was guilty of playing Edouard onside for the second goal. Did get caught out of position on an occasion or two but recovered strongly as the game wore on, finishing with an interception, three successful tackles and four clearances.
Simon Kjaer: N/A
— Milan Reports (@MilanReports) December 3, 2020
Was unable to bail out his side after Krunic’s error in the lead-up to the first goal. Taken off soon after with an injury.
Matteo Gabbia: 6/10
A rather subdued performance from the youngster who wasn’t quite able to impose himself on the Celtic attackers. Positioning was a bit suspect on occasions but he improved with time while the presence of Alessio Romagnoli alongside him certainly helped.
Theo Hernandez: 6.5/10
Saw plenty of the ball as he ran up and down the left flank but left spaces open at times which Celtic tried to capitalise on. Did not make the best use of the ball either, misplacing 18 of his 61 attempted passes (70% success rate), while he was dispossessed on two occasions as well.
Completed three dribbles and got the assist for the third goal but could have been a bit more disciplined in his performance.
Franck Kessie: 7/10
Made Milan tick in the middle of the park. Showed good energy, as usual, to recover possession in midfield, while he was neat and tidy with the ball at his feet, completing 51 of his 53 attempted passes. Was always at hand to cover for the full-backs if they pushed upfield.
Rade Krunic: 4/10
Starting alongside Kessie in the double pivot, the Bosnian was at fault for Celtic’s opening goal, failing to control a pass from Donnarumma, allowing Rogic to sneak in and score. Never really recovered from that moment as the game pretty much passed by him. Hooked off at half-time and rightly so.
Samu Castillejo: 8/10
After his goalscoring performance against Lille last week, the Spaniard was at it again for AC Milan, grabbing the all-important equaliser with a good left-footed strike in the first half. Added a sense of flair and directness to the attack with his running, as he attempted (8) and completed (4) the most dribbles on the night.
Could have added a couple more to his tally if not for some iffy finishing on either side of half-time. Worked equally hard when not in possession as Castillejo made (10) and won (5) the most number of tackles by a Milan player, while also making three interceptions. An impressive all-round display.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 7/10
Kickstarted the comeback for AC Milan with a lovely free-kick to beat Barkas in the Celtic goal. Looked to make things happen each time he got on the ball and created a couple of chances for his teammates. His delivery from corner-kicks could have been better though.
Jens Petter Hauge: 9/10
Showed good movement off the ball in the first half although things didn’t click for him much. But post the half-time break, Hauge was close to unstoppable. Put Milan in front with a brilliant solo effort as he eased past three opponent players before having the composure to find the back of the net.
Went on another good run before setting Diaz up for the fourth goal. Completed three dribbles, made three key passes, while also completing three tackles, giving an indication of his all-round efforts. The star of the show for AC Milan on the night.
Jens Petter Hauge’s game by numbers vs. Celtic:
9 ball recoveries
8 touches inside opp. box
3 tackles won
3 take-ons completed
3 chances created
2 aerials won
1 shot on target
What a talent. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/NqIXK9m3MS
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 3, 2020
Ante Rebic: 7/10
May not have scored on the night but put in plenty of work off the ball, pressing the visitors from the front while his clever movement opened up spaces for his teammates in the final third. Got the assist for Milan’s second with an intelligent backheel. Stitched together two key passes before making way for Lorenzo Colombo late in the game.
Alessio Romagnoli: 7/10
The AC Milan skipper, who is on the radars of Chelsea, replaced the injured Kjaer in the 11th minute. The hosts looked much more organised with the 25-year-old guiding his teammates while he himself put in a solid shift that included two successful aerial duels, three tackles, interceptions and clearances apiece.
Sandro Tonali: 6/10
Replaced Krunic at half-time. Provided the composure in the middle that was lacking in the first period.
Brahim Diaz: 7/10
On for Calhanoglu in the 61st minute. Wasn’t involved all that much but made the most when his moment came, scoring with a clever chip to make it 4-2 and kill the game off.
Ismael Bennacer: 6/10
Came on for Kessie for the final thirty minutes or so. Usual solid self in both facets of the game. Started the move that culminated in Milan’s fourth goal.
Lorenzo Colombo: N/A
Thrown on in place of Rebic with less than ten minutes left.