Mackay-Steven: We Can Do It
20 February 2015, 06:14
Gary Mackay-Steven believes Celtic can get past Inter Milan in their Europa League last-32 tie following a remarkable 3-3 first-leg draw at Parkhead on Thursday night.
It looked a long way back for the Hoops when early strikes by Xherdan Shaqiri and Rodrigo Palacio gave the Serie A side a two-goal lead.
But a goal from midfielder Stuart Armstrong, who, like fellow new signing Mackay-Steven, was making his home and European debut for the Scottish champions, dragged the home side back into the game.
A minute later, an own goal from Inter defender Hugo Campagnaro, under pressure from Armstrong, had the game level.
Hoops keeper Craig Gordon, so often a saviour for the Parkhead side since signing on a free last summer, had looked at fault for Inter's opener and another mistake a minute from the break gifted Palacio his second.
But Celtic kept going in the second-half and in the third of four added minutes, substitute John Guidetti, who had fallen out of favour recently amidst a goal drought stretching back to November, grabbed a sensational equaliser to set up nicely the return game in the San Siro next Thursday night, from where Mackay-Steven believes the Scottish champions can emerge triumphant.
He said: "Maybe we gave Inter a little bit too much respect at the start and let them pass it and get into their rhythm.
"But once we got in their faces and started running at them we created a lot of chances.
"I think we're very much still in the tie and can go to Milan and get the result we need.
"It was an unbelievable occasion. I'm really happy to have made my debut at Celtic Park and to do it in a game of this magnitude was special.
"The atmosphere was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.
"We didn't get off to the best of starts but I think we showed our fighting spirit to get a draw in the end that I think we deserved.''
Inter boss Roberto Mancini was left with mixed feelings after a night of high drama in the east end of Glasgow but is confident his side can finish off the job in Milan.
He said: "What impressed me tonight was the way we started the match and the players' attitude.
"It's not easy coming to play in an atmosphere like that, away from home.
"What disappointed me was that when we were 2-0 some of the players thought it was going to be an easier match than it actually was.
"It will be a different match in Italy.
"We will have our supporters with us this time.
"Hopefully we can play the match the way we started it tonight and win the game. It won't be easy but playing at home will give us an advantage.''