A last gasp goal from John Guidetti snatched a share of the spoils from the jaws of defeat in what was a stunning six goal thrller at Celtic Park on Thursday night.
Goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Rodrigo Palacio gave Inter a lead that many then expected to increase, but Celtic fought back in the space of a minute through Stuart Armstrong and an own goal from Hugo Campagnaro.
On the stroke of half time though Palacio gave Inter the lead again after a goalkeeping blunder by Craig Gordon and as the final whistle approached it looked as though the away side would secure victory, but an injury time strike from Guidetti gave Celtic a well deserved equaliser as they had battered the Inter defence for much of the second half.
The opening exchanges of the game saw Celtic Gary Mackay Steven, who was making his European debut for Celtic, tested Inter keeper Juan Pablo Carrizo early on, but the keeper comfortably gathered the ball.
But it wasn’t long before Celtic’s frailties at the back were exposed, as the on loan Bayern Munich midfielder Shaqiri gave Roberto Mancini’s side the lead.
The Swiss international latched onto a Zdrako Kuzmanovic pass before firing a volley but Craig Gordon parried the ball back into open play as it looked as though the shot was going wide and Shaqiri fired home the rebound.
As Celtic pressed forward Inter countered well and pushed the hosts back and after Gordon conceded a corner kick as he saved a 20 yard strike from Shaqiri, Inter doubled their lead.
The corner kick fell to that man Shaqiri on the edge of the box and he lobbed the ball back into the box only to see Celtic full back Emilio Izaguirre hit the ball off one of his team mates before falling kindly to Palacio, who fired home the Serie A side’s second of the night.
With Celtic two goals down within 15 minutes, it didn’t look good for Ronny Deila’s side.
But despite being behind, Celtic pushed forward and soon after Adam Matthews sent in a searching cross from the byline that found Armstrong and the former Dundee United man fired home to give the hosts a lifeline.
Less than a minute later Celtic restored parity.
Stefan Johansen fired a cross into the box and Armstrong pressurised Hugo Campagnaro, who could only bundle the ball into his own goal sending the Celtic fans into wild celebrations.
As Celtic smelled blood they pushed forward and came close on several occasions. First Griffiths headed over an Izaguirre cross, before Denayer headed wide a Johansen free kick, before Griffiths then fired a free kick over the bar.
With the half time whistle getting ever nearer it looked as though both sides would go in at the break all square, but a moment of calamity from Craig Gordon handed Inter their third goal of the game as he failed to gather a ball from Gary Medel and it fell to Palacio to roll it into the back of the net.
Into the second half and the game was even more electric than the first half as Celtic pushed forward to get that all important equaliser.
Celtic tested Inter’s goal first through Israeli midfielder Nir Biton but his 30 yard strike was saved by Carrizo, before Palacio beat the offside trap but failed to beat Gordon.
After his first half blunders, Craig Gordon pulled off a brilliant save to deny Shaqiri, before Bitton once again fired a shot inches wide of the Inter goal.
Celtic then had a good shout for a penalty waved away as Johansen was shoved in the back inside the box as he tried to lay a ball off to Griffiths. But the referee rejected the pleas.
Substitute Liam Henderson nearly made a perfect introduction to the game when a ball from the right flank fell to him at the far post, but his shot was saved.
With just a minute left in injury time, Celtic’s relentless pressure finally paid off as John Guidetti – on as a substitute for Leigh Griffiths – fired home a dramatic equaliser sending the home fans into ecstasy.
There was still time for Inter to threaten the Celtic goal with one last chance after they won a free kick, but Craig Gordon pulled off a superb save to deny Shaqiri.
As the final whistle sounded the Celtic fans celebrated what was an unlikely result before kick off, but even more so after 15 minutes into the game.
Celtic travel to Milan next week looking to secure a result against their hosts, but with Inter having three away goals to their name it will be tough going for Ronny Deila’s side.