That was until defender Virgil van Dijk managed to get himself sent off before the first half had even ended – and make a tough ask nigh on impossible for his teammates.
Despite their best efforts, Ronny Deila’s men ended up losing 4-3 on aggregate to a resurgent Inter Milan side and will now have to divert their attentions back to their domestic obligations for the rest of the season.
The players and fans may be disappointed, but there are more than a couple of positives to take from the tie and here are five lessons we think the SLP leaders will take away.
Click on the excellent Craig Gordon to see what lessons we think Celtic will learn from their defeat.
Celtic fans. Do you think you put up enough of a fight at the San Siro? Let us know your thoughts below, become a guest blogger or tweet us @LaFootyettes.