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AFC - Match Report
match report 2007-08 fixture list
Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   G Samaras 56        
Attendance: 55,766
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Dons robbed of deserved point
Scott Severin can barely believe it as his shot hits both posts.Traffic caused Aberdeen to arrive late at Celtic Park, but they matched the home side for the 90 minutes and were denied an equaliser by a controversial decision in injury time. The Dons almost made the perfect start when Scott Severin drilled a shot against both posts in the 6th minute with Boruc beaten. Celtic went ahead after the break after the award of a very soft free kick close to the corner flag. Robson whipped the ball in and Samaras headed past Langfield. Aberdeen then took the game to Celtic and Miller should have scored but for a last gasp challenge by Caddis. Deep in injury time Diamond finished off a great Aberdeen move for the equaliser only for referee Brines to inexplicably rule the goal out and award Celtic a free kick that no one was claiming. If Celtic do go onto win the league they can look back on this game as a turning point and the Dons management team were clearly unhappy with the officials as the whistle went.

Aberdeen kicked off but neither side were able to create chances in a quiet opening few minutes peppered with several soft free kicks in the home sides favour. Aberdeen's first real chance came in the 5th minute when Nicholson won a free kick and from the subsequent set play Severin drilled in a shot that crashed off one upright, spun across the goal line and hit the other post before bouncing out into the hands of Boruc. This was a real let off for Celtic as Boruc had been well beaten by the shot and was fortunate that the bounce went his way. Miler won another free kick two minutes later but the set play was taken too quickly and the ball ended up back with Langfield.

Samaras scores the winning goal in the second halfSamaras had the ball in the net in the 8th minute but the flag had been up for a good 30 seconds and the striker was lucky not to be booked. Considine was a bit slack with a header back to Langfield in the 13th minute but the keeper did well to claim it before McDonald could pounce. Celtic won the first corner of the match a minute later but Aberdeen cleared their lines comfortably. Robson turned the ball over the bar as he ghosted between Considine and Foster as the home side increased the pressure. Nicholson was booked in the 18th minute before Aberdeen threatened four minutes later when Miller escaped his marker and headed over.

The home crowd were getting restless as their favourites struggled to make the breakthrough and Langfield made his first save in the 28th minute as he gathered a weak effort from McGeady. Celtic threatened on the half hour as McGeady set up Donati but the Italian had his shot blocked. Aberdeen broke forward from this attack, but they were unable to threaten the Celtic goal. Three minutes later Miller and Young combined to win their first corner as Hinkel blocked the shot from Young. From the set play Diamond headed wide of the target.

Young looked to have picked up a nasty knock in the 35th minute but he was able to continue after treatment. The game had the air of an end of season affair about it, which was surprising given that Celtic had eased themselves back into the title race in midweek. Six minutes from the break Miller looked to be upended by Balde as he broke but referee Brines waved play on allowing Celtic to break. Three minutes later Samaras looked as if he might break the deadlock, but Nicholson did really well to get back to concede a corner that came to nothing. Celtic produced a flurry of activity prior to the break, but Aberdeen had enjoyed a fairly comfortable first half.

Action from Celtic Park this afternoonCeltic replaced Hinkel with Caddis at the interval and the home side threatened within 5 seconds as Samaras broke. Fortunately his cross was ineffective but two minutes later a poor clearance from Diamond was drilled over by Nakamura. Celtic looked livelier in this half and they won the first corner of the second half in the 49th minute. Maybury cleared his lines but a poor pass from Severin put Aberdeen in trouble four minutes later. The interception released McDonald and Langfield made a great save to keep the score level. A McGeady shot skidded wide in the 54th minute and a minute later Celtic went ahead.

The home side won a ridiculously soft free kick close to the corner flag and Robson whipped the ball into the box allowing Samaras to beat Langfield with a header. The Dons had a chance to level a minute later when they won a free kick but the delivery from Nicholson was poor. Donati was booked for a foul on Duff on the hour mark and six minutes later Aberdeen had another chance from a set play, but this was wasted as Aberdeen struggled to carve out goal scoring opportunities. Aberdeen were enjoying more possession at this stage but couldn't get behind the Celtic defence.

Diamond was booked in the 72nd minute as he protested a decision and the defender had to go off to get blood cleared after the penalised challenge on McDonald. Aberdeen forced a corner in the 76th minute as Young was moved forward to support Miler. Miller should have levelled as Nicholson returned the ball into the box but Caddis made a remarkable challenge to deny the Dons striker. Boruc claimed the second corner at the second attempt as Celtic looked increasingly nervous. At the other end Langfield kept Aberdeen in the game with a great save from Scott McDonald. Aluko replaced de Visscher in the 80th minute as Aberdeen won a free kick for a late challenge on Duff.

Nicholson played the ball into the Celtic area and it was booted anywhere by the home defence. Boruc then made a poor clearance straight to Young but his first touch let him down and he was unable to take advantage. As Aberdeen pushed forward for the equaliser Celtic broke and McGeady headed a Samaras cross over in the 84th minute. At the other end Miller had a shot blocked allowing Celtic to break where Nakamura fired wide. A great move in injury time looked to have produced an equaliser as Diamond finished off the passage of play with a fine finish, but for some reason the game was pulled back for a mystery free kick in the build up. It summed up the Dons luck on the day and the referee claimed to have disallowed the goal because of hand ball. TV pictures fail to back up his argument.

Celtic Teamsheet: 

Unused Subs: M Brown, S Pressley, K Mizuno, P McGowan, E Sno.

Bookings:  M Donati (60),   A McGeady (89)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Foster, Maybury, Severin, Considine, Diamond, de Visscher (Aluko 80), Nicholson, Miller, Duff, Young.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Lovell, Maguire, Walker, Smith, Bus.

Bookings:  Nicholson (17),  Diamond (71).

Referee: Iain Brines

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