Aberdeen have secured second spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership after a thoroughly deserved victory over Celtic this afternoon in Glasgow. The only goal of the game came shortly after the interval when Kenny McLean picked out Andrew Considine and he fired home. The Dons put in a brilliant defensive display throughout the 90 minutes.
Derek McInnes was forced to make two changes with Mark Reynolds and Greg Stewart replacing the suspended Scott McKenna and the ineligible Ryan Christie who was unable to play against his parent club.
In the first minute Forrest was able to get a cross over from the right but Stewart did well at the back post to get the better of Tierney. A few minutes later Dembele produced some good movement but his forward pass could not find the run of Forrest. On five minutes Logan was adjudged to have fouled Dembele. Celtic had a free kick in a promising position but made a mess of a pre-planned move.
On seven minutes a long diagonal from Reynolds was flicked on by Cosgrove and Shinnie was almost in. Aberdeen then won a free kick 30 yards out. McLean hit the wall with his first effort but his follow up pass then found Gary Mackay-Steven whose feet was too quick for Lustig on the edge of the area and the Dons had another free kick, this time in a much more promising position. It was Stewart who took it, he shaped to go over the wall but in fact put it to the other side of Bain and the keeper could only watch as the ball clipped his bar. A great effort from Greg.
After ten minutes Dembele outpaced O?Connor and raced towards goal but Lewis stood up well at his near post.
The Dons were very unfortunate not to take the lead in the 13th minute when a GMS cross was directed towards his own goal by defender Ajer. Bain could only look on as the ball went inches past his far post. Aberdeen had the first corner of the game and they then enjoyed a good little spell camped inside the Celtic half but were unable to work a clear opening.
In the 17th minute Logan was forced to conceded a corner. Celtic won a second corner which floated out of play.
Aberdeen had made a good start.
On 22 minutes Lewis claimed a free kick and produced a great early ball for GMS to chase but the winger frustratingly failed to find a red shirt as the Aberdeen players steamed forward.
Two minutes later a long Lustig ball found Dembele but O?Connor managed to track his run and made a superb block. A minute later Shinnie had to block a Tierney effort at the expense of a fifth Celtic corner.
After 27 minutes Cosgrove and GMS linked well and won a free kick. A well worked set piece allowed Shinnie to pick the ball up in space but his cross failed to beat the first defender.
On the half hour mark the Dons saw off a sixth corner ? up to this point they had defended well but Celtic were by now enjoying more possession.
On 34 minutes Kenny McLean was booked by Craig Thomson. There had not been any incident?s so it must have been for something he said. Four minutes later Rogic caught McLean with a poor tackle but escaped a card.
Aberdeen were continuing to keep their shape really well and close down the space. Celtic were creating nothing of note. The Dons were still having the odd attack but were a little wasteful with the final pass.
HT. Celtic 0 Aberdeen 0
Aberdeen had a great chance at the start of the second half. A Considine cross was knocked on by Cosgrove and although Celtic cleared the initial danger Aberdeen regained possession. Ball played it to McLean who laid into the path of Stewart and he curled a shot inches over.
But it did mater as Aberdeen took the lead on 47 minutes. Kenny McLean drove at the Celtic defence. He had time to look up and picked out Considine who fired a low shot past Scott Bain. It was a great finish from the defender who showed great ambition to stay forward and pick up such a good position.
Aberdeen were playing with a real confidence now.
On 51 minutes a double change for Celtic. Griffiths came on for Dembele and Sinclair replaced Tierney. Within seconds of coming on Griffiths had an opening but his stabbed shot was straight at Lewis and also lacked power.
After 57 minutes Mark Reynolds was the player this time to make a terrific block as Rogic tried to get a shot away inside the area. On the hour mark a Ntcham shot was saved by Lewis but the ball fell into the path of McGregor who looked certainly to score until O?Connor from nowhere managed to make a despairing dive and make a block. Quite outstanding defending from Anthony who was the best player on the park this afternoon.
On 61 minutes a long Logan throw in was flicked on by Cosgrove and the ball almost fell kindly for Considine who was lurking at the back post. Two minutes later Boyata headed a Griffiths corner over. Considine did well to put him off.
65 minutes in, 17 year old Dean Campbell came on for Greg Stewart. McGregor was then booked for tugging McLean back. On 67 minutes Stuart Armstrong replaced Ntcham. GMS might have done better with a cross when there were plenty of red shirts in support but his ball in was too close to Bain.
Celtic were by now pushing really hard but O?Connor was making block after block.
On 72 minutes Adam Rooney came on for Sam Cosgrove. Two minutes later Brown was booked for a foul on Shinnie. With 15 minutes to go Celtic were struggling to get anything going as every Dons player continued to work really hard.
On 78 minutes, after Ball made two good blocks, Scott Brown, who had already been booked, took out Kenny McLean with a late tackle. Referee Thomson decided it was not worth a second yellow ? although he booked Ajer a minute later for a similar challenge as Shinnie broke forward. Shinnie then received his 19th yellow card of the season for a lunge on Brown. The Celtic captain was far from happy with tackle.
With five minutes to go Celtic were awarded a soft free kick 25 yards out. Griffiths found the target but the ball was well beaten away by Lewis. A minute later GMS was replaced by Stevie May. Then Lewis was called into action again as he saved from Armstrong. Then a remarkable save from Lewis to keep out a Griffiths header from point blank range after Armstrong had stood a cross to the back post.
There were two minutes of added time, Celtic never really threatened again and Aberdeen saw the game out. After the full time whistle there were a number of altercations and Shay Logan was shown a red card.
An outstanding battling and composed performance from every Aberdeen player. Aberdeen are the second best team in Scotland once again and they proved it this afternoon.
FT. Celtic 0 Aberdeen 1