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Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Celtic scorers: Turnbull 15

17/02/2021 | KO: 18:00

No luck for Dons at Celtic Park

It was a hard luck story for Aberdeen as they gave an excellent display that left Celtic hanging on in the closing stages in Glasgow, only to come up just short after having a strong penalty shout denied, as well as hitting the woodwork again.

For the trip to Celtic Park, the Dons made just the one change from the side that drew 0-0 with St. Mirren at the weekend, Ash Taylor coming in as Derek McInnes reverted to a back three for the game, Niall McGinn starting from the bench.

There were three changes for Celtic after their 2-1 win at St. Johnstone on Sunday, Albian Ajeti, Ismaila Soro and Stephen Welsh coming into Neil Lennon's team in place of Scott Brown, Shane Duffy and Tom Rogic who all dropped to the bench.

It was a relatively quiet opening to the game, Celtic enjoying good possession without opening the Dons up as they settled into a sound defensive shape, testing Celtic's patience by denying them space in the final third.

It was Aberdeen who had the first real opening, Dean Campbell winning the ball inside his own half and finding Flo Kamberi in the tenth minute. He slipped past Welsh and headed for goal, trying to shape a shot past Bain from the edge of the box when under pressure, when perhaps a ball to the overlapping Campbell might have been a better option. As it was, Bain saved with ease.

Just as the Dons looked settled, Celtic had the lead on 14 minutes. McGregor was allowed to run 50 yards forward without a challenge after a pass from keeper Bain before finding Turnbull. He was given a yard of space 25 yards out and he speared a fine drive into the bottom corner.
Hornby took a real whack from Ajer in the 24th minute and was down needing treatment before returning to the action. Celtic were given a free-kick 30 yards out in the 32nd minute, but fortunately, Turnbull wasn't so accurate this time, putting his shot high and wide of the goal. McGregor was much closer a minute later, collecting a half cleared corner on the edge of the box, his skimming shot arcing just wide.
After that Aberdeen started to close Celtic down quicker all over the pitch and the visitors enjoyed some more possession.

There were loud claims for an Aberdeen penalty in the 36th minute as the Dons were away on the break through first McCrorie and then Kamberi. He charged into the box and flicked the ball inside, Welsh clearly handling it. The referee looked well positioned and under the new rules this season it must have been a very close call.

If it wasn't for bad luck, Aberdeen would be having no luck at all at the moment.

The Dons were on the break again in the 38th minute, Campbell getting to the by-line down the left, pulling the ball through the six yard box, just in front of Hornby at the near post as Aberdeen really did start to turn up the wick. More evidence of the Dons' ill luck came in the 40th minute, Kamberi slashing the ball at goal from 25 yards out. Bain was beaten all ends up but the ball smacked against the base of the post and away to safety.

After a very good spell from Aberdeen but the home side came back into it just before the break. Joe Lewis made a crucial save a minute before the interval, Edouard using neat control to wriggle into space to fire the ball across the face of goal, Lewis away to his left to palm the ball away. Edouard was then the wall in a neat one-two with Turnbull on the edge of the box, Turnbull putting his shot just wide of goal.


There was a good start to the second half from the Dons, Ferguson shaping in a free-kick from just inside the Celtic half into the box, Kamberi glancing a header wide from the edge of the box, all within the first minute. In the 53rd minute, it was Celtic in on goal, Campbell producing a crucial block to deny Turnbull after McGregor ran into good space again and set up Turnbull 10 yards out.

Aberdeen were certainly exerting pressure though, playing with real aggression and winning two corners in quick succession, but Celtic were able to clear their lines. Next there was a free-kick won on the left edge of the box as Ferguson was flattened by Soro after 58 minutes, but Campbell's delivery was easily cleared. Ferguson was in on a run into the box on the 61st minute, chesting the ball down, referee Muir giving it as handball, another questionable decision. The Dons were playing some really promising stuff.

Connor McLennan became Aberdeen's first switch after 62 minutes, Hayes making way. Celtic responded by bringing off Ajeti for Rogic. Three minutes later, there was some nice combination work from the strikers, Kamberi turning the ball into Hornby who carried the ball across the box and then clubbed it goalwards on the turn, Bain clutching it at head height.

There was another poor decision to penalise McCrorie for winning the ball back in midfield in the 68th minute, Derek McInnes booked in the aftermath. There was a clever free-kick from Aberdeen two minutes later, Ferguson playing a precise ball along the deck into Kamberi, his shot on the turn well blocked by Christie.

With Aberdeen on top, Celtic looked to try and re-establish some control in the 72nd minute, Brown brought on for Soro. Fresh legs for the final charge for the Dons came in the shape of Callum Hendry and Niall McGinn on for Hornby and Kennedy in the 77th minute.
All the changes affected the flow of the game as neither team were able to get much fluency into their play.

Klimala and Elyounoussi joined the fray on 81 minutes, Edouard and Turnbull making way as Celtic looked to break up the play and stop Aberdeen's flow. Dylan McGeouch replaced Campbell a minute later in the visitors' final change. Hendry went into the book for a late tackle on Ajer in the 83rd minute. Five minutes later as Ferguson was yellow carded for the slightest contact on McGregor.

Klimala almost sealed it in the 89th minute, Christie threading him through, Lewis spreading himself to save brilliantly. The Dons were away on the break from there, culminating in a terrific cross from McLennan, Ajer just getting a touch to take it wide of goal. Aberdeen kept Celtic penned in from there, a ferocious Hendry shot blocked away by a hoop shirted defender as the hosts simply couldn't get out of their penalty area, desperately trying to hang on to their lead.

Lewis was up for a last minute corner, then the Dons slung in a free-kick from halfway, Ferguson nodding on a McLennan cross, Bain bravely throwing himself at Ferguson's feet to save. And that was that.

Rearranged from 15th August 2020.
Celtic Teamsheet
Bain, Taylor, Ajeti (Rogic 62), Soro (Brown 72), Turnbull (Elyounoussi 81), Kenny, Christie, Edouard (Klimala 81), Ajer, McGregor, Welsh

Unused Substitutes: Barkas, Duffy, Griffiths, Ralston, Laxalt
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Hornby (Hendry 77), Taylor, Hayes (McLennan 62), Ferguson, Kamberi, Campbell (McGeouch 82), Kennedy (McGinn 77), McCrorie.

Unused Subs: Woods, Logan, Ross, Virtanen, MacKenzie.

Bookings:  Hendry (83),  Ferguson (88).
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: Alan Muir
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead