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Celtic 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Celtic scorers: Zurawski 13, Petrov 61

10/09/2005 | KO: 15:00

Dons fail to secure Old Firm double.

Highlights available on RedTV on Monday.

Aberdeen were unable to make any impact on a well organised Celtic side this afternoon. A goal in either half was enough to claim the three points for the home side. Zurawski opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Petrov added a second after the break. Although the Dons had a lot of possession in the middle of the park they did little in the final third of the pitch and had only two attempts on goal, neither of which hit the target. Aberdeen now need to start collecting points starting next week at Dunfermline.

After a rousing reception to the memory of Jock Stein, Aberdeen made a positive start to the match as they started in a 3-5-2 formation with Anderson, Severin and Diamond at the back. Celtic started to then take control and went close in the 6th minute when a soft free kick was awarded against Byrne and Hartson, who was all over Anderson like a rash, headed an effort off target. Two minutes later Chris Clark broke and won the first corner of the match. Nicholson's delivery was easily ushered away but the visitors continued to probe at the Celtic back four before the danger was fully cleared. Aberdeen continued to threaten but couldn't find the final ball to threaten the goal.

Celtic threatened again in the 12th minute when Thomson released Camara. Fortunately the full back was unable to control the ball and ran it out of play. A minute later Celtic took the lead when their Polish striker Zurawski played a one-two with John Hartson and drilled the ball high past Ryan Esson. Celtic won another free kick in the 17th minute but Thompson's effort was cleared allowing Clark to break. The counter attack ended with Lovell heading wide of the target. Celtic continued to dominate as Aberdeen struggled to create any clear-cut chances when they did manage to get hold of the ball. Aberdeen were almost caught out on the counter attack in the 28th minute allowing Celtic to win their first corner of the match. Nicholson could only half clear the ball but fortunately it fell to Neil Lennon and he dispatched the ball into row Z.

Aberdeen looked comfortable enough in possession without threatening Celtic and the home side, although enjoying most of the play, didn't look like adding to their tally at this stage. Aberdeen then defended another corner in the 39th minute as they looked to make it to the interval without conceding any more. A minute later Esson was down smartly on a Petrov cross that denied Hartson. In the final minute Smith was impeded by Balde giving them a chance to threaten from the set play. However Thompson easily cleared the delivery as the Dons continued to be frustrated.

Celtic continued to defend deep and were quick to break when any Dons moves broke down. Crawford won the first corner of the half in the 48th minute and after the ball was half cleared Aberdeen applied some more pressure without really threatening. Boruc was quick off his line to deny Crawford in the 52nd minute, which once again led to a Celtic counter attack that Petrov failed to finish. Aberdeen were enjoying more of the play now but had come up against a born again Celtic defence. Considine replaced an injured McNaughton in the 56th minute with Severin moving into the midfield. Aberdeen had won another set play and after a clearance from defence the ball eventually came back into the danger area forcing Boruc to save from Balde who looked to be blocking Byrne.

At the other end Nakamura carved out a chance for Thompson, but the Celt headed wide. A double corner in the 59th minute put Aberdeen under more pressure but the re-jigged defence coped well. The Dons failed to cope two minutes later when Celtic extended their lead as Zurawski set up Petrov who hesitated before he rolled the ball past Esson. Once again the goal was aided by some poor defending. Muirhead then replaced Byrne as Calderwood looked to try and turn this match in his teams favour. Aberdeen carved out a chance in the 67th minute when some fine play allowed Nicholson to set up Muirhead but the substitute failed to find the target and hit his effort over the top.

Calderwood then played his final card in the 70th minute as Stewart replaced Lovell. At the same time Beattie and Maloney entered the fray for Celtic. The two strikers combined well in the 73rd minute forcing Esson to save a deflected shot. Celtic had loud appeals for a penalty in the 75th minute as Jamie Smith made a fair challenge on Beattie before Diamond was shown the only yellow card of the match in the 79th minute for a challenge on Thomson. The youngster became the hero a minute later when he cleared the ball as Zurawski looked to grab a third goal for the home side.

It was all Celtic by this stage as Beattie and Maloney caused problems to the Aberdeen defence. Aberdeen did still get forward but looked impotent in the last third with neither Lovell nor Crawford being able to show their sharpness in front of goal. The Dons are now slipping behind the front runners and need to start collecting the points over the next few weeks.

Match Stats:

Celtic Dons
Goal Attempts 8 2
On Target 4 0
Corners 5 2
Possession 62% 38%

Celtic Teamsheet
Boruc, Telfer, Balde, McManus, Camara, Petrov, Lennon, Thompson (Pearson 90), Nakamura (Maloney 70), Hartson (Beattie 70), Zurawski Unused Subs:
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, McNaughton (Considine 56), Byrne (Muirhead 65), Severin, Anderson, Diamond, Smith, Nicholson, Lovell (Stewart 70), Crawford, Clark.

Unused Subs: Kelly, Winter, Dempsey, Foster.

Bookings:  Diamond (79).
Attendance: 59,607
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: Charlie Richmond, Auchinleck
The crowd acknowledge the memory of Jock Stein before the match.
Chris Clark challenges Petrov.
Zurawski fires Celtic into the lead.
Russell Anderson clears his lines at Parkhead.
Jamie Smith battles with Balde this afternoon.
Steve Crawford makes his debut for the Dons.
McNaughton and Nakamura battle for the ball.
Petrov adds a second goal for Celtic.
Smith and Nakamura grapple for the ball.
Lovell wins the ball from goal scorer Petrov.
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead