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Aberdeen 4 - 2 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 1 Celtic

Aberdeen scorers: McDonald 24, Duff 31, Diamond 75, Diamond 78.
Celtic scorers: S Brown 25, S McDonald 73

18/01/2009 | KO: 14:00

Dons goal rush sinks Celts

Aberdeen and Celtic produced an epic match at Pittodrie this afternoon as the Dons withstood some heavy early pressure in the second half before a Diamond double sunk the hoops. In a pulsating first half the Dons were denied a Stonewall penalty when McDonald was bundled off the ball as he was set to shoot. McDonald was not to be denied and in the 24th minute he looped a Duff cross over the keeper and into the net. The Dons only held their lead for a minute as McGeady carved open the Dons defence on the left allowing Brown an easy tap in.

Aberdeen were back in front again in 31 minutes when a late Duff run beat the offside trap and allowed the Dons midfielder to calmly slot Mark Kerr's pass beyond the keeper. Celtic dominated the opening half hour of the second half, but only had a Scott McDonald equaliser in the 73rd minute to show for their efforts. Two minutes later two goals in three minutes from Zander Diamond sunk the hoops and the game ended with the home fans chanting for five.

Aberdeen kicked off and the game started at 100 miles per hour. Aluko threatened in the second minute, but his cross was comfortably gathered by Brown in the Celtic goal. A minute later Mackie released the Englishman again, but for once his control let him down. Brown was a bit slow off his line as Robson tried to shield the ball back to him with Mackie breathing down his neck. The play was raging from end to end and Celtic won the first corner of the match in the 7th minute and from the set play Foster was forced to clear the ball off the line.

Aberdeen had a big shout for a penalty kick a minute later when Mackie cut the ball back and McDonald was clearly barged off the ball in the middle of the penalty area as he looked set to shoot. The Aberdeen players were outraged, but had little time to protest as play quickly moved to the other end where Langfield had to be smartly off his line to gather. Another Aluko cross was easily gathered by Brown before Aluko was in behind the Celtic defence again in the 16th minute. Brown fumbled and the ball was scrambled clear for the Dons first corner.

A second quickly followed then a Severin header was deflected for a third, which failed to threaten. Darren Mackie had the ball in the net in the 19th minute but he had been flagged offside. Two minutes later a Nakamura free kick failed to threaten Langfield and the keeper was commanding seconds later as he came out to gather a dangerous cross. Aberdeen then grabbed a deserved lead in the 24th minute when Duffy delivered a precision cross to the far post where McDonald looped a great header over Brown and into the net.

Celtic were level within 30 seconds as McGeady unlocked the Dons defence on the left for a simple tap in for Brown. Aberdeen tried to hit back immediately as Aluko won another corner, but the Celtic defence cleared easily. McManus conceded a free kick in the middle of the park and injured himself in the process. With the big defender still receiving treatment Aberdeen regained the lead. The free kick was half cleared, but Kerr whipped the ball back in and with the Celtic defence looking for offside Duff arrived late and scored a great goal to celebrate both his return from injury and the first anniversary of his Pittodrie career.

Aberdeen won another free kick in the 36th minute but the visitor's defended well and two minutes later the Dons struggled to clear their lines before Langfield came to claim the ball. Diamond then made an important tackle inside the box to deny Samaras before McGeady made a complete mess of an effort that he sliced well wide. Samaras then set up McDonald who also pulled his shot wide as Celtic searched for a second equaliser. Duff conceded a free kick 25 yards out, but Aberdeen defended the play as they found themselves on the back foot in the closing stages. A second Celtic corner was headed wide by McManus before Miller looped the ball over the keeper in injury time only for Caldwell to boot the ball off the line.

Celtic started the second half on top and forced Aberdeen deeper and deeper. They won a series of corners, which the Dons did well to defend. McDonald then won a soft free kick as he fell over while jumping with Severin. From the subsequent set play Diamond picked up a sore one but was able to continue after treatment. Sone Aluko had the ball in the Celtic net againin the 53rd minute, but he had already been flagged offside. The Celtic onslaught continued and Diamond made a telling interception on the hour mark to concede another corner.

Celtic went close in 63 minutes when a Hinkel cross came off the bar and fortunately Hately fired over from 12 yards. McDonald collected a controversial yellow card when a heavy challenge was adjudge to be illegal. The Celtic pressure paid off in the 73rd minute aided by some poor Aberdeen defending. Robson was allowed to work his way down the right and place the ball on the head of McDonald who made no mistake from a yard out. The hoops fans were quickly silenced as Aberdeen hit back in style after Maguire had replaced the tiring Aluko. A quick double by Zander Diamond had the red army on their feet. The first came in the 75th minute when a Mulgrew free kick on the left was swung in and Diamond out jumped everyone to bullet the header home. There appeared to be a slight pause before the referee confirmed the goal, but Zander was quick to celebrate on confirmation. Two minutes later Aberdeen won a free kick on the right and once again Mulgrew swung the ball in for Diamond to finish and make it 4-2 to Aberdeen. Celtic never really recovered from this double whammy and in the closing minutes their defence looked nervous as another Mulgrew free kick was fired in to the box. However the ball was cleared as the home fans chanted, "We want five."

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Mulgrew, Foster, McDonald, Diamond, Severin, Mackie, Kerr, Miller, Aluko (Maguire 73), Duff.

Unused Subs: Bossu, de Visscher, Mair, Wright, Considine, Vidal.

Bookings:  Mackie (81),  Kerr (67).
Celtic Teamsheet
M Brown, S Nakamura, S McDonald, A Hinkel, S Brown, S McManus, P Hartley, G Caldwell, A McGeady, B Robson, G Samaras (J Vennegoor of Hesselink 66). Unused Subs: K Mizuno, M Crosas, D O'Dea, M Misun, P Caddis, G Loovens.

Bookings:  A McGeady (77),   S Brown (86)
Attendance: 18,100
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Dougie McDonald, Edinburgh
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen