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Aberdeen 1 - 3 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Celtic

Aberdeen scorers: Maguire 22.
Celtic scorers: Caldwell 44, S McDonald 72, 90

02/05/2009 | KO: 12:30

Celts fight back sinks reds

In an afternoon of frustrations Aberdeen went down 3-1 to Celtic despite taking an early lead and missing another couple of gilt edged chances. Maguire headed Aberdeen into the lead in the 22nd minute before Celtic took advantage of an extremely soft free kick award in the 45th minute to level. A well-taken goal from Scott McDonald in the 72nd minute put the visitor's ahead and a second goal from the Aussie striker in injury time flattered the hoops. The Dons now need to concentrate on the next two matches against Dundee United and Hearts if they are to realise their dream of a return to Europe next season.

Celtic kicked off in a sun drenched Pittodrie, but it was Aberdeen who had the first shot on target when Chris Maguire tested Boruc in the 4th minute. The youngster then had a golden chance to open the scoring a minute later when he was one-on-one with Boruc following poor defending from Celtic. Maguire did the right thing by lifting it over the keeper, but he failed to find the target as the ball bounced wide. Two minutes later Scott McDonald fired wide of the Dons goal as the game started to heat up.

After that early flurry of activity the game settled, but McGeady had a chance in the 12th minute but drilled a shot wide from the edge of the box. Two minutes later referee McDonald made a telling interception in midfield for Celtic as he failed to get out of the way of Mark Kerr. Fortunately the hoops failed to take advantage and in the 17th minute Aluko tested Boruc. The Celtic keeper could only palm the ball away, but Celtic broke up field and Langfield was forced to block another effort from McDonald.

A clumsy challenge from Maguire gifted Celtic a free kick on the right, but the delivery was poor and Aberdeen were able to break. However Aluko was flagged offside in a tight decision. Aberdeen then took the lead in the 22nd minute when a Mulgrew free kicked was whipped in from the right and Maguire was allowed to escape his marker and head past a helpless Boruc. Three minutes later Maguire, brimming with confidence, won a corner as Boruc was forced to turn his fierce shot round the post. Scott Severin should have made it two from the corner as he somehow managed to steer the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Langfield made a terrific save on the half hour mark as Hartley tested him from distance. Aberdeen broke quickly from the subsequent corner, but a poor cross from Aluko ended that particular move. Three minutes later Severin was well short with a pass back to Langfield, and the keeper did well to retrieve the situation. Tommy Wright was getting little going his way as he was first penalised while it looked like he was the victim then the striker looked to be fouled on the edge of the box and again nothing was given.

Langfield was in action again in the 35th minute before Aluko won a corner and Severin was penalised as he won the ball. An ironic cheer went up as Wright was awarded his first free kick in the 39th minute, but the Celtic defence coped well with the Mulgrew delivery. With two minutes remaining Boruc was forced to punch a Mulgrew free kick clear as Aberdeen looked to double their advantage. Another soft free kick in the last minute allowed Celtic to level. The free kick was played in and confusion in the penalty area saw Considine turn a Caldwell header into his own net.

Celtic won an early corner after the break, but Aberdeen coped well and were able to clear. Aberdeen were certainly not getting the breaks and in the 52nd minute Maguire charged down a Boruc clearance but the ball trickled wide of the target. At the other end McGeady scooped an effort over the bar. In the 56th minute Langfield made another stunning save as he turned a deflected Naylor shot over the bar. From the resulting set play Loovens headed the ball over the bar and referee McDonald awarded a corner. A through ball from Mulgrew on the hour mark found Tommy Wright but the striker was unable to convert under pressure from Caldwell.

Langfield released Aluko in the 62nd minute and the Englishman did well to win a free kick wide right. Unfortunately Mulgrew took this moment to deliver his first poor cross of the match. At the other end Mulgrew was forced to concede a corner with Nakamura lurking and seconds later Langfield made another great save to keep Celtic out. At the other end Boruc was forced to tip a Foster cross over the bar, but the subsequent corner failed to threaten. Celtic then grabbed the lead in the 72nd minute when McDonald clinically drilled a Naylor cross past Langfield/

Young Michael Paton replaced Tommy Wright in the 74th minute as Aberdeen tried to retrieve the situation. A Charlie Mulgrew free kick in the 77th minute failed to threaten and a quickly taken set play a minute later was also thwarted. Pawlett then replaced Duff as youth was given their chance. Pawlett was handed the first yellow card of the game for his first challenge in another decision that enraged the Aberdeen crowd. A minute later Hinkle cynically took Aluko out of the game with a challenge from behind and incredibly the Celt was not even spoken to.

A corner in the 86th minute failed to threaten then at the other end Celtic won another soft free kick on the edge of the box. Fortunately Nakamura fired the free kick inches wide. Back up front lovely play from Pawlett set up Aluko, but he was eventually crowded out. Scott McDonald was booked for kicking the ball away then a Paton cross just eluded his teammates as the Dons looked for a late equaliser. However it was Celtic who added a third when Considine and Langfield left a long ball to each other allowing McDonald to slip in and end the match as a contest.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Foster, Severin, Considine, Mulgrew, Duff (Pawlett 78), Kerr, McDonald, Aluko, Wright (Paton 74), Maguire.

Unused Subs: Vidal, Mair, Crawford, Bossu, Stewart.

Bookings:  Pawlett (80).
Celtic Teamsheet
Boruc, Nakamura, S McDonald, Hinkel, Hartley, Crosas, Caldwell, Naylor, Venegoor of Hesselink, McManus (Loovens 49), McGeady (Maloney 90)

Bookings:  Aberdeen: Pawlett 80
Celtic: S McDonald 89
Attendance: 14,752
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Douglas McDonald
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead