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Celtic 0 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 0 - 2 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Shankland 22, Shankland 40, Shankland 66.

02/03/2015 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen had a very impressive win this afternoon in the Development League as they beat Celtic 3-0 in Greenock. The win means Paul Sheerin's side stay top of the SPFL Development League and there looks like being an exciting finish to the season with both Hamilton and now Celtic chasing the young Dons. Falkirk in third spot are also not completely out of it. Lawrence Shankland will rightly get all the headlines after scoring his second hat-trick of the season, and his 25th goal of the campaign. However every Aberdeen player deserves credit this afternoon for what was a hugely impressive performance from start to finish.
The young Dons lined up with Robbie Mutch in goal, Joe Shaughnessy at right back, Clark Robertson at left back with Lukas Culjak and Michael Rose forming the central defensive partnership. Considering it is the first time both players have played together, they were outstanding this afternoon. Kieran Gibbons and Jamie Masson were the two central midfielders with Cem Felek wide right and Scott Wright on the left. Cammy Smith played in front of them in the hole just behind Lawrence Shankland who was up front. Celtic had a strong looking like up which included Derk Boerrigter. The Glasgow side came into the game on a run of seven clean sheets and this was their first defeat in eight games. Paul Sheerin's side have now only lost one of their last nine games and are unbeaten against Celtic in their last four league meetings (over two seasons). Both sets of players were subjected to snow, hail, rain, high winds and the odd bit of sunshine during the 90 minutes. Credit to both teams as they tried to play football throughout on what was a superb playing surface at Cappielow. The early stages were quite cagy with neither team asserting themselves on the game. McGregor and Thomson tired their luck from outside the box by they did not trouble Mutch who did not have much to do all afternoon in truth. When he was called into action his handling was very sound. In the first half he had one save from Boerrigter and the lively Michael Duffy put a shot wide.
Aberdeen started to get on top and their high pressing game was causing Celtic problems. Cammy Smith was starting to see more of the ball and a couple of times he almost set up Shankland. On one occasion it needed a last ditch challenge from Kelleher to keep him out. From the resulting corner Shankland headed just wide. On the half hour mark the Dons had a strong appeal for a penalty when Cammy Smith saw a shot charged down. The Aberdeen players instantly reacted to the incident but the referee waved play on. However the Reds kept up the pressure and in the 22nd minute they took the lead. After some neat play involving Shaughnessy, Gibbons, Smith and Felek down the right, Smith then picked the ball up and drove it across the six yard box from the right of the area and Lawrence Shankland was in the right place to stab the ball home. It was a typical predatory strike from Lawrence who knew exactly what Cammy was doing and where he put the ball. On 23 minutes Cem Felek had a great little run down the right. He created room for a shot and his angled effort had to be turned behind by Fasan at his near post. A decent save from the keeper. As short time after that Felek had another good run and again the keeper was forced into making a smart stop. Aberdeen continued to look the far more dangerous side going forward. Masson was running the show from midfield and Wright and Felek were providing good width. Smith as ever was finding space due to his excellent movement and he had a number of shots at goal. One went past the post and the keeper saved the other. In an end to end game Celtic were getting themselves into good areas but the Dons kept their shape really well and they could find no way through. Gibbons was again in great from and did a very good job of protecting his back line. On the half hour mark Shankland had chance when Robertson put over a great ball from the left but his glancing heading was not quite on target. However in the 40th minute the two players combined to give the young Dons a 2-0 lead. Rose made another interception, he played it to Gibbons who found Masson and he played it to Smith who played it wide. Clark played a quite brilliant ball in from the left and Shankland made a good run across his defender before producing a good finish to knock the ball home. Just before the break Celtic had a free kick in a good area but again the Dons central defenders did their job.

Celtic made a triple change during the interval. Steven Frial sent on Jack Breslin, Mark Hill and Calvin Miller for Darnell Fisher, McGregor and Boerrigter. The home side pushed hard to try and get back into the game at the start of the second half and for a good 10 minutes they enjoyed most of the possession. The Dons were quite happy to sit in and let Celtic have the ball as they did not look like breaking them down. On the break Aberdeen looked dangerous and Fasan had to come out of his area to get to the ball ahead of Shankland. The Dons claimed he handled the ball outside the area but the referee on this occasion was right to play on. The keeper though was still well out of his area and a couple of Dons players tried to shoot. Clark Robertson picked the ball up and Breslin decided the best action was to commit a foul. He was booked for his efforts, the only player to pick up a yellow card all afternoon. Jamie Masson eyed up the free kick which was in a great position but unlike last week he was unable to find the net. Celtic continued to throw everything at the young Dons who also had to weather the weather - the hail was hammering down. Again though Culjak and Rose were excellent and made a couple of very good blocks. Substitute Mark Hill did have the ball in the net but the linesman had his flag up. Then seconds after that Aberdeen made the game safe and Shankland completed his hat-trick with a great solo effort. On 66 minutes, after a Mutch kick out, Lawrence flicked the ball on, before a physical battle saw him shoulder charging Kelleher out of the way and then from a very acute angle he found the far bottom corner of the net. After that the Dons managed the game in a very professional manner and just kept possession. They probably should have added to the scoreline, Cammy Smith had a couple of shots that went just wide, Felek curled one just around the post, but in the end they were quite happy to just see the game out.
Celtic Teamsheet
Fasan, Fisher (Breslin 46), Kelleher, McCart, Waters, Thomson, Lindsay, Duffy, McGregor (Hill 46), Boerrigter (Miller 46), McGrath Subs: Hart, McIlduff, Lafferty, Wardrop
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch, Shaughnessy, Robertson, Gibbons, Culjak, Rose, Wright (Jones 87), Masson, Shankland (Norris 87), Smith, Felek (Henry 76).

Unused Subs: Campanile, Harvie, Robertson.
Venue: Cappielow Park, Greenock
Next Match
Ross County
A
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall