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AFC - Match Report
match report 2020-21 fixture list
Scottish Cup Semi Final 
01/11/2020
 
Aberdeen 0 - 2 Celtic
    Held over from April 2020
Kick Off:  2:30 PM         Christie 18, Elyounoussi 23  
Attendance: 0
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow
An impressive five minute spell of football in the first half proved too much for the Dons to handle and sent Celtic off into the Scottish Cup final at their expense once again.

Aberdeen had their chances but failed to take any of them, despite dominating possession for good spells.

Following last weekend's 3-3 draw with Celtic at Pittodrie, Derek McInnes made three changes for the Hampden Park tie. Jonny Hayes and Dylan McGeouch missed out with injury while Ryan Edmondson started from the bench. Replacing them were Sam Cosgrove, making his first start of the season, fit again Matty Kennedy and Scott Wright. Mikey Devlin was included in the matchday squad for the first time this season and Curtis Main was among the subs too.

Having drawn 2-2 in Lille in the Europa League on Thursday night, Neil Lennon also made three changes, Nir Bitton, Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard returning, Kristoffer Ajer ruled out with injury, Albian Ajeti and Olivier Ntcham dropping to the bench.

Aberdeen made a confident start in the pouring rain in Glasgow, Kennedy darting past Frimpong down the left, Cosgrove up to it at the back post but glancing his header wide of goal within 45 seconds of the kick-off. The two repeated the move in the fifth minute, Cosgrove stretching at the back post, Bitton doing well to block the ball behind as Celtic were getting hemmed in by a high octane Aberdeen start.

Three minutes later though, neat passing football from Celtic got Edouard in on goal, Joe Lewis down brilliantly to save then, while prone on the ground, he made an even better save from the follow up to keep the scores level. Moments later, Frimpong curled an inviting ball through the six yard box but thankfully, there were no takers for Celtic.

Aberdeen opened Celtic up again in the 14th minute, a lovely ball with the outside of the boot from Wright opening up the defence for Hedges but he cut inside when he might have been better to shoot first time and in the end, his effort was blocked wide. From Kennedy's corner, Ash Taylor got a glancing header at the near post, the ball flashing through the six yard box and just wide of goal.

But in the 18th minute, it was the rare quality of Ryan Christie that grabbed the opening goal. Fully 25 yards out and on the right edge of the box, he wrapped his left foot round the ball and curled it into the far top corner, Lewis hurling himself after it in vain. The Dons will rue the fact that Christie had a bit too much space but for all that, it was a magnificent finish.

Aberdeen were two down five minute later, more intricate passing play from the cup holders gradually working space, Rogic standing up a brilliant ball to the back post, impossible to defend, Elyounoussi coming in to volley the ball into the roof of the net. The only down side during a good spell for Celtic came when Laxalt went in the book in the 28th minute for a late challenge on Lewis Ferguson.

Hedges was down for treatment in the 31st minute after heading the back of Laxalt's head but fortunately he was able to continue. Celtic skipper Brown got away with one at a 34th minute corner, barging Cosgrove to the floor just a fraction of a second before Kennedy put the ball in play. A moment later and surely that would have been a penalty.

The Dons were gradually regaining their composure and getting back into the game, but half-time arrived with Celtic still two goals to the good and Aberdeen left with plenty to do.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 CELTIC 2

The Dons were out early for the second half, no substitutions made, but now employing a back four. Celtic were first to threaten, slick passing again getting Elyounoussi into a shooting position, McCrorie swooping down upon him with a crucial block.

Wright did well to set Aberdeen away in the 49th minute after dispossessing Bitton. He got to the by-line to pull it back to Cosgrove but his shot wasn't strong enough to trouble Bain, who made a straightforward save. Ferguson went into the book for a challenge on Edouard on the halfway line a minute later.

Hedges had a sight of goal from 25 yards out on the hour, his shot from a central position dragged wide. Aberdeen then made their first changes with Greg Leigh and Connor McLennan on the pitch for Taylor and Cosgrove in the 64th minute.

The Dons were pushing Celtic now, dominating possession and looking much the livelier of the two teams as we entered the final quarter of the game, but the crucial goal to get back into the game was proving elusive. To try to inject some life into their side of things, Griffiths, Ajeti and Elhamed all joined the fray for Celtic in place of Edouard, Elyounoussi and Christie in the 73rd minute.

In the aftermath of that, Ferguson put a shot over the bar from the edge of the box after good work from Wright and Hedges, then Kennedy was given a chance by Watkins, Frimpong across well to block on the edge of the six yard box.

Watkins soon needed treatment after Brown came flying across him like an outtake from a Bruce Lee movie, but surprisingly, there was no action from the referee, not even a free-kick. He couldn't continue, helped from the field by the physios, Main stepping up to replace him with 12 minutes left.

There was a promising moment with a free-kick out on the left in the 83rd minute, Hedges finding Hoban but his header looped over the bar, Bain still not having had a real save to make. Celtic then brought on Ntcham in place of Rogic to try to see out the game, Kennedy making way for McGinn.

For the Dons, a late flurry saw Ferguson stab a shot over the bar from distance, summing up a frustrating afternoon where they couldn't find the cutting edge they needed to trouble Celtic.

 
Conditions: Rain.
Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Hedges, Taylor (Leigh 64), Cosgrove (McLennan 64), Ferguson, Wright, Kennedy (McGinn 85), McCrorie, Watkins (Main 79).

Unused Subs: Woods, Logan, Devlin, Ojo, Edmondson.

Bookings:  Ferguson (50).

Celtic Teamsheet:  Bain, Duffy, Bitton, Brown, Christie (Elhamed 73), Rogic, Edouard (Griffiths 73), Elyounoussi (Ajeti 73), Frimpong, McGregor, Laxalt

Unused Substitutes: Barkas, Taylor, Klimala, Soro, Turnbull, Ntcham

Bookings:  Laxalt 28

Referee: Don Robertson

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