The Dons were cruelly denied at Celtic Park as an injury time goal gave Celtic a 4-3 win after the Dons had lead 3-1. Aberdeen had a nightmare start as they fell behind after only 12 seconds without touching the ball. Aberdeen didn't let that setback affect them and late in the half they levelled through Vernon. Magennis forced his way forward, fed the ball to Vernon and the striker made no mistake. Aberdeen were in dream land after an hour when a double from Magennis had them 3-1 ahead. However Celtic fought back aided and abetted by Aberdeen being penalised for every challenge. Mulgrew scored and then three minutes from time Hooper scrambled the ball over the Dons line. Four minutes into injury time Anderson was penalised and booked following a great challenge. From the resulting free kick Samaras scored with an overhead kick from five yards that left the Dons dazed and bewildered. There was not a bad challenge in the match yet Aberdeen ended up with five players cautioned and Samaras was booked for removing his shirt following the late goal.
Celtic kicked off the match and opened the scoring within 12 seconds when they cut through the Aberdeen defence and scored through Commons. Aberdeen players got their first touch of the ball as they restarted, but in the 3rd minute Celtic won the opening corner as the Dons made the worst possible start. Pushing by the home players brought that attack to a halt as Aberdeen looked to get a foothold in the match. Aberdeen had lined up with Vernon and Magennis up front while Shaughnessy and Jack were in the full back slots.
In the sixth minute McGinn won the Dons first free kick 25 yards out, but his effort was comfortably held by Forster. At the other end Commons went down easily under a challenge from Hayes and Mulgrew forced a great save from Langfield to present the home side with their second corner. Langfield was able to gather the cross and tried to launch a quick counter, but the Celtic defence were alert to the danger. Aberdeen then enjoyed a small spell of pressure but couldn't carve out a scoring chance. Magennis was then brought down inside the box in the 11th minute, but referee McLean only awarded a corner Kick.
From the set play McGinn had an effort blocked before Rae fired over. Aberdeen had recovered well from the early setback and were trying to take the game to the home side. Commons attempted to break in the 20th minute, but the offside flag stopped that attack. At the other end Magennis was being a nuisance and he won a second corner. A third quickly followed and the short corner was eventually whipped across by Hayes, but the ball went harmlessly wide. Four minutes later Magennis forced corner kick number four, but the threat ended with Shaughnessy heading wide.
Stokes and Commons looked dangerous a minute later, but the move broke down and Langfield was able to gather. Reynolds required treatment on his shoulder after half an hour, but he was able to continue. Celtic then went close to doubling their lead in the 34th minute when Commons fired inches wide and seconds later Stokes was getting pelters from the home crowd as he was guilty of a couple of mistakes. Hayes then tested Forster in the 35th minute with a low drive and a minute later Magennis threatened as Aberdeen looked to level before the interval. At the other end some slick passing failed to produce a goal as Stokes wondered into an offside position.
In the 40th minute McGinn was taken out of the play by Kayal and the Celtic man was spoken to. Hayes delivered, but the ball was scrambled clear. A minute later Langfield was off his line quickly to smother the ball at the feet of Stokes. Stokes then fired into the side netting as Celtic looked for that important second goal. With a minute of the half remaining Vernon should have scored, but his effort went agonisingly wide. That was all forgotten a minute later when strong play by Magennis forced him into the Celtic area and he unselfishly fed Vernon who smashed the ball into the net to make it 1-1 before the interval.
After the break Hayes won an early free kick when he was blocked by Kayal and the Celtic man was lucky not to earn the first yellow of the match following his first half warning. Hayes was still limping heavily as Celtic won the first corner kick of the half in the fourth minutes. Aberdeen were forced to clear from the line, but the referee had already blown for an infringement. Celtic had started the half strongly and the Dons were forced on to the back foot in these early stages. Anderson and Ledley collided in the 51st minute, but both were able to continue after treatment. Aberdeen then went ahead once the game restarted.
Once again it was Magennis causing mayhem as Rae steered the ball to him and he produced a wonderful finish to stun the home crowd. Two minutes later Langfield made a comfortable save from Commons then he made another easy catch from Stokes as Celtic tried to hit back. Langfield was in action again in the 58th minute as he stopped another Commons effort before being clattered by Hooper. The keeper certainly felt that one, but there was no time to worry as the Dons were back up the park winning a corner. As the ball broke to the edge of the box Rae fired in a fierce shot and the ball was turned into the net by Magennis to make it 3-1.
Langfield was the hero again in the 63rd minute when he made another fine save as the Dons came under pressure at a free kick. Reynolds had collected the first yellow in conceding the free kick. A minute later Commons fired well wide with a fierce effort from 25 yards out. Pawlett replaced the injured Hayes in the 67th minute and a minute later Celtic won another corner and a Mulgrew shot was deflected past Langfield to give the home side some hope. Reynolds was kicked in the face in the 70th minute, but the referee allowed play to continue then awarded a home free kick 20 yards from the Aberdeen goal.
It was all hands to the pump as they defended the free kick and Anderson blocked the danger with the Dons trapped in their own half. Magennis and Vernon then broke, but the move ended with McGinn firing wide of Forsters' goal. Magennis blotted his copy book in the 75th minute as he collected a cheap yellow for kicking the ball away. Anderson was marshalling his defence well and was leading by example as Celtic turned up the heat in search for the equaliser. Despite the obvious pressure Aberdeen were still going forward when the opportunity arose and Magennis was giving Wilson an uncomfortable 90 minutes.
Shaughnessy made a great tackle on Samaras in the 79th minute and was immediately penalised and booked by Mr McLean. Another unbelievable decision in a season of unbelievable decisions. This was quickly followed by Pawlett getting booked for a challenge on Forster. At the other end Langfield made another great save before Reynolds booted the ball clear. Pawlett then broke in the 84th minute and was barged off the ball by Lustig, but no booking was forthcoming. Aberdeen then forced a corner and after a scramble Forster was able to claim the ball.
With four minutes remaining Samaras went on a great run and it took a tremendous challenge from Hughes to stop him and concede a corner. Unfortunately Hooper was able to scramble the ball into the net from the corner after an Ambrose effort was cleared off the line and Celtic were level. A minute later Langfield made another save as Celtic looked for an undeserved winner in a match that Aberdeen had stood strong. Another corner was forced as Aberdeen began to rock, but the ball was headed clear. Milsom replaced Hughes in stoppage time and in the final seconds Anderson made another great challenge and again the referee penalised and booked the Aberdeen captain. From that controversial decision Samaras scored the winner in the fourth minute of injury time following another goalmouth scramble.