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AFC - Match Report
match report 2006-07 fixture list
Aberdeen 0 - 1 Celtic
Kick Off:  12:30 PM         Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (79)  
Attendance: 15,304 (Visitors: 3,646)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Late strike ends dons unbeaten run
Aberdeen adopted a defensive outlook at Pittodrie this afternoon and defended resolutely for 78 minutes before a moment's loss of concentration allowed Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink too much space. The Dutchman strode into the space and drilled the ball past Langfield to win the match. Aberdeen then laid siege on the Celtic goal for the last twelve minutes with Anderson having an effort scrambled off the line and Nicholson having a free kick spilled in the closing seconds but there was no one there to take advantage. The red army were left wondering why the Dons had not shown this sort of ambition earlier in the match. Russell Anderson must be wondering what he needs to do to get a starting place for Scotland as he was absolutely immense this afternoon with telling challenges throughout.

Celtic kicked off as Aberdeen lined up with a back three. Wilson was lucky to escape at least a lecture after unceremoniously bundling over Chris Clark in the opening minute. Seconds later Lee Miller was almost released after a mistake from Caldwell. After a nervous start from both sides the game settled down and Diamond took a nasty blow in the fifth minute as he blocked a Naylor pile driver on the edge of the box. At this stage Celtic were enjoying most of the possession with Aberdeen struggling in the middle of the park and finding it difficult to create chances.

Russell Anderson welcomed Gravesen to Scottish football with an immense tackle in the 10th minute. The Dane was then lucky to escape a booking seconds later with a late challenge on Chris Clark. Aberdeen then carved out the best chance to date in the 12th minute when a deep cross to the back post was headed back across goal by Chris Clark, but Foster failed to get his head on the ball with only Borac to beat. McGeady then had Celtic's first shot on goal in the 14th minute but the ball went wide as the Celtic player tried from distance.

Anderson was then penalised harshly 25 yards out but justice was done when Nakamura fired the effort into the wall. Gravesen once again left a late foot in as he challenged Diamond, but again no action was taken against the Dane. The Dons won the first corner in the 20th minute but it was easily cleared allowing Celtic to break. It was that man Anderson again who cleared the danger after Gravesen charged the ball down with his arm and was allowed to continue towards goal where Anderson executed the perfect challenge on the edge of the box to deny the Dane.

Lee Miller set up Mackie in the 24th minute but Borac was off his line quickly to claim the ball. A minute later Celtic won their first corner when Nicholson stuck well with Gravesen and conceded the corner deep in the Dons box. The set play was well defended and Miller had half a chance in the 28th minute when he slipped as he went to collect a Hart cross and headed over. A minute later the Dons had a better chance when they broke again, but Mackie and Miller failed to link. McGeady then had a snap shot that was fired straight at Langfield.

Anderson was again called into action in the 33rd minute as he halted yet another Celtic attack with a timely tackle on Caldwell. A minute later Diamond had to head over to concede a corner as the visitor's turned up the heat. Langfield punched clear, but the Dons were struggling to clear as the hoops midfield were quick to close down. There was concern in the 36th minute when Michael Hart went down in a challenge with McGeady. Fortunately he recovered but before he could return to the play Aberdeen had a strong penalty claim turned down as Jan Vennegoor bundled Mackie inside the penalty area.

Diamond and McGeady then earned a yellow card for an off the ball fracas before Lee Miller was forced to clear off the line after Langfield failed to collect a corner. Neil Lennon had a couple of shots blocked after Anderson was once again harshly penalised before Celtic had their own soft penalty claim ignored. McGeady was then lucky to stay on the park after a cynical foul on Michael Hart. Aberdeen had a late chance but an error from Clark wide on the left halt ended the danger.

Celtic were first to show after the break when Zurawski drove down the left but fortunately his cross drifted wide of the post. At the other end Mackie broke on the right but once again the support was late in coming and the chance was lost. The red army were infuriated again in the 50th minute when Diamond went down in a challenge with Jan Vennegoor and play was allowed to continue with Celtic in a dangerous position. Fortunately McGeady fired well over to ease the pressure. Aberdeen appeared to be on the wrong end of all decisions at this stage as Lee Miller was bundled over and told to pick himself up.

The Dons were being forced further back at this stage and sensing blood Celtic introduced Kenny Miller in the 57th minute. Dan Smith also replaced Dempsey five minutes later before Gravesen finally collected a yellow card after leaving an elbow in the face of Chris Clark in the 64th minute. The Dane then had the chance to open the scoring after being set up by Jan Vennegoor who was trying to swap shirts with Dan Smith at the time. McGeady was again lucky to avoid a card for a stupid push on Lee Miller then in the 74th minute Chris Clark had a sniff of goal but Borac easily gathered his shot.

Two minutes later Chris Maguire, who impressed against Celtic last season, replaced Lee Miller before a good move in the 79th minute almost produced an opener for Aberdeen as Borac cut out a Dan Smith cross to deny Mackie. The Dons were to rue that miss seconds later as Celtic went up the park and scored. Jan Vennegoor was given far too much space on the edge of the box and stepped forward to drill the ball past Langfield. Aberdeen tried to fight back and won a corner a minute later but the ball just wouldn't fall for them inside the box.

Calderwood had no option but to go for it and Daal replaced Hart in the 84th minute. This obviously left gaps at the back and Gravesen went close in the 86th minute before Aberdeen stormed forward and won a corner. The result was a real melee on the goal line as Anderson looked to have levelled but the ball was scrambled away before Severin fired over from 16 yards. A minute later Nicholson stormed into the box and with Daal waiting the ball was scrambled for another corner as Celtic began to look shaky. The Dons continued the assault and Diamond set Daal up but his volley was blocked twelve yards out. Daal and Naylor collected late yellow cards before Aberdeen almost produced an equaliser deep in injury time when Borac failed to hold a Nicholson free kick but no one could pounce on the loose ball to turn it into the net.

Match Stats:

Dons Celts
Goal Attempts 2 8
On Target 25
Corners 4 4
Possession 46% 54%

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Hart (Daal 84), Clark, Diamond, Anderson, Severin, Nicholson, Dempsey (Smith 62), Miller (Maguire 76), Mackie, Foster.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Diamond (38),  Daal (90).

Celtic Teamsheet:  Borac, Naylor, Caldwell, Zurawski, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Wilson, Gravesen, Lennon, Nakamura, McManus, McGeady.

Unused Subs: Miller for Zurawski (57), Pearson for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (90)

Bookings:  McGeady (38),   Gravesen (64),   Naylor (90)

Referee: T. Michael McCurry, Glasgow

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