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Aberdeen 1 - 2 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Celtic

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Taylor 27.
Celtic scorers: McGregor 10, Ajer 81

16/02/2020 | KO: 12:00

Dons lose out late on

Michael Devlin missed out with an injury so Ashton Taylor returned to the starting XI. Shay Logan replaced Dylan McGeouch in the only other change from Tuesday night's side which beat Hamilton. Craig Bryson returned to the squad also and was given a place on the bench. The Dons returned to a back four.

Aberdeen started well in what were very difficult windy conditions. An early Logan cross and then a McGinn free kick posed problems for the Celtic defence as the ball moved about in the air. On six minutes an early ball forward saw Edourard get the wrong side of Logan but the right back did well to get back and make a perfect tackle.

On 10 minutes Celtic took the lead. McKenna misjudged a long ball forward which allowed Leigh Griffiths to get in behind after picking up the bouncing ball. McKenna looked to have recovered the situation, but Griffiths was able to play the ball inside to Edouard who in turn played the ball across the box to James Forrest who shrugged off Matty Kennedy and fired in a shot. Joe Lewis made a very good stop but Callum McGregor was well positioned and bundled the ball into the net. There may have been a push by Griffiths on McKenna in the build up, but it was still a poor goal for Aberdeen to lose.

After 13 minutes Curtis Main won the first corner of the game. McGinn put over a great ball but there was not one red shirt in the six yard box. After quarter of an hour McLennan won a free kick on the edge of the area. McGinn dinked it in but McLennan could not get any power on his header.

On the 20 minute mark Kennedy and McGinn linked up well down the left. Niall put over another excellent cross but it was just out of the reach of Curtis Main. Two minutes later Taylor made an excellent tackle which allowed Main to pick the ball up in a good area but his shot from distance was always on the rise.

After 23 minutes Greg Taylor went down with an injury which allowed the players a break as it had been a very high tempo opening. Taylor was unable to resume so was replaced by Jonny Hayes.
On 26 minutes Aberdeen equalised. A McLennan cross was flicked on by Kennedy. Ash Taylor picked the ball up in space and did brilliantly to control the ball on his chest before lashing it past Forster with a brilliant half volley. It was a finish any striker would have been very proud of.

It was a deserved equaliser as the Dons pressing had caused Celtic plenty of problems in the opening half hour.

On 31 minutes a McGinn free kick almost found Taylor. Celtic could not clear their lines for a few minutes and had to deal with a second McGinn corner. On 35 minutes Forrest put over a dangerous cross which was well dealt with by the Dons defence. 38 minute in, Funso Ojo fired in a shot which Forster could only palm away and McGinn followed up but he put his header into the side netting.

A minute later McLennan went down in the area but was booked for diving after going past Jullien. On replay it looked the correct decision as Jullien had his foot planted on the ground. Connor was having a very good game and causing the Celtic defence problems with his direct running.

On 43 minutes Griffiths was booked for mouthing off to referee Andrew Dallas - rather highlighting some frustration amongst the Celtic players with the way things were going. Aberdeen then had a stronger penalty shout when Jullien went through the back of Main inside the area before Taylor was booked for a foul on Edouard on the halfway line.

Half Time: Aberdeen 1 Celtic 1

Aberdeen also started the second period strongly. In the first five minutes they worked the ball into some good areas but failed to put over any real crosses when they maybe should have. On 52 minutes Scott Brown took down McGinn as Aberdeen tried to break. The Celtic captain rather fortunate not to receive a yellow card.

On 55 minutes Ferguson produced a great tackle and his early ball forward set Main free. The striker went for goal and although his shot took a nasty bounce in front of Forster the keeper's handling was good.

The home side appeared to be handling the conditions better than Celtic who at this stage were struggling to get their passing game going. On 58 minutes Ryan Christie replaced Leigh Griffiths.

On 63 minutes Main won a free kick which allowed McGinn to put the ball back into the area. Celtic cleared and again Aberdeen wasted some good possession after that. A minute later a Logan throw in bounced over the heads of everyone in the six yard box.

At the other end Hayes put over a few crosses but his deliveries were caught by the wind which was still causing real problems. On 67 minutes Derek McInnes made his first change with Craig Bryson coming on for Matty Kennedy. Straight away Bryson linked up well with McGinn who burst into the area but Jullien produced a good tackle.

With twenty minutes to go it was Aberdeen who were looking the more likely to get the next goal.

A McGinn cross was completed misjudged by Forster who rather unconvincingly palmed the ball off his own defender.

Aberdeen had been on top but on 74 minutes Hayes off the left linked with Edouard who played a won two. Jonny was clean through but Joe Lewis got out quickly the made a terrific block. It was a reminder of the quality of Edouard who up to that point had been very well marshalled by Ash Taylor.

On 76 minutes Forster punched a McGinn corner clear. Niall then put over a dangerous cross which was flicked on by Considine and McKenna frustratingly headed the ball over the bar when Main behind him was better positioned to attack the ball.

With ten minutes to go Neil Lennon made his final change when Ntcham was replaced by Rogic. Considine put over a cross with his right foot which Forster gathered. With Andy still up the park Celtic worked the ball to Forrest and he switched the play to the unmarked Ajer and the defender coolly fired the ball into the roof of the net. In a double blow Funso Ojo was injured trying to make a block and went off injured, replaced by Sam Cosgrove.

On 85 minutes Bitton was booked for shoving Cosgrove off the ball. From the free kick the ball in from McGinn was took strong.

With four minutes to go Edouard should have made the game safe when Forrest found him in the six yard box but the striker's shot was brilliant saved by Joe Lewis' outstretched leg.

The Dons tried to get an equaliser but they had given everything and just could not do enough to force an opening. In the third and final minute of injury time Sam Cosgrove was pulled to the ground on the edge of the area but the flag had done up for offside.

Weather: Dry, Strong swirling wind
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Taylor, McKenna, Considine, Ojo (Cosgrove 83), Ferguson, McLennan, McGinn, Kennedy (Bryson 67), Main.

Unused Subs: Hernandez, Campbell, McGeouch, Anderson, Cerny.

Bookings:  McLennan (39),  Taylor (45).
Celtic Teamsheet
Forster, Jullien, Taylor (Hayes 25), Britton, Brown, Griffiths, Ntcham (Rogic 79), Edouard, Ajer, McGregor (Christie 58, Forrest

Unused Subs: Bain, Bayo, Elyounoussi, Frimpong

Bookings:  Griffiths 45
Attendance: 14,135
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Andrew Dallas