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Celtic 4 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 2 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Celtic scorers: McGregor 2, Hatate 13, Hatate 76, Abada 89

18/02/2023 | KO: 15:00

Dons defeated in Glasgow

A two-goal opening blitz from Celtic took the game away from the Dons and, despite a much improved second half display, they left Glasgow well beaten by the league leaders.

Aberdeen made one enforced change from the side that beat Motherwell 3-1 in the last game, Jack MacKenzie coming into the defence in place of Liam Scales who could not play against his parent club. Patrik Myslovic and Dante Polvara joined the subs, Alfie Bavidge being away with the Scotland Under 17s.

After beating St Mirren 5-1 at Parkhead in the Scottish Cup last Saturday, they made three changes, Kyogo dropping to the bench, David Turnbull and Aaron Mooy missing. In came Reo Hatate, Oh Heon-Gyu and Matt O'Riley.

It took the home side just two minutes to grab the lead, McGregor the man to punish the Dons again, seizing on a headed clearance from Jonny Hayes and firing the ball past Jay Gorter, who got a hand on it but couldn't stop the ball from flashing in.

Hatate was in behind on five minutes but Angus MacDonald met the ball with a strong clearance at the near post as the Dons struggled to get a foothold in the game. It was 2-0 on 13 minutes, Hatate dancing into the penalty area far too easily before planting his shot into the bottom corner, giving Gorter no chance.

Aberdeen moved from a 3-5-2 to a 4-5-1 to stem the tide but Taylor was able to flash a dangerous looking ball through the box on 23 minutes ? thankfully there was nobody on the end of it. Aberdeen were struggling to handle the pace and movement of the Celtic forwards as the hosts continued to surge towards Gorter's goal. Hatate was next to try his luck with a fierce drive on 26 minutes, but it was straight at the Dons' goalkeeper.

Hatate collected a half cleared corner on 33 minutes, Gorter turning his shot behind at his near post. Gorter was in impressive form on 38 minutes, flinging himself to his left to deny Jota. In the aftermath, Hayes caught Maeda's heels and the referee pointed to the spot. VAR checked the foul, and then for a possible offside, Jota penalised for his original run, the penalty overruled.

Jota had a great opportunity on 44 minutes, a free header at the back post but he pounded it into the ground and the ball bounced up and over the bar. Another terrific save came from Gorter as the game edged towards added time, flying to his right to deny O'Riley after he had twisted into space to get his shot away.

Hayes ended the half with an Aberdeen shot, a 25 yarder that was always rising over the bar.

HALF-TIME: CELTIC 2 ABERDEEN 0

Hayden Coulson replaced Bojan Miovski for the Dons at the break. It was a more lively start from the Dons to the second half, a nice move getting Matty Kennedy away down the right in the 48th minute. A long ball forward looking for Leighton Clarkson moments later caused trouble too, Hart quickly off his line to head clear just outside the box.

An intricate move from Celtic got Maeda in on goal on 51 but Kennedy did really well to put Maeda off his stride as he tried to shoot at goal. Clarkson had a sight of goal a minute later, a 50 yard crossfield pass getting him in behind the defence but his first time shot from a tight angle didn't trouble Hart. Much better and more aggressive though from Aberdeen.

There was a glimmer of hope on 55 minutes, Hart bringing the ball out and then giving it straight to Hayes. Some 35 yards out, Hayes drilled the ball wide when perhaps a lob over the goalkeeper might have been a better option.

Ryan Duncan was Aberdeen's second change, replacing Clarkson after 63 minutes. Maeda, Jota and O'Riley all made way at the same time, Haksabanovic, Abada and Iwata coming on.

Hart got himself into all kinds of trouble on 70, coming out of the box to clear. The ball was played back by Hayes to Ylber Ramadani who tried a low shot at goal, but it was blocked and the chance had gone. A real let off for Celtic, who replaced Oh with Kyogo moments later.

Any lingering hopes of salvaging something from the game were gone on 76 minutes as Hatate made it 3-0, collecting a pass from McGregor before advancing into the box and burying the ball in the bottom corner. Three minutes later, he made way for Forrest. Duk was replaced by Marley Watkins on 82 minutes.

Haksabanovic had a great opportunity to make it four on 88 minutes, sweeping a first time shot wide of the goal from just behind the penalty spot, 14 yards out. It was 4-0 within a minute however, Haksabanovic the instigator this time, his pass finding Abada and from a similar position and distance, he smashed the ball past Gorter.

2 minutes added at end of 1st half
2 minutes added at end of 2nd half
Celtic Teamsheet
Hart, Johnston, Taylor, McGregor, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, O'Riley (Iwata 63), Hatate (Forrest 79), Oh (Furuhashi 71), Neves Filipe (Haksabanovic 63), Maeda (Abada 63)

Unused Substitiutes: Bain, Bernabei, Kobayashi, Ralston
Attendance: 59,090
Visitors:701
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: Willie Collum
Next Match
East Kilbride
A
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride