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Aberdeen 0 - 2 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Celtic

Scottish Cup Quarter Final
Celtic scorers: Hartson 6, Petrov 53

25/02/2002 | KO: 19:45

Dons Crash out of Cup

The high of December's 2-0 win was missing tonight as the Dons crashed out of the Scottish Cup. Celtic opened the scoring in six minutes and once they had added a second ten minutes into the second half, the Dons never looked like coming back. The visitors were reduced to ten men for the last five minutes, but it made little difference to the outcome. The Dons now need to concentrate on securing a European spot through the SPL starting on Saturday with a visit to Celtic Park

The game started at a terrific pace and within the first minute Petrov had broken forward for Celtic only to be denied by Kjaer. Mackie instantly broke at the other end and his cross was met by Winters who drilled the ball inches wide of Douglas's post. A minute later, Bisconti had a shot easily held by the Celtic keeper. Celtic then sensationally took the lead in the 6th minute when Petrov collected a Balde pass and his cut back eluded Kjaer for Hartson to pounce and score from six yards. This was the worst possible start for the Dons and if they were to progress to the next round they would have to do something that no other Scottish team had managed this season - come back from a goal behind to beat the cup holders.

The match settled down after this opening flurry, but the Dons were struggling with their passing game in the heavy conditions. Celtic on the other hand were retaining possession better and looked quicker to the second ball. The Dons went close to equalising in the 22nd minute when a goalmouth melee ensued following a Winters corner. Dadi got the last touch, but the ball went harmlessly wide. Sutton collected the first booking when he brought down Derek Young in full flight in the 26th minute. Winters hit the resultant free kick round the wall, but straight into the hands of Douglas. Two minutes later there were loud appeals for a penalty when Dadi went down in the box under a challenge from Agathe. Referee Dallas waved play on however and the chance was gone.

The Dons were put under severe pressure on the half hour mark as they struggled to clear a Celtic corner. The referee's whistle eventually eased the situation and two minutes later Dadi picked up the second yellow card of the match for a late tackle. Aberdeen then introduced Hicham Zerouali (complete with new blonde look) in the 35th minute to replace the injured Derek Young. McGuire was booked in the 41st minute for a tackle on Moravcik. Hartson should have extended their lead in the 43rd minute when Hartson screwed the ball wide from six yards. A minute later McGuire was on hand to take the ball from Hartson's head as the Welshman looked set to score. On the stroke of half time Darren Young had a shot at goal that went tamely past Douglas's far post.

Celtic had the first chance in the second period when Hartson was allowed to advance forward before unleashing a powerful drive which Kjaer did well to block. Zerouali tried a 30 yard shot at the other end, but the effort went sailing over the cross bar. Celtic almost grabbed a second in the 51st minute when Moravcik headed a Lennon free kick back into the danger area. Mjallby was first to react and the ball scraped past the post. Celtic did extend their lead in the 54th minute amid claims of offside. Moravcik delivered a perfect pass, which Petrov ran on to before slotting the ball beyond Kjaer. The cup dream was fading rapidly.

The Dons tried to get back into the match and Mackie should have done better in the 57th minute following good play between Zerouali and Winters. The youngster didn't get any force behind his shot and the ball trickled into the arms of Douglas. The game was interrupted for a few minutes when a man with a large stomach streaked onto the pitch. There wasn't much going right for the home side and this was highlighted in the 61st minute when a Winters corner broke loose on the six yard line, but there were no Dons players on hand to take advantage. The Dons were looking far from dangerous as Celtic took control and a 30-yard effort from McNaughton in the 74th minute was the best they could offer.

The Dons had another opportunity in the 80th minute when Sutton brought down McNaughton on the edge of the box. McAllister's effort went well wide and more or less summed up the Dons' evening. The game burst into life again in the 85th minute when Hartson was sensationally sent off for taking a kick at McAllister while both were grounded. The Dons had little time to take advantage of the situation and the Celtic rearguard never looked like being breached. Aberdeen were thrown a late life line when Zerouali was tumbled in the box. The referee had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick, but in keeping with the script, Winters' effort was blocked by Douglas and no-one was on hand to fire in the rebound.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, McNaughton, McAllister, Whyte, McGuire, Young, Bisconti, Mackie, Young (Zerouali 34), Dadi, Winters.

Unused Subs: Esson, Anderson, Clark, Tiernan.

Bookings:  Dadi (32),  McGuire (41).
Celtic Teamsheet
Douglas, Balde, Thompson, Sutton (Crainey 87), Hartson, Lambert, Agathe, Lennon, Petrov, Moravcik (Maloney 62), Mjalby Unused Subs: Gould, Boyd, Smith

Bookings:  Sutton 25,   Moravcik 58,   Agathe 90  Hartson (85)
Attendance: 17,082
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Hugh Dallas, Bonkle
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow