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Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Celtic scorers: Thompson 45 (pen)

02/03/2002 | KO: 15:00

Dons lose out to penalty strike

Aberdeen had their best chance in years to beat Celtic on their home patch, but a Thomson penalty in the last minute of the first half gave Celtic all three points. Although Celtic dominated for long periods of play Aberdeen had their chances to score. Winters had the best chance in the first half but he fired his shot straight at Douglas.

Aberdeen kicked off, but they almost gifted Celtic an opener in the first minute. Anderson stumbled letting Moravcik pounce. His effort was easily held by Kjaer, but the Slovak had an even better chance a minute later when he controlled the ball well and drove it inches wide of the post. The Dons had a fair share of the possession at this stage but were unable to penetrate the final third. Mjalby went close in the 9th minute when he headed an Agathe cross over the bar.

The Dons started to get pushed deeper and deeper as they struggled to get support to Dadi up front. Petrov had the ball in the net in the 17th minute, but he was clearly offside. The Dons managed to venture forward in the 20th minute when Dadi took advantage of a Celtic slip. He sent Winters clear wide on the left, but McNaughton was unable to collect the cross. Celtic won the first corner kick of the match in the 24th minute and seconds later Darren Young collected the first yellow card of the game for persistent fouling. The resultant free kick saw Moravcik hit his shot wide of the target. Aberdeen were awarded their first free kick of the match in the 27th minute and secured a second a minute later.

The Dons then had a great spell and Winters should have opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Dadi won the ball well and released Bisconti. He found Winters on the left and the striker should have done better than hit the ball straight at Douglas. They nearly paid for that miss a minute later when Lambert chipped from the edge of the box and the ball scraped past the post. The Dons were showing a lot more adventure now.
Aberdeen won their first corner of the match in the 33rd minute and from the kick Anderson rose above the defence and headed wide.

The Dons had a chance again in the 40th minute when McNaughton broke through the middle. He had both Mackie and Winters in support, but chose Winters when Mackie looked the better option and the danger was cleared. The Dons conceded a dangerous free kick in the 44th minute when McAllister tumbled Agathe on the edge of the box. The ball was cleared for a corner, but seconds later Mr. Underhill was pointing at the spot when Dadi tried to be too clever in clearing the danger and the referee adjudged he had fouled Crainey. After finishing so strongly it was a disaster to concede the Thomson spot kick so late in the half.

Celtic almost doubled their lead in the opening minute of the second half when Thompson ballooned an easy opportunity wide after a great cross by Agathe. Both sides made an early change as Zerouali replaced Dadi and Smith replaced Moravcik. Celtic were having the lions share of the second half and McNaughton did well in the 59th minute to clear the ball over his own bar when a goal looked certain. Celtic were in control now as the Dons struggled to create any attacking play and Celtic went close again in the 69th minute. Smith drilling an Agathe cross inches wide of the target.

The game burst into life around the 75th minute with a series of cards being flashed. Bisconti was first in the book for persistent fouling then in the 78th minute Lambert was booked for a bad foul on Mackie. While the referee was booking the player an incident off the ball blew up between Zerouali and Thompson, which resulted in both players earning a straight red card. Once play restarted the Dons had a great opportunity to put the Celtic defence under pressure from the free kick, but wasted the opportunity without getting the ball into the penalty area.

The Dons put Celtic under pressure in the closing minutes, but the closest they came was a 25 yard drive by Darren Young which went sailing over the bar. The Dons were almost caught on the counter when Whyte stumbled, but the danger was cleared and Celtic collected all three points.

Celtic Teamsheet
Douglas, Crainey, Thompson, Boyd, Maloney, Lambert (McNamara 87), Agathe, Lennon, Petrov, Moravcik (Smith 57), Mjallby Unused Subs: Gould, Sylla, Guppy

Bookings:   Lambert 77   Thompson 77
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, Anderson, McAllister, McNaughton, McGuire, Whyte, Bisconti, Young, Dadi (Zerouali 57), Winters, Mackie.

Unused Subs: Preece, Clark, Tiernan, O'Donoghue.

Bookings:  Young (24),  Bisconti (74),  Zerouali (79).
Attendance: 59,564
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: John Underhill, Fife
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow