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Aberdeen 1 - 3 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Celtic

Aberdeen scorers: Winter 53.
Celtic scorers: McGeady 56, Petrov 58, Telfer 64

04/12/2005 | KO: 14:00

Dons fail to hold on to lead

Aberdeen failed to get back into the top six despite taking the lead against Celtic with a well-executed low drive from Jamie Winter. Unfortunately they only held the lead for three minutes and within eleven minutes they were trailing 3-1 as McGeady, Petrov and Telfer all scored. One wonders what might have happened had Russell Anderson been able to play but hopefully the captain, who was suffering a migraine, will be fit to return next week.

Kevin McNaughton was handed the captaincy for the afternoon and Celtic got the game underway in the pouring rain. The visitors created the first chance in the 5th minute when Petrov broke on the right, beat Considine and floated a dangerous ball across the goal. A minute later Crawford picked up a knock when he was caught late by Balde and had to go off for some treatment. Celtic were enjoying a lot of possession at this stage although Chris Clark fired in a low shot in the 10th minute but the effort was blocked by Crawford in an offside position. Byrne then had a speculative effort from 40 yards that caused no problems for Borac.

Aberdeen almost cashed in on a mistake by Balde after 17 minutes, but the Celtic defence were quick to recover. Two minutes later Zurawski wriggled clear and lobbed the ball over the bar. The Dons were on the back foot again two minutes later as Hartson threatened. Fortunately he was crowded out on the edge of the box before the visitors were awarded a soft free kick 22 yards out. Nakamura took the free kick but the wall blocked the effort at the expense of an injury to Chris Clark. Celtic were now in total control of the midfield but the Dons broke on the 29th minute and Byrne won a free kick when he was caught late by Balde.

Smith was inches away with the effort before Celtic broke and a brave block by Esson denied Zurawski. The keeper didn't look so clever seconds later when he came to collect the corner but was left in no man's land as the ball was headed over the bar. Aberdeen had the Celtic defence in trouble in the 36th minute when a decent pass from Muirhead found Byrne on the left. Smith collected his cross inside the box, but he was eventually crowded out and lost possession. In the final minute of the half Hartson headed a Nakamura free kick wide of the target. Then seconds later Crawford was released inside the box, but the delivery was too heavy.

Aberdeen carved out a chance in the 48th minute when Nicholson took a quick free kick and found Diamond on the right. Unfortunately Borac easily gathered the defenders header back across goal. Two minutes later Clark was released on the left by a reverse pass from Smith but it just caught the Aberdeen man offside. Lennon was then booked in the 52nd after Byrne went on a probing run. Celtic were further penalised as the Dons took the lead from the set play. The free kick was rolled into the path of Jamie Winter and he drilled a low shot past Borac. Unfortunately the Dons only managed to hold that lead for three minutes.

Celtic put the Dons under severe pressure and although the defence had plenty of chances to clear the ball fell to McGeady and he fired it past Esson. Matters got worse two minutes later when Hartson looked to barge into Diamond. No foul was given and Hartson turned and shot. Unfortunately Esson fumbled the effort and Petrov was first to react as he slipped the ball into the net. Smith was then booked on the hour mark for dissent despite Lennon being excused the same crime on two separate occasions. Aberdeens' loss of Russell Anderson was beginning to show as cracks appeared at the back and Celtic made it three in the 64th minute. Nakamura picked out Telfer unmarked and he strolled into the box and fired the ball past Esson.

In the 71st minute Darren Mackie replaced Scott Muirhead as the Dons looked for away back into the match. Winter attempted an audacious effort in the 81st minute when he dispossessed Petrov, noticed Borac off his line and attempted to lob him from distance. Maloney almost added a fourth in the 86th minute after some fine play but Esson was out quickly to block the effort. Esson was lucky to escape a red card in injury time when he handled outside the box. Charlie Richmond settled for a yellow And Nakamura fired the free kick over the bar.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Byrne, McNaughton, Winter, Considine, Diamond, Nicholson, Muirhead (Mackie 71), Crawford, Clark, Smith.

Unused Subs: Langfield, Dempsey, Stewart, Foster, Baas.

Bookings:  Smith (60),  Esson (90).
Celtic Teamsheet
Borac, Telfer, Wallace, Balde, McManus, Petrov, Lennon, Nakamura, McGeady, Zurawski (Malloney 75), Hartson (Virgo 88) Unused Subs: Malloney for Zurawski (75), Virgo for Hartson (88)

Bookings:  Lennon 52
Attendance: 17,031
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Charlie Richmond, Auchinleck
Today's match programme.
Muirhead and Nakamura challenge for the ball today.
Jamie Smith in action against Celtic.
The Aberdeen wall does their job and blocks Nakamura's free kick.
Jamie Winter opens the scoring in spectacular style.
The opening goal from a different angle.
Winter is pursued by his team mates after opening the scoring.
McGeady equalises three minutes later...
...then Petrov adds a second.
McNaughton is launched into orbit at Pittodrie.
Jimmy Calderwood looks on from the Main Stand.
Esson looks relieved as referee Richmond only shows him yellow.