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Celtic 3 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Celtic scorers: Petrov (66), Maloney (74), Zurawski (90)

04/03/2006 | KO: 15:00

Second half blitz sinks Dons

Aberdeen had a goal disallowed then had a great chance to score through Richard Foster before Celtic broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. Aberdeen had shown little in the opening half but showed a lot more adventure after the break until Petrov then Maloney ended their hopes of taking anything from this match. A late goal from Zurawski added the icing on the cake for the home side. With this game out of the way the Dons now need to concentrate on their remaining fixtures as they try to make the top six with Inverness only a point away but Motherwell now breathing down their neck.

Celtic kicked off and almost immediately Zurawski was pole axed by Diamond to win the first free kick of the match. Aberdeen successfully defended this opening foray by the home side but Celtic went close in the 4th minute when a Petrov effort was deflected for the first corner. A minute later Langfield was smartly off his line to clear from Zurawski. At this stage Aberdeen had yet to show anything as an attacking force. Zurawski was causing problems and again he was probing forward in the 8th minute before he was penalised for a handball.

Langfield then made his first save in the 10th minute and once again it was Zurawski on target. A minute later Keane surged forward and again Langfield was forced into a save. The game was bypassing the Dons midfield at this stage in a match that appeared to be lacking the usual passion from both sides. In the 19th minute a cross broke to Petrov and the legs of Jamie Langfield blocked his snap shot. A minute later Aberdeen had their first shot at goal and it was Scott Severin who tried his luck from distance but it didn't cause too many problems.

Aberdeen had another chance in the 21st minute when Wilson stumbled but Lovell was adjudged offside. A minute later 50,000 fans were screaming for a penalty when the ball hit the hand of Zander Diamond. Referee McCurry rightly adjudged it as ball to hand. Aberdeen then had a spell of pressure but they couldn't break down the home defence. Langfield was called into action again in the 28th minute as he saved from Keane after Maloney had opened up the defence. A minute later Langfield denied Hartson with another great stop as the home side turned up the pressure.

On the half hour mark Nicholson was badly injured after a challenge from Roy Keane and was unable to continue. Richard Foster replaced him and Boruc easily gathered the resulting free kick. A couple of wild efforts from Maloney and Zurawski landed in row Z as the Dons tried to reorganise. Snoyl was the next player to pick up an injury after a bad challenge from Balde and like Nicholson he was unable to continue. Mackie replaced the Dutchman and left Calderwood with only one substitute. Keane had another pot at goal in the 42nd minute but failed to hit the target. Aberdeen won their first corner of the match when a Severin shot was deflected wide in the 44th minute. A poor delivery was easily cleared but Zander Diamond headed the return ball wide.

An early mistake from Langfield almost allowed Celtic in, but the ball was scrambled clear. Aberdeen then launched an attack through Lovell and Mackie to win the first corner of the second half. Anderson met Griffin's delivery but the skipper couldn't steer the ball on target. Foster then showed great pace in the 50th minute but was unable to deliver the cross as he stumbled under pressure from Telfer. Aberdeen were enjoying more of the play than they had in the first half but Celtic still looked dangerous going forward. In the 56th minute the Dons won a free kick 30 yards out and from the set play won another corner that was cleared by Petrov.

Foster was then booked a minute later for a rather innocuous challenge before Severin went on a good run, cut inside but failed to produce a finish to test the keeper. Balde followed Foster into the book in the 59th minute for a challenge on Severin. Lovell then had the ball in the net on the hour mark but was pulled back for a foul. Aberdeen went close again in the 63rd minute when Foster skinned Balde and ran in on goal. He should have went himself but chose to cut the ball back to Severin and Boruc made a fine save. Celtic then broke forward and won a free kick on the edge of the box. Maloney's effort was well saved by Langfield but he undid the good work with a poor clearance.

Celtic pounced on the poor clearance and Langfield had to redeem himself with another save. Just as Aberdeen were competing so well Celtic opened the scoring when Zurawski set up Petrov in the 66th minute. The midfielder had plenty of space and drilled the ball into the roof of the net. Aberdeen continued to play well and didn't let the loss of the goal affect their play. Crawford replaced Griffin in the 74th minute as they looked to level. That was made impossible a minute later when poor defending allowed Maloney to fire in a second goal from a Keane cut back. Mackie was presented with half a chance two minutes later but his effort was blocked and the ball was cleared.

With five minutes remaining Aberdeen won another free kick outside the Celtic box but Severin's effort was blocked in what was a poor effort. Langfield, who had no chance with the goals, made another fine save in the 88th minute before Celtic added a third at the death as Petrov rounded Langfield and set a goal up for Zurawski. There were no further chances as the Dons unbeaten League run in 2006 came to an end.

Celtic Teamsheet
Boruc, Telfer, Wilson, Balde, McManus, Petrov, Keane, Lennon, Maloney, Hartson, Zurawski. Unused Subs: Nakamura for Hartson (64)

Bookings:   Balde (59)
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Griffin (Crawford 74), McNaughton, Nicholson (Foster 31), Diamond, Anderson, Snoyl (Mackie 39), Clark, Lovell, Severin, MacFarlane.

Bookings:  Foster (57).
Attendance: 60,018
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: Mike McCurry
Steve Lovell battles for the ball at Celtic Park.
Barry Nicholson in action before picking up an injury.
Steve Lovell wins the ball this afternoon.
Barry Nicholson's match ends after a challenge from Roy Keane.
Ferne Snoyl has to leave the field after a challenge from Balde.
Zander Diamond in action this afternoon.
Petrov makes it 1-0 to Celtic.
Maloney adds a second.
Zurwaski completes the scoring for Celtic.
Dons fans keep the flag flying despite the result.
Next Match
27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen