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Aberdeen 0 - 3 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Celtic

SPL Under 21
Celtic scorers: Lynch 23, Maloney 78, Kennedy 83

10/12/2001 | KO: 19:00

Aberdeen under 21's were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at Pittodrie by Celtic. The experienced Dons side which started with only one player that hadn't seen first team action never really threatened the league leaders. Leading 1-0 at half time, the Celtic side added two late goals to collect all three points..

Celtic started the match strongly and had the bulk of the early possession. Hedderman had to look sharp in the 2nd minute as he cut out a Fyfe cross with Maloney poised to strike. The Dons eased themselves into the match however and in the 9th minute Thornley forced their first corner. Clark swung in the corner and a Dadi head flick was cleared from the line with Morrison well beaten. Five minutes later Thornley delivered a fine cross from a McAllister pass. Dadi was first to react, but hit his effort well over the bar.

Celtic took the lead in the 22nd minute after a fine run by Smith down the right. He delivered a cross that Esson should have claimed. The keeper however stayed rooted to the spot and Lynch had the easiest of tasks to head home. The visitors went close again three minutes later when Lynch collected a Rutkiewicz clearance and fired a fierce shot against the upright. The Dons worked a clever free kick in the 29th minute. With the Celtic defence expecting a Belabed shot, Thornley swung in a dangerous cross. It was headed high in the air and Solberg returned the ball across the face of the goal where it was scrambled clear. A minute later, Belabed went close with a long-range effort. The half ended with McAllister and Rutkiewicz picking up the first yellow cards of the game.

Both teams went on the attack at the start of the second period, but it was the Dons that went closest in the 52nd minute when Solberg found Dadi on the edge of the box. The big striker did well to turn his marker, but his shot was deflected wide for a corner. Three minutes later Morrison denied the Dons an equaliser when, following another well worked free kick, he held a 12-yard drive from Bett. At the other end Healy should have done better than blast the ball well over from only six yards.

Celtic created another chance in the 62nd minute when Maloney dispossessed Belabed in the middle of the park. The striker fed the ball to Lynch, but he wasted the opportunity. Three minutes later the Dons had their best chance of the match from another inventive free kick. This time Clark delivered a telling cross and Rutkiewicz out jumped everyone to send a powerful header inches over the cross bar. Maloney should have done better in the 72nd minute, when he headed over from 5 yards.

In the 78th minute Celtic added a second in controversial circumstances. Lilley was adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the box despite appearing to take the ball cleanly. Aberdeen protests were in vain and Maloney stepped up and curled the ball into the net with Esson rooted to the spot. The game was over four minutes later when Celtic added a third. This time Kennedy headed a Smith cross home.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Rutkiewicz, McAllister, Solberg, Hedderman (Lilley 75), Belabed, Tiernan, Clark, Thór Bett, Dadi (McHattie 79), Thornley.

Bookings:  McAllister (44),  Rutkiewicz (45),  Dadi (58),  Thornley (77).
Celtic Teamsheet
Morrison, Goodwin, Boyd, Healy, Kennedy, Wieghorst, Smith, McCann (McBride 84), Lynch (Keoch 83), Maloney, Fyfe.

Bookings:  Kennedy 56,   Lynch 68
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: George Drummond