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  • Celts turn on style with dismantling of Dons

    Celts turn on style with dismantling of Dons

    By: Tony Connelly on 25 Oct, 2017 21:47

  • Scottish Premiership
    Pittodrie, Aberdeen
    Wednesday, October 25, 2017





    (Tierney 13, Dembele 38, 62)


    MOUSSA Dembele scored his fourth goal in two games as Celtic swaggered three points clear at the top of the Premiership with an exquisite 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie. The destruction of Aberdeen also extends the Hoops’ remarkable domestic unbeaten run to 61 games.

    Kieran Tierney opened the scoring early in the first half before Moussa Dembele added two more either side of half-time.

    Dembele, who helped secure Celtic’s place in the League Cup final with two goals in Saturday’s 4-2 win against Hibernian, started up front in place of Leigh Griffiths. The Frenchman’s inclusion in the XI was part of three changes to the side from the weekend with Patrick Roberts making way for James Forrest out on the right and Scott Sinclair being replaced by Tom Rogic. The Australian took up a central position behind Dembele with McGregor out on the left wing.

    The Hoops arrived in the Granite City high in confidence from their 60-game unbeaten run and bolstered by a strong record against the Dons which had seen them not fail to score at Pittodrie since the 2000/01 season.

    Celtic put the home side under pressure early on and quickly took control of the game in the midfield. A couple of early crosses into the Aberdeen box threatened the Dons but their defence was able to clear the danger.

    Graeme Shinnie tested Craig Gordon with two powerful shots from distance but the Hoops stopper comfortably held on to both efforts, and the Celtic keeper had a quiet night for the remainder of the game.

    The breakthrough for Brendan Rodgers’ side came on 12 minutes when Dembele turned Kari Arnason and had the pace to get away from the Dons defender. His pass across the six-yard box was just beyond Mcgregor but Kieran Tierney ran in at the back post and smashed the ball in off the underside of the crossbar with a wonderful finish.

    Tom Rogic, who had scored four goals in his last five games against Derek McInnes’ team prior to the game, look intent to continue his fine record as he ran at the home side’s back line and used his quick footwork to cut inside and trouble Lewis with a couple of curling efforts from outside the area.

    Celtic almost doubled their advantage midway through the half when Rogic was brought down on the edge of the box. Armstrong curled his free-kick around the wall but the ball went narrowly wide of the post.

    The Hoops continued to pepper Aberdeen goal as they moved up a gear in search of a second goal which came seven minutes from the break. Tierney knocked the ball round Shaleum Logan on the half-way line and burst down the left wing before firing a ball into the box which Dembele side-footed into the net.

    Celtic’s momentum ran into the second half as Armstrong took a turn of threatening the home team with a low driving shot from outside the box before tearing up the left wing moments later and delivering a near perfect cross which was inches beyond the head of Dembele.

    Shortly afterwards Armstrong threaded a perfectly-weighted pass in behind the Aberdeen defence for James Forrest who shot was saved by Lewis. The rebound rolled to Dembele whose shot was blocked by Arnason.

    The Hoops soon passed their way into a wonderful rhythm and Derek McInnes’ side could get nowhere near the ball, instead resorted to fouling the Celtic players as their frustration began to show.

    It would be to their detriment as Celtic extended their advantage in the 62nd minute. Dembele was on superb form and his power and pace caused problems for the Aberdeen centre-backs all night. A foul on the Frenchman by the touchline resulted in a free-kick which was whipped into the box and tucked away by Dembele after Dedryck Boyata’s header back across the six-yard box.

    Scott Sinclair replaced Rogic in midfield and ensured Celtic’s pressure never let up thanks to his pace and willingness to run at a demoralised Dons side. Jonny Hayes came on for Forrest and almost scored against his old side in the dying embers of the game when he came close to getting on the end of a great cross from Leigh Griffiths, who came on for Dembele.

    It was a perfect performance from the champions who dominated their closest rivals with a relentless tempo which Aberdeen had no answer for. Celtic’s complete control of possession throughout and attacking prowess illustrated why they are treble-winning invincibles and they showed no sign on relinquishing that crown based on tonight’s performance.

    Celtic now move three points clear at the top of the Premiership and will equal their 100-year-old unbeaten run if they can secure at least a point against Kilmarnock on Saturday (October 28) at Paradise.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Bitton, Boyata, Tierney; Brown, Armstrong; Forrest (Hayes), McGregor, Rogic (Sinclair 72); Dembele (Griffiths 81).
    Not Used: De Vries, Roberts, Ajer, Ntcham

    ABERDEEN (4-1-4-1) Lewis; Logan, Arnason, McKenna, Shinnie; O’Connor; Mackay-Steven (Tansey 70), Considine, McLean, May (Maynard 77); Rooney (Wright 58).
    Not Used: Rogers, Reynolds, Stewart, Ball

    Website Man of the Match: Moussa Dembele


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